A prominent human rights activist in the country has called for more investment and attention to be given to human rights education and training in the country.
Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, who also doubles as the Executive Director of Beakanyang, a local NGO made the remarks recently at the graduation ceremony of Masroor Senior School in Old Yundum.
“As young people you must believe in human rights, advocate for respect for human rights and serve as agents of peace and tolerance,” he told graduands.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Voice shortly after the event, Mr. Jawneh elaborated further by adding that there is an absolute need for the government and other stakeholders including development partners to commit more resources to human rights education and training.
He stressed that there cannot be sustainable peace and development in the country if people’s rights are not respected or don’t know their rights in the first place.
According to him, the only way to advance social justice, human dignity, and respect for human rights is by committing more resources to human rights education.
He noted that the TRRC Never Again mantra will not be realized without human education and training.
“I can say with certainty that if we failed to educate and train people more about human rights thus building a human rights culture, this country could fall back into dictatorship and gross violation of human rights,” he added.
An international award-winning human rights defender further lamented that still now many people in the country view human rights as Western ideologies and noted that one way to clear those misconceptions is through education and training.
“Our educational institutions and human rights organizations like ours must prioritise and focus more on training and educating citizens about human rights.
Mr. Jawneh used the opportunity to call on the government to do something about the rampant killing of innocent souls in the country.
“Right to life is the first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also guaranteed by the 1997 Gambian Constitution. Therefore, we must ensure that this right is enjoyed by all and sundry. And the government been the primary duty bearer must step up,” he challenged.