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The Gambia reviewed under the UPR
Friday, 12 February 2010 11:41

 

On the morning of 10 February 2010, the Working Group on the UPR reviewed the human rights situation in the Gambia. The Gambia was represented by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Marie Saine-Firdaus. In her opening remarks, Ms Saine-Firdaus emphasised the Gambia's progress in promoting human rights through the ratification of international treaties and reform of the national Constitution. She also acknowledged shortcomings in the Gambia's promotion of human rights, which she attributed to economic, security and cultural challenges.

 

States expressed concern on a range of topics and made productive recommendations. There was a clear division between States that were concerned with the Gambia's record on civil and political rights and those who focused on development issues, and women and children's rights. Critical comments and recommendations focused on:

  • Encouraging the Gambia to ratify international treaties, particularly the Convention Against Torture, the optional protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
  • Lack of cooperation with the Human Rights Council and various treaty bodies in meeting reporting requirements.
  • Unwillingness to engage with UN special procedures, particularly the Special Rapporteur on torture
  • Violations of freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
  • Arbitrary arrest, detention and execution of journalists, human rights defenders and other political prisoners.
  • Prison reform and improvement of prison conditions.
  • Abolition of the death penalty.
  • The prevalence of violence against women, trafficking, sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation, and the need for specific legislation to address these issues.
  • The establishment of a National Human Rights Institution in line with the Paris Principles.
  • Acknowledging the challenges The Gambia faces in implementing human rights norms in a context of extreme poverty and encouraging international assistance.

The Gambia responded twice during the session. The first response lasted twenty minutes; the second was very brief and included concluding remarks. The representative engaged with difficult questions, but did not acknowledge concerns expressed by many States on civil and political rights.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:10
 
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