Gambia host African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights headquarters for over thirty years and thus has the task to serve as a role model in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa, said Gambian leader as he sworn-in five commissioners.
As part of Gambia’s transition to democracy, President Adama Barrow has on Wednesday sworn-in five commissioners for the country’s newly established National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The Commission, chaired by a respected Gambian human rights lawyer Daniel Emmanuel Joof, has five commissioners who were vetted by lawmakers late 2018 and sent to the president for approval.
The rest of the commissioners are Jainaba Johm, Njundu Drammeh, Imam Baba Leigh and Dr. Agnes Adama Campell Kallay.
Gambia host African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights Headquarters for over thirty years and thus has the task to serve as a role model in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa, said Barrow.
“However, the absence of an independent Human Rights Commission has always been a major vacuum in our human rights architecture. Therefore, your appointment as Commissioners is a historic milestone in the fulfillment of our human rights obligations,” said the Gambian leader.
“My Government is committed to rendering the necessary assistance to the Commission for the realization of its objectives.”
Gambia has emerged from a 22-year dictatorship that has significant impact on its public institutions. During the period, several human rights violations have occurred. The chair of the Commission, Emmuanuel Daniel Joof, said the establishment of the human rights commission is long overdue.
Joof said their mandate as a Commission is to ensure that the human rights violations that happened in Gambia under the former dictator Yahya Jammeh are not repeated.
The NHRC established by an Act of the national assembly in 2017 is a permanent body set up with a broad mandate which includes the promotion and protection of human rights, recommending appropriate remedial action to the government and seeking appropriate redress on behalf of victims.
The commission is also mandated among other things to conduct public awareness and education programs to promote a culture of human rights in the Gambia and assist the government formulate policies to guarantee human rights.