December 10 is observed every year as Human Rights Day. This is the date the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a landmark document that embraced the concept of the inalienable rights which every human being is inherently entitled to regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
In observance of this Day, it becomes imperative for us as a nation and people to take stock and reflect on what has been achieved and what needs to be done to improve human rights in all areas of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Human Rights Day is celebrated by embracing a particular theme and this year’s theme is “Youths Standing up for Human Rights” and “the Role of the Youths in Advancing the Agenda 2030”. This theme is particularly important for us in the Gambia, as children and young people comprise the majority of our population with approximately 63.6 per cent of the total population of 1,857,181 being under 25 years of age.
Children are the future leaders of the country and the way we treat and socialise our children generally, the values we instill in them, and the kind of education we provide for them will eventually determine the kind of society that they will inherit tomorrow. Instilling values such as respect for diversity for all regardless of tribe, religion, gender, or other social status is key to our peaceful coexistence as a people. It is also paramount that views and opinions of children and young persons are heard and included in our development agenda.
The NHRC therefore calls on each and every person living in The Gambia to celebrate this Day and strive to promote a culture of human rights for all.
Press Release, National Human Rights Commission