Basse communities sensitised on child abuse, others
Monday, June 18, 2012
The Committee Child Protection Committee (CCPC) in Basse in Upper River Region (URR) Monday and Thursday embarked on sensitisation training for the communities of Bassending and Samba Tako both in Basse, URR.
The training was meant to increase the knowledge of the communities and also to empower them to advocate and end the rampant child abuse, baby dumping that are occurring in the region and the country at large.
Speaking at the training, Corporal Lamin Kebbeh, the Police Child Welfare officers in URR underscored the importance of the training, adding that this will go a long way in complementing efforts of eradicating all forms of sexual abuse on children. He stated that the government of The Gambia is committed in ensuring that all forms of social vices that are hindering the difficulties of their children are being eradicated, saying that majority of child abuse cases that are happening in their communities are being attributed to their parents.
Corporal Kebbeh further remarked: “Taking into account the importance attached to the promotion and welfare of our children the government of The Gambia ratified the Children Act 2005”. Therefore, he noted it is the responsibility of everybody, “particularly our mothers, to fight against sexual abuse on our children”. Kebbeh then pledged that with support from the communities they would do everything possible in their mandate to minimise or eliminate all forms of sexual harassment on children; ranging from rape, baby dumping, and early marriage among other exploitations. “The government of The Gambia in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and the Police Child Welfare unit will continue in our relentless efforts in doing everything possible to minimise this menace, as all efforts are being put in place to ensure that child abuse has become the thing of the past, but it requires the partnership from all stakeholders,” he added.
Kebbeh indicated that they recognised the fact that the healthy development of children depends on parents and other significant adults for necessary guidance and direction, in line with children’s evolving capacities, to assist their growth towards responsible life in our society. According to him, they reject any justification of violence and humiliation as forms of punishment or correction for children, but however they do not reject the positive concept of discipline.
He stressed that it is crucial that every child be registered immediately after birth, noting that a child without a provable date of birth is extremely vulnerable and might be at risk of abuse, exploitation and injustice regarding paid labour work among others.
On his part, Ebrima Singhateh, the alkalo of Bassending harped on the importance of the sensitisation training, describing it as timely. He commended the government of The Gambia for its commitment and stance in ensuring that the promotion and protection of children are among their top development agenda.
He urged the communities of the area to partner with the committee in disseminating the information and sensitise their children in child abuse, noting that it is becoming rampant and that it is now a cause for concern.
Author: by Momodou Jawo in Basse, URR