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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Wednesday 10 February (morning)

Country under review: GAMBIA

  1. Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/7/GMB/1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/7/GMB/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/7/GMB/3)
  2. Troika: Cameroon, Jordan, Ukraine

Concerned country - national report

  1. Represented by a 16-member delegation and headed by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marie Saine-Firdaus
  2. National report presented by H.E. Mrs. Marie Saine-Firdaus

Highlights

  1. Death penalty limited to the crime of murder and treason resulting in death.
  2. Independent Electoral Commission.
  3. Adopted a Trafficking in Persons Act.
  4. Constitution provides a whole chapter on fundamental human rights and freedom (including civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights).
  5. Health not guaranteed as a fundamental human right but as a directive principle of State policy.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  1. Member States: 29
  2. Observer States: 26

Positive achievements

  1. Measures taken in the safeguard of the rights of the child (Child Trafficking Law and Children’s Act).
  2. Efforts to combat female genital mutilation and promote increased empowerment of women.
  3. Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Strategy.
  4. Efforts to ensure full access to education.

Issues and questions raised

  1. Reintroduction of the death penalty in 1995.
  2. Domestic violence, female genital mutilation and discrimination against women.
  3. Independence of the judiciary.
  4. Independence of media and freedom of expression.
  5. Protection of human rights defenders and journalists.
  6. Unlawful arrests, extra-judicial executions, ill-treatment and torture.
  7. Enforced disappearances.
  8. Human trafficking.
  9. Criminalization of consensual same sex intercourse.

Recommendations

  1. Combat violence (including domestic violence) against women, eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation.
  2. Reinforce the protection of child, notably against early marriages and sexual exploitation.
  3. Guarantee the independence of the judiciary.
  4. Establish a moratorium on death penalty with a view to its abolition.
  5. Ensure the protection of human rights defenders.
  6. Take legal steps to promote free and independent media and to protect journalists.
  7. Ratify the Convention Against Torture.
  8. Ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons Against Enforced Disappearance.
  9. Withdraw legislation that criminalize sexual activity between consenting adults and combat violence based on sexual orientation.
  10. Set up a National Human Rights Institution.

Response of the concerned country

  1. Death penalty – The capital punishment is rarely applied. No death sentence under the current administration.
  2. Independence of the judiciary – Judges are removed only for inability or misconduct. Existence of a Code of Conduct.
  3. Freedom of expression – Restricted only for security reasons. The Independent Electoral Commission ensures free and fair elections. Human rights defenders enjoy the security guaranteed to them by the States. Different ethnic and religious groups co-exist peacefully.
  4. Homosexuality – Values vary from one culture to another, and sexual orientation is not deemed a universal human right in Gambia.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Friday 12 February, 12:00 – 12:30

More information

  1. UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
  2. Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/GMSession7.aspx

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