The Child Protection Alliance (CPA) in collaboration with The Gambia Press Union (GPU) on Monday held a day’s advocacy meeting for journalists drawn from both the print and electronic media on the main findings of the 2014 CPA study on children issues.
Held at The Gambia Teachers’ Union Secretariat in Kanifing, the objective of the workshop was to solicit the support of the media in CPA’s efforts to protect children against corporal punishment in all settings.
The National Coordinator of CPA, Njundu Drammeh, said they are soliciting the support of the media in their efforts to create protective environment for children. The media, he said serves as the eye, mouth and ear of the populace and it amplifies the vulnerable. “CPA, the media and The Gambia Press Union have been working together and developed a code of conduct for the protection of the children,’’ he said.
Drammeh hailed the efforts of the Gambian authorities in defending the interest of children, citing the recent legislations that banned the practices of FGM, child and forced marriages of both boys and girls under the age of 18.
The CPA National Coordinator acknowledged that once the stakeholders are able to instigate the debate around children issues, quite a lot of them will start thinking and thinking loud about their children and the forms of physical and humiliating violence they exposed them to.
Marie Antoinette Corr-Jack, General Secretary of The Gambia Teachers’ Union said the role that the media plays is very crucial, saying the media is the watchdog of society and represents public interest. “Without media the issues we are into will not be known to the public.”
Corr Jack, who doubles as the Chairperson of CPA’s Advocacy Task Force said journalists being part of the training is a manifestation of the importance attached to it. “With the help and support of the journalists we will reach our goals.”
The representative of The Gambia Press Union, Sarjo Camara-Singhateh, afirmed that GPU and CPA have a long standing relationship. She assured CPA that the Union and its members will continue to play thier traditional role in educating and informing people on issues affecting children in The Gambia and beyond.
by Omar Wally