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After 2 decades, Gambia submits report to Africa’s human rights watchdog

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This is the first time the Gambia appear before the continental human rights watchdog since 1994, the year the country slipped into an old-school dictatorship presided over by Yahya Jammeh.

Gambia has submitted its first state report on the African Charter on Human and People`s Rights to the African Commission as well as the its initial report on the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) at the 64th ordinary session of the Commission in Sharm El Shaikh, Egypt.

The report was presented by the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou who led a 6-man Government delegation to Egypt.

Pursuant to article 62 of the African Charter, all State Parties are expected to submit a report of their human rights situation to the Commission every two years.

Since The Gambia had not submitted any report over the past 25 years, this report constituted a combined report for all the previous 12 reports due for submission, according to a press release from the justice ministry on Friday.

The Attorney General highlighted the human rights challenges of The Gambia since 1994, which provided the backdrop and context of the 25-year-old backlog of its reporting obligations to the Commission.

He elaborated on the key Constitutional and legislative, institutional and policy reforms currently being undertaken by the Government of The Gambia headed by President Adama Barrow.

Attorney General Tambadou also provided a progress report of the key achievements and challenges of the Gambia`s civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights situation as well as the rights and welfare of women.

In reaction to the report, the Commissioners of the African Commission unanimously expressed satisfaction with The Gambia`s report, in both its content and conformity with the Commission`s guidelines.

They also applauded the new leadership of The Gambia for the courage displayed in confronting the country`s human rights challenge and putting in place mechanisms to deal with the past and laying a solid foundation for its human rights architecture.

The Commissioners also raised a number of issues and questions which the delegation will respond to on Friday 3rd May 2019 at 2pm.

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