Friday, July 12, 2013

TANGO trains Gambia police on human rights

TANGO considers the Gambia Police Force as a primary duty bearer in the defense of human rights and the rule of law in The Gambia, a tiny West African country where human rights remains a challenge. (Photo Credit: Gambia Beat)
30 police officers are currently undergoing four days training on “Human Rights” at the offices of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in The Gambia, TANGO, at Fajara.

The 8–12 July, 2013 training seeks  to  introduce  officers of the country’s police force  to  the  general  concepts,  principles  and  standards  of human rights. It will also touch on the linkage between human rights, governance and development, the rule of law, and law enforcement.

It is coming at the back of  the  creation  of a  Human  Rights  Unit  for  the  Gambia  Police  Force (GPF),  which  TANGO believes will  definitely  serve  to make  the  GPF  a  more  responsive  public  institution  that  will  contribute  to  the sustainable and peaceful development of The Gambia.  

“We expect that with this knowledge, police officers at all levels will further improve their work as they better understand and utilise human rights information and skills in   their work,” said Madi Jobarteh, Programme Manager TANGO.

TANGO considers the Gambia Police Force as a primary duty bearer in the defense of human rights and the rule of law in The Gambia, a tiny West African country where human rights remains a challenge.

The umbrella body of civil society organisations in the country said it is necessary for the police to better understand local and international human rights standards to enable   them ensure that the human rights of persons are respected and protected.

This will generate positive public perception about the police force, whose Officer Commanding Human Rights Unit had requested for this training supported by the Harare-based African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

Yahya Sanyang, TANGO’s Board Chairperson, hopes all parties will derive maximum benefit from deliberations that will in turn translate into “more resilience and respect for human rights in our society”.
Consultative forum

On Wednesday 10 July, TANGO held its first “Consultative Forum on the Role of NGOs in National Development: The Case for NGO Legitimacy, Accountability and Sustainability”.

That forum raised issues of management, governance and leadership of civil society, according to Ousman Yarboe, TANGO Executive Director.

It also discussed the efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of NGOs in ensuring the delivery of development goods and services that produce positive results and impact on the lives of the people, he said.

 NGOs have been critical of governments and global institutions like the UN, AU, IMF or the World Bank of engaging  in  rule-making  processes  that  are  lacking  in  transparency  and  accountability,  thus without  legitimacy. 

Now, TANGO said, even NGOs are falling under the same criticism as those they direct at governments and intergovernmental organisations.

“Critics claim that  NGO  processes  are  far  from  transparent,  democratic  and  accountable,  and  are  also  not legitimate  representatives  of  the  masses,” the agency admitted.

Written by Modou S. Joof
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