By: Kebba AF Touray
Deputies at the National Assembly have ratified numerous motions tabled before them.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Ousainou Darboe tabled various motions for adoption by the Lawmakers.
The motions tabled by the Minister include Convention on Cluster Munitions, UN Convention on Transparency in Treaty Based Investor State Arbitration, Convention on the African Charter, and Convention of Statistics and Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
According to Darboe, Government in keeping to its international obligations and thriving on the platform of good governance, democracy and respect for the Rule of Law, moved the motions and appeal to Members for their ratification.
The members of the third arm of the government have given their supports to the aforesaid motions adding among other things will help addressing the devastating effects they have on the society, human and the environment, as such have no place in the Gambian society and hailed the government in general, foreign minister in particular for what they described as a step in the right direction. The Lawmakers also made calls for the relevant authorities to come up with more such motions for them to give them the necessary ratifications.
Convention on Enforce Disappearance:
Deputies at the National Assembly, ratified yet another convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance.
Darboe, explained that the convention was signed by President Adama Barrow, during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly and that the treaty invokes the spirit of willingness and cooperation of Government in its continued efforts and showing serious commitment towards protecting lives of all persons and ensuring that victims of enforce disappearance, know and have access to the truth about the circumstances surrounding enforce disappearance. This he said was adopted on 20th December 2006, by the UN General Assembly and as of January 2018 has been ratified by 58 states.
Darboe cited Article 1 of the Convention which states that “no one shall be subjected to enforce disappearance and no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether during a state or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as justification for enforce disappearance.”
Darboe noted that in 2002, the Commission on Human Rights mandated a working group with elaborating a draft of a convention which was then presented in September 2005 and during its first meeting in June 2006, the newly created Human Rights Council adopted the draft treaty unanimously and forwarded it to the General Assembly and was agreed on 20th December 2006.
State parties [The Gambia] must enact specific laws establishing the crime of enforced disappearance. They must investigate complaints and reports of enforced disappearance and bring those responsible to justice. Other obligations are of a preventive nature, such as the obligation to detain persons only in officially approved and monitored institutions in which all are registered, the absolute right to Habeas Corpus, the interdiction of concealment of the whereabouts of arrested persons which are in this way placed outside the protection of the law, as well as the right to receive information on prisoners”, he said.
The convention Darboe added recognizes the right of victims and their families to know the truth regarding the circumstances and fate of the disappeared person. It also treats the unlawful abduction of children whose parents were victims of enforced disappearance as well as the faking of these children’s identities and their adoption.
Protection of Migrant Workers, Others:
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all migrant workers and family members was also ratified by the country’s Lawmakers.
Darboe said the Convention constitutes a comprehensive International Treaty and regime of laws, providing the protection of migrant workers’ rights, as well as emphasizes the connection between migration and human rights, which is increasingly becoming a crucial policy issue worldwide, as such aims to protect migrant workers and members of their families, that its existence sets a moral standards and serves as a guide and stimulus for the promotion of migrant rights in each country.
“The convention also aims to guarantee equality of treatment and the same working conditions, including in the case of temporary work, for migrants and nationals”, he emphasized.
He disclosed the need for the country to consider the convention, adding it relies on fundamental notion that all migrants should have access to a minimum degree of protection, regular migrants have legitimacy to claim more rights than irregular migrants, but also stresses that irregular migrants must see their fundamental human rights respected like all human beings.
“This convention is an important vehicle to protect our citizens living abroad. We are living in a global context characterized by several cases of Gambian being maltreated abroad and such cases hurt the Gambian population and that should form the bases of the ratification of this convention”, said Darboe.
He added that considering the recourse to the employment of migrant workers who are in an irregular situation will be discouraged, if the fundamental human rights of all migrant workers are more widely recognized. He also added that granting certain additional rights to migrant workers and family members in a regular situation will encourage all migrants and employers to respect and comply with the laws and procedures established by the states concerned, as such is of great significance for the National Assembly to ratify the treaty.
The National Assembly has adjourned its sittings to today, Monday 25th June 2018, for continuation.