By Landing Ceesay
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) held the 2nd Edition of human rights moot court competition at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara (SDK) International on Friday.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has designed the human rights moot court competition as part of its commemoration of International Human Rights Day.
The maiden moot court competition was held last year November with the finals held on 10thDecember 2020 to commemorate International Human Rights Day.
While speaking at the event, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said the competition aligns with the General mandate of the NHRC to promote and protect human rights and especially under section 12 (e) of the NHRC act 2017, which requires the commission to promote awareness and respect for human rights through conducting human rights education and studies in the Gambia.
Talking about the moot court competition on the theme: “Responsibility in respect of the human rights of migrants in Africa”, Mr Joof said farming communities continue to battle with the consequences of environmental degradation thereby exposing young people to risky migration patterns.
“The Gambia over the years served as a destination for economic migrants and refugees from the sub-region and is increasingly becoming a country of transit and return of migrants. Gambian nationals rank high amongst migrants undertaking the Central Mediterranean route from sub-Saharan Africa, mainly Libya and Tunisia but also Algeria to Italy. They are likely to be more vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and marginalisation during their migratory journey. With an increase in the number of returnees in the past few years in the Gambia, a number of serious human rights concerns have arisen on the failure to safeguard migrant’s rights in the context of return,” he said.
The finalists argued before an imaginary African Court on Human and People’s Rights based in Arusha, Tanzania.
The hypothetical case focuses on the general situation of migrants, it highlighted and identified possible shortcomings in the domestic legal mechanisms and the absence of the state political will to protect the fundamental rights and the lives of migrants, which has exacerbated the vulnerability of youths, women and children in the context of migration.
The 2nd edition of the moot competition started on 27th October 2021 and the competing students from the University of the Gambia (UTG) have been arguing/mooting a human rights hypothetical case.
Applicants, Muhammad Ceesay emerged first, Ebenezer Brown Okoro came second, and they received D25, 000 each. While respondents, Omar Dibba, third, and Amie Colleh Sarr, fourth, each received D20, 000.
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