At least 30 stakeholders including security personnel and Imams, alongside members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) in the Lower Region, recently concluded a two-day sensitisation forum on Physical and Humiliating Punishment of Children (PHP) in relation to positive disciplinary methods.
The interface, organised by Child Protection Alliance (CPA) and funded by Save the Children International, was held at the Trans-Gambia Lodge in Pakalinding in Jarra West District.
The forum was meant to strengthen knowledge and professional capacities of stakeholders and duty bearers on child rights protection.
Welcoming the participants, Lamin Fatty, the Programme Officer of Child Protection Alliance, affirmed that the two-day forum targeted stakeholders in the region and that it was a follow-up to similar events organised by CPA in Bansang in the Central River Region.
According to him, the initiative was also aimed to promote collaboration and coordination of child protection services at the regional levels.
“The Gambia has ratified conventions on children and has gone further to domesticate these conventions like the Children Act, yet still there is a room for improvement; thus the need for this training,” he stated.
Fatty went on: “What we want to see happening is for us all, including stakeholders and duty bearers, to adopt and make sure that positive disciplining of the children is encouraged within our society to enable them live in an environment free from violence.
Salifu Puye, the Governor of the Lower River Region, commended CPA and partners for the move, further describing the two-day synergy as relevant.
He used the forum to salute the Government of The Gambia for not only ratifying conventions regarding the rights and the welfare of the children, but also domesticating those conventions into the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia.
He therefore encouraged participants to take the two-day forum seriously so as to enhance their understanding of the topic under discussion.
Amie Joof, the CPA Youth Coordinator of the Voice of the Young, urged participants to make sure that the knowledge gained from the forum is filtered down to the communities.
Joof thanked Save the Children International for funding the forum, positing that violence against children is unjustifiable, thus the need for all to take a stand against it.
Alasana Sanneh, Social Welfare Officer in Mansakonko echoed similar sentiments.
The knowledge gained from the forum, he promised, will be disseminated to the wider community across the LRR.
by Salifu M.Touray in LRR