Tuesday, June 6

NHRC launches report on caste descent and dissemination for stakeholders

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By: Haruna Kuyateh

The National Human Right Commission recently organized two days dissemination of the study report on caste and descent engagement with the North Bank Regional technical advisory committee, civil society organizations, traditional communicators, and village development committees.

  The engagement coincided with the launch of the first-ever dissemination of the study report on caste and descent-based discrimination for the Upper River Region and North Bank Region in Kerewan North Bank Region was attended by the representative of the Supreme Islamic Council Secretariat at the national level.

The programme is meant at restoring human rights and to the ‘Never Again slogan.’  

Dr. Saikou Gasama, Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission said that NHRC’s mandate is to promote the human rights of all and the caste system is against the constitution and international best practices.

According to him, the study was prompted by a series of reports of caste conflict and complaints of caste-based discrimination during the first two years of its establishment.

Dr. Gasama reiterated that the mission of NHRC is to promote and protect the fundamental human rights and freedoms of everyone through law, policy, education, and partnership, while he called on participants to be proactive in enlightening the public on the content of the report.

Lamin Saidykhan, Governor North Bank Region described the forum as crucial, noting that the engagement would contribute to broadening public understanding of the mandate of the National Human Rights Commission in promoting a human rights-based approach to development.

 He assured of his office’s support towards the implementation of the recommendation, with the view of fostering a mutual understanding of human rights.

Abdou Manneh, Regional National Human Rights Administrator for NBR and LRR said the study has revealed that lower caste are sometimes subjected to dehumanizing and degrading treatment, devalued as people, and considered impure and unworthy.

He disclosed that the office was established to coordinate human rights issues in NBR and LRR.

Jasong Sanyang, Legal Affairs Officer said the caste system is impacting negatively on families, triggering conflicts and seizure of farmland.

Participants at the forum hailed the government for the establishment of NHRC, noting that the move taken would contribute immensely to promoting social cohesion and respect for people’s rights.

However, it was suggested that NHRC intensify public awareness of constitutional provision discrimination of people on the caste system.