Gambia on Thursday 2nd May 2019 submitted its first state report in twenty-five years on the African Charter on Human and People`s Rights to the African Commission as well as its initial report on the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa.

This was done 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 headed a 6-man Government delegation consisting of the Solicitor General Cherno Marenah, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Muhammadou Jaiteh, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare Bulli Dibba, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Jerreh Sanyang and State Counsel Bafou Jeng.

Also, in attendance from The Gambia were the Chairperson and a Commissioner of the newly established National Human Rights Commission of The Gambia, Mr. Emmanuel D Joof and Mr. Njundu Drammeh respectively.

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.

In presenting the report, 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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