21 December 2012

Gambia: Talinding Kunjang Residents Discuss Child Rights Issues

The residents of Taliding Kunjang, under the aegis of the Social Welfare-UNICEF established Community Child Protection Committee (CCP), last Sunday, organized an informal community confab on Child Rights issues.

"The discussions were meant to create awareness on issues that are affecting the community," disclosed Modou Lamin K. Sanneh, an official from Social Welfare.

He added "the Commitees were established in 2009 for them to respond to all forms of abuse and exploitation of children in various communities. "

Pierre Jatta, a Social Welfare officer and co-cordinator of the committee, in an interview, revealed that the rationale of the CCP's is based on the realization that the protection of children from abuse, neglect, exploitaion and violence can only be effective and successful if communities recognise the problem and actively participate in their protection.

According to the cordinators, the creation of community awareness on matters of child rights and protection issues, coupled with willingness on the part of the communities to assume collective action of child rights protection, is essential in child rights protection.

A host of issues besetting the lives of children were discussed and these include the phenomena of school drop-outs, teenage pregnancy, discipline and the children's increasing involvement in the scavenging of scrap metals at dumpsites, and which attracted the attention of the community.

Hon. Babou Gaye-Sonko, chairman of the Talinding Kunjang Community Child Protection Community, enjoined on the elderly members of the community to instil discipline in the children. He said there is an ardent need for the community to assume a collective parentage role over the children.

Magistrate Asemota told the gathering of over one hundred and fifty people that the increase in the rate of school drop-outs is explained by a number of factors or multifaceted and called on parents not to waiver in their parental responsibilties. He told them to always dialogue with their children in order to always ascertain what is bothering them.

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