The Community Development Unit under the purview of FIOHTG has recently concluded a five-day training and community-based sensitization meetings on basic fundamental human rights in Jawo Kunda cluster in Kantora District, URR.
Jawo Kunda is one of the new phased-in communities as FIOHTG interventions for the period of three, as stated in the contract signed with them. Possibly, there can be an extension depending on the need to do so.
The activity aimed at enhancing the capacities of the communities on their basic fundamental human rights that are bestowed on them by the virtue of the fact that they human beings. In addition, they were also reminded about their responsibilities in the promotion of human rights issues in a bid to protect their rights and that of others, especially those of women and children.
This discussion focused on the right to education, health, security, freedom of expression and association, to be protected from inhumane treatment, to be voted and voted for, and to be protected from harmful cultural practices amongst others.
FGM still remains a major impediment to the protection of the rights of women in most communities in rural Gambia. The recent Women Bill tabled in a bid to repeal the Anti-FGM law enacted in 2015. This action has triggered intensive debates in communities as some people support the repeal, making reference to its Islamic backing. Most Muslims are seeing it as a treat to Islamic beliefs and thoughts.
In one of the communities sensitized, the Imam informed the community members that they should be careful about the issue of FGM because its still a law and advised to be law abiding and anything inconsistent with law is shouldn’t be avoided for the s of sake peace and tranquility in the country.
Other gender based violence such as child marriage was also discussed, reminding them that they should keep their girl child in school and avoid the practice of child marriage to earn them a better future.
The staff of the National Human Rights Commission, an institution mandate to promote and protect the rights of the citizens and residents of this country, served as the resource persons of this activity. Hiring their services has not only made the activity fruitful but also introduced these communities to the existence of NHRC and its mandates. We look forward to building strong collaboration with through signing a MOU.
The communities were tasked to establish a human rights subcommittee to be under the purview of VDC to protect and promote human rights issues in their communities.

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