By David Kujabi
In an effort to modernize immigration laws and practices, The Gambia has successfully validated a new Bill to replace the outdated GID Act of 1965. The two-day validation conference, funded by the Swiss Confederation and facilitated by DCAF, was attended by various stakeholders, including state actors, civil society organizations, and academics.
The new Bill, which will replace the outdated GID Act of 1965, has been developed through a comprehensive process involving a GID technical working group, a national consultation, and a drafting committee. During the two-day validation, participants examined the eight themes covered in the Bill. They assessed how the GID’s mandate and operations, including the Code of Conduct for efficiency and accountability, complying with the rule of law, human rights principles, and gender mainstreaming can be improved.
The validation process received positive feedback from participants, with many highlighting its interactive and engaging nature and the relevance of the areas covered in addressing contemporary immigration issues. The document was also praised for its thoroughness and the excellent mix of participants, which included civil society, security personnel, government agencies, and international partners.
With the validation process successfully completed, the now-validated Immigration Bill 2023 and its Code of Conduct will be sent to the Ministry of Interior for cabinet review and to parliament, where when assented to will be sent to the President of the Republic for signature into law. The Bill’s enactment will mark a significant step forward for The Gambia’s immigration system and will help ensure that it aligns with international human rights standards and gender mainstreaming principles.