By Yankuba Jallow
The Gambia Commission for Refugees in partnership with UNHCR has trained trainers of seven security training schools on refugee protection and management.
The purpose of the refresher training according to the organizers was to build the capacity of trainers of the seven security training schools on international protection and refugee management, with the view that this will enhance the protection of refugees and other persons of concern to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Gambia.
The security units that were trained during the programme were members of the Gambia Police Force, National Intelligence Agency (now called State Intelligence Agency), Gambia Immigration Department, Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Prison Service, Gambia Armed Forces and Gambia Fire and Rescue Services.
The participants from these training schools were taught so many areas in relation to refugee protection and management including principles of refugee protection and management, the registration process of refugees and persons of concern to UNHCR, the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons, statelessness and its impact among others.
Speaking at the closing ceremony on behalf of all participants, Ismaila Jammeh, an officer from the Gambia Immigration Training School who was also a participant, said the training has granted them the opportunity to learn new things in relation to refugee protection and management. He said the knowledge gained will undoubtedly be conveyed to their various security training schools which will be beneficial to the security sector of the country in terms of refugee protection and management.
Louie Mendy, the head of the Gambia Commission for Refugees (GCR) expressed happiness to the UNHCR for the support they have been rendering the GCR. He applauded them for organizing such an important training in which he added that it will enhance the protection of refugees in the Gambia. He urged the participants to disseminate the knowledge gained during the training to their fellow officers in their units.
The Executive Director of GaFNA, Mr. Yusupha Gomez said the training is very important, adding that the training schools should embed these in the syllabi of their various training schools. He said his institution will continue to remain a strong partner to the UNHCR.
Mr. Saikou Saho, the head of UNHCR Country Office said at the UNHCR, continuous training is very important to them. He added that internal protection is the business of every person.
“Please transfer the knowledge gained to others for the benefit of every person. We will do as much as we could to provide you with materials to do your work that is why we are giving each of the seven security training schools laptops, desktops and digital cameras,” he concluded.