PAPEV Project in The Gambia in collaboration with The Gambia Police Force (GPF) and other partners, on Wednesday, held a 3-day workshop at the Kairaba Beach Hotel at Senegambia to train judicial staffs, police officers, and other child rights facilitators on issues of child rights violations.
The training was conducted with the purpose of building and enhancing the capability and capacity of Judicial staffs and other child right advocates or actors in The Gambia to promote greater care of children, victims of rights violations and to ensure that there is proper handling of child rights violation cases and fast track justice in such instances.
Established in September 2019, the Protection of Children Victims of Rights Violations (PAPEV) project has been supporting governments of Mali, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Niger and The Gambia to strengthen their Child Protection Systems.
Participants were trained in legislative framework on children of victims of rights violations. They would also be trained in child development, child abuse, and also, about supporting children in distress. They would also be enlightened about Gambia's policy on child protection and others.
"We believe we are getting closer and closer to reinforcing the child protection system. Thanks to the implementation of the international congression. We are promoting a safer environment for children. The Italian development cooperation considers children and teenagers as main characters of their own development as well as the country's development," said Madam Isani, representative of the Italian Development Cooperation Agency, which financed the training.
"We support the Gambia institution to improve the legislation and the services available to children whose rights have been violated. We are aware that the Covid-19 pandemic is an obstacle to the implementation of this project. Nevertheless, it should not be discouraging us from achieving our goals to reach the agenda 2030,"
She added that the training would facilitate justice for Children and victims of right violations.
Fatou Kinteh, the minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, said that "as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (C.R.C), The Gambia has come up with a child protection system and a comprehensive programme to address child rights in The Gambia.
"For the first time in the history of the country, we have a Directorate of Children under the newly established Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare. Thanks to the government of President Adama Barrow for the laudable initiative. The Directorate works closely with other government partners on specifically designed programmes, which include but not limited to, providing psychosocial counselling, emergency health care support and referral of minors to hospitals; providing psychosocial services to children in conflict and in contact with the law."
She added that the training would strengthen community capacity, which would help counter the culture of silence, thus, ensuring the smooth passage of justice for children of right violations.