By Olimatou Coker
In its quest to end or statelessness by 2024, The Gambia Commission for Refugees in collaboration with Food and Nutrition Association together with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has recently organized a two-day workshop on the concept of statelessness, its causes, and how to eradicate it by 2024 held at NAQAA.
The workshop brought together civil society organizations, security agencies, and Non Governmental Organizations to have a deeper understanding of politics and procedures affecting statelessness and to influence policy change and commitment to action from those in authority on issues regarding statelessness.
A person is considered stateless if they are not considered as a national by any state of the operation of its law, with statelessness, immensely compromising basic human rights of individuals, The Gambia venturing to ensure adequate awareness and advocacy, ensuring human rights for all in a major effort to end statelessness by 2024.
Famara Fadera, Deputy Commissioner, said putting in place a correct registration system for all could greatly reduce the impact of statelessness in the Gambia.
“Putting in place a more efficient system and documentation of nationality with a particular focus on variable populations such as nomads, travelers populations living in remote border areas, given protests to statelessness migrants and facilitating the naturalization of stateless persons and refugees, and also informing and sensitizing the public and the key actors on the risks of statelessness, its causes and consequences.”
Yusupha Gomez, Executive Director of GAFNA, called on participants to advocate for the end of statelessness to end the phenomena and amplify the voices of the people.
“As CSOs, we all know we interface with the local people and we are their mouthpiece. So we are closer to the communities. It is apt and timely that we are part and parcel of this advocacy.”
Prof. Lamin Sidibeh, Lead Consultant, commended the Gambia Commission for Refugees for their consistency in advocating against statelessness in the country.
“One fundamental impression that I have for partners is the fact that for years now, consistently organizing awareness campaigns, sensitization is still not enough. It’s never enough. But I think having some impact.”
During the deliberations participants were taken through the Prevention’s causes and consequences of statelessness and global actions put in place to address the matter.