By Kebba Jeffang
As part of series of activities being implemented under the Access to Justice Project by several legal institutions in the country, the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) on Monday, April 11, 2016 conducted a ‘Face to Face meeting’ with the community of Kiang Kwinella and the satellite villages on the values of human rights and the content of Women’s Act 2010.
The project is fully funded by the European Union (EU), internationally implemented Eurecna Spa, in collaboration with the local stakeholders such as NCCE, NALA, FLAG and ADRS.
The project is targeting Brikama in the West Coast Region (WCR), Kiang Kwinella in the Lower River Region (LRR) and Sandu Kuraw in the Upper River Region (URR) to ensure that such communities are well informed about their legal and civic rights and accessibility.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Demba Sanyang, Chief of Kiang Central, expressed delight to be privileged to host the Access to Justice Project in his community. He said the programme is important for it is educating people on legal and civic rights which are their human rights..
Mr. Yusupha Bojang, NCCE Programme Officer, said the project is funded by the EU and his office is among the local implementers of the project. He said the aim of the project is to ensure that legal and civic education reached the communities. He said it is realized that rights are known to some but accessibility remain a challenge.
He said NCCE is spearheading the project’s component of football tournament and the Face to Face sensitization in order to dispatch accurate information to the communities including the young people, noting that they have done it in Brikama already.
Mr. Kebba O. Jobe, a Civic Officer of the NCCE, while making presentation on fundamental human rights, said human rights are to ensure everyone lives in peace, liberty and dignity. He said “right to life is a fundamental right and by virtue of section 19 of the 1997 Constitution, a right to personal liberty is guaranteed.”
Mr. Jobe said “killing without due process and in accordance with law is murder and any person found wanting is liable to conviction. Every person shall enjoy the right to liberty and dignity. Arrest is a lawful act but there are procedures outlined that indicate how it should be done. Not anyhow.”
He said by virtue of the Gambia’s Constitution, any person arrested should be told in 3hours after his arrest why he is arrested and must access a legal representative. He further stated that in accordance with the laws of the Gambia, no person shall be detained beyond 72 hours meaning he or she should be released conditionally or otherwise or be taken to a competent court of law.
On the right of education, Mr. Jobe told the rural community that “education is not a privilege but a right. You should allow your children to be sent to schools to learn because they are the pillars in building the future of the country. Allow and support your daughters to acquire education. Denying them means you are denying them their right to education.”
He concluded that freedom of association is a fundamental right which is guaranteed in the Constitution of the Gambia. He said everyone should be allowed to belong to any political party or other associations of choice without family or anybody’s interference.
Madam Amie Jobe, who represented the Female Lawyers’ Association of the Gambia (FLAG), in her presentation on marriage and family as well as Women Act 2010, said protection of women in the eye of law is a priority to her office.
She said Women’s Act protects all the women in the country while noting that men and women are inseparable partners.
.Madam Jobe said both males and females can seek for divorce at any inconvenient point in marriage. She informed that it is the responsibility of the man to take care of the family including the wife even though the wife is working. She said women should not be denied of such rights.