By Tabora Bojang reporting from NBR
The National Youth Council in partnership with UNICEF is embarking on a nationwide awareness tour to sensitise children and youth on their fundamental rights and the importance of their participative role in the transitional justice process.
The tour centres on the theme “amplifying the voices of children and youth for the future of the Gambia”.
The ministry of justice has launched a country wide national consultation on the rationale and objectives behind the establishment of a truth reconciliation and reparations commission, TRRC.
According to the organizers, children and youth were not sufficiently represented by the civil society during the national consultations, and Gambians therefore identified the need for them to be well represented and actively participating in the transitional justice process as 22 years dictatorial rule of Jammeh shaped a breakdown of families and long-term trauma for children whose loved ones have been directly or indirectly affected either by torture, imprisonment, disappearance and summary executions.
Whereas the establishment of the TRRC is a critical part of peace building, reconciliation and consolidation of democracy in the new Gambia, the development of an informed and committed national youth network is essential for the sustainability of the transitional justice programme, according to the concept note.
The country wide workshops will offer opportunities to over 1100 children and youth who will be sensitized on the concept of transitional justice, the objectives of TRRC with special focus on truth seeking and reconciliation.
It is also expected to equip youth and children with the right tools to disseminate information about the TRRC and engage their peers, families, and the media in the transitional justice process.
Hundreds of children victims are as well expected to be registered country wide and their statements to be taken during the course.
The tour including representatives of children and youth organisations, justice and education ministries, NYC, CPA, and Gambia Center for Human Rights Violations will be holding series of workshops across all the regions including Kanifing Municipality and Banjul.
The team held its first engagement at the Regional Education Directorate in Kerewan NBR attended by the governor of North Bank Region Ebrima SK Dampha.
The session was characterized by question and answer sessions.
The tour continues to the CRR.