West African human rights Institutions in Banjul sub-regional Meeting

Sub regional delegates at the Banjul meeting.

By: Foday Manneh

The Network of National Human Rights Institutions for West Africa (NNHRI-WA) is hosting a three-day regional consultation of human rights institutions in the subregion from June 7 to 9, 2023, in Banjul.

The Meeting brought together officials from fifteen (15) established National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in West Africa, eleven of which are recognized as complying with the Paris Principles and granted “A” status accreditation, including the Gambia.

The event aims to allow the participants to enhance the overall role of NHRIs towards promoting and protecting human rights, focusing on the independence and effectiveness of NHRIs, peace and security, business and human rights, and protection of migrants and internally displaced persons in NHRIs’ work.

In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Justice of the Gambia, Dawda Jallow, expressed that the National Human Right Commission of The Gambia continues to be recognized and valued for its position in promoting the country’s democracy.

“In this regard, the NHRC of The Gambia was given the important role of monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Truth Reconciliation Reparations Commission (TRRC),” Minister Jallow said.

In a brief remark, the President of the NNHRI-WA, Joseph Whittal, said the consultation offered them the chance to deliberate and share lessons on how to deepen and consolidate the work of promoting and protecting human rights in the subregion by NHRIs.

For his part, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of The Gambia, Commissioner Emmanuel Daniel Joof, reminded the participants of the work of the NHRIs.

“In West Africa and the Sahel, NHRIs play an important role in promoting and protecting human rights within their respective jurisdictions in an increasingly challenging environment as they grapple with many human problems in the sub-region. I am sure you will agree that our work is cut out for us,” Joof said.

The three days engagement is expected to introduce approaches and strategies to enhance regional cooperation between NHRIs discussed and agreed upon.

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