Bureau Régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest
The Gambia: Dialogue on National Human Rights Commission _ 9 December 2015©OHCHR-WARO

The Gambia : Dialogue on National Human Rights Commission _ 9 December 2015

30 décembre 2015 The Government of The Gambia supported recommendations made by States at the 2014 Universal Periodic Review on the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution.

Similar recommendations were also issued in 2015 through other United Nations Human Rights mechanisms : the Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on Social Economic and Cultural Rights (CESCR). The Ministry of Justice confirmed that “as part of The Gambia’s commitment to ensure the effective realization of Human Rights, the recommendations … are currently being implemented. In particular, a bill for the establishment of the Gambia’s Human Rights Commission is at its drafting stage”.

As part of the process, a Delegation of the Gambia conducted a study visit to Nigeria in October 2015 to understudy its Human Rights Commission, as well as the West Africa Regional Network of NHRIs, and learn from their efforts in the protection of human rights and good practices in administrative and operational procedures.

On 9 December a national dialogue was organized by the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with OHCHR WARO and UNDP, providing an opportunity to present and discuss the main findings of the study with key stakeholders in The Gambia. The event united around 60 representatives from relevant Ministries, Government Institutions, the National Assembly, the Judiciary, Civil Society, Media, as well as international partners. As a result, Government officials and Civil Society actors increased their knowledge of the international standards related to National Human Rights Institutions (the so-called Paris Principles). Also, the event enhanced cooperation and consultation between key stakeholders through constructive discussions.