By Nelson Manneh
Emmanuel Daniel Joof, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, has on Thursday 25th February 2021 disclosed to the media that his institution has since its establishment received seventy-seven complaints.
Out of the seventy-seven cases Chairman Joof said sixteen were admissible, forty-five were inadmissible and they are yet to decide on the other sixteen.
Commissioner Joof said the forty-five cases that were inadmissible are cases that are not under the mandates of the commission.
“Some people don’t know that the Human Rights Commission is not a court of law. There are some cases that should be taken to the courts and not to the Commission. So if we receive such cases, we advise the complainant of what he or she needs to do,” he said.
Commission Joof dwelled on some of the activities the commission has embarked on, among them; he said the commission has visited some detention centres in the country and wrote recommendations to the government.
“The commission has also established a civil society dialogue platform in order to be engaging civil society as the commission cannot do all the work on our own,” he said.
Joof said the rights commission was established in order to give advice to the government regarding human rights violations. He said the government has never hindered their operations so far.
“The commission has also come up with advisory notes on policing assembling, election laws and sexual harassment,” he said.
Commissioner Joof said the main achievement of the commission is the establishment of a full secretariat for the operation of the commission.
“Despite the achievements made by the commission, there are still some challenges the commission is facing, among them is finance and raising awareness,” he said.
He said the commission will very soon table a report at parliament regarding the state of human rights in the country.
National Human Rights Commission of The Gambia is an independent and permanent human rights institution created through an Act of the National Assembly, and in line with the Paris Principles to Promote and Protect Human Rights for all. The commissioners were sworn in office on the 14th February 2019.
One of the functions of the commission is to investigate a violation of any human right, at its own initiative or on a complaint made by any person or a group of persons.
The commission also formulates guidelines, policies and standard operating procedures to guide and ensure that state institutions including law enforcement agencies uphold human rights standards that are consistent with the rule of law and justice.
As a new commission, the National Human Rights Commission has developed and adapted tools and best practices from both national and international partners to optimize effectiveness in promoting and protecting fundamental human rights in The Gambia.