Thursday, May 12, 2011
On What AG Chambers Official Says On Our Human Rights
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- “The Gambia as a developing nation is ready to learn from its difficulties and challenges in promoting rights, but we are also unwavering in our desire and commitment to keep the peace and stability we are known to have enjoyed”, Madam Alwar Graham said at the ongoing 49th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, while representing the Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lawyer Edu Gomez.
“The Gambia is ready and willing to learn and adopt best practices available to improve a significantly on our human rights record and to best protect the human rights of people. “ We are and will continue to be committed in this cause,” she added.
The AG Chambers official called on the promoters and protectors of human rights to act responsibly in the way and manner they execute their function and mandate in order not to be seen to be misleading as the Human Rights concept does not operate in the abstract but within the legal system of the state.
Being the primary responsibility of the state to promote and protect the lives of its citizens, she stated that it is only when human rights are guaranteed, promoted an protected that the human security of a country could be realized.
“It is evident today the need for African leaders to adopt strategies to make the protection of human rights outlined in the African Charter more attainable,” the official noted.
The Government of The Gambia, in its strive to make justice accessible to its citizens, according to Graham, has extended its democratization process to translate the policy of citizens access to justice by establishing certain institutions, among them the Agency for Legal Aid and Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat.
“In this order, The Gambia has carried out several activities to improve the existing legal framework which include the revision of the entire Law Volumes of The Gambia which was well overdue”.
The Gambia being the first African Union Member State to sign the protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, it has also in 2010 passed into law The Women’s Right Act 2010 which embodied comprehensive standard application to women recognizing their right not to be subjected to violence, injury, abuse and harmful Traditional Practices, Graham observed.
This act provides exclusive guarantees for women’s right with a combination of protection, empowerment, prohibition, punishment and violence against women, and the rehabilitation of women victims while recognizing the right of women to peace and peace existence, it was pointed out.
The official tasked African leaders to explicitly play a lead role in addressing national grievances, promoting and protecting human rights in the interest of peace; while further acknowledging that economic growth alone would not be sufficient without the necessary conditions to sustain peace- all of which need the expansion of fundamental human rights.