|Optional protocol||on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography|
|Corporal punishment||Corporal Punishment is prohibited in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and penal institutions.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
The report from the Gambia shows that, among other things, much remains to be done in the area of child labour. Further, efforts must be made in ending discrimination against girls and female genital mutilation. On the other hand, progress has been made in the education system, for example through the introduction of free education, including at secondary level.
|Situation of intersexual and transsexual children||The Committee is concerned about the provisions of the 2014 Criminal Code according to which the new crime of “aggravated homosexuality” carries punishments of up to life in prison, which encourages the persecution and stigmatization of, and discrimination against, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, including children, and children from LGBTI families.|
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
The Committee is deeply concerned about the high prevalence of female genital mutilation that still exists in the country, as well as the absence in the legislation of explicit criminalization of the practice. To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to adopt legal provisions fully criminalizing the practice of female genital mutilation and to provide physical and psychological recovery programmes for victims of female genital mutilation, and establish reporting and complaints mechanisms accessible to girls who have been victims, or fear becoming victims, of the practice.
The Committee is further concerned about the lack of integration into school curricula of reproductive health education, the lack of sufficient youth centres which provide youth-friendly reproductive information and services, and the low knowledge of HIV transmission and prevention among the population. Additionally, the Committee is concerned about the legal provisions considering abortion as an offence except to save the life of a pregnant woman, which result in the likelihood of pregnant girls and women who are affected by HIV/AIDS seeking risky illegal abortions.
|Situation of children with disabilities|
The Committee is concerned about the high level of discrimination against, and stigmatization of, children with disabilities as well as the lack of adequately prepared and equipped schools to receive children with disabilities, in particular in rural areas. Also, the Committee is concerned about the inadequate provision of infrastructure and personnel for access of children with disabilities to health care. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to further encourage the inclusion of children with disabilities in society and in the mainstream educational system, including by making schools more accessible. Also, the Gambia should strengthen awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns, for the community at large, aimed at combating the high level of discrimination against, and stigmatization of, children with disabilities.
|Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children||While welcoming the progress made in providing birth registration to children in the State party, the Committee is concerned about reports indicating the lack of provision of identification documents to refugee children born in the State party or arriving as minors, which puts them at particular risk of statelessness. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure the provision of adequate protection measures for child refugees born in the State party or arriving as minors, including by providing them with identification documents to avoid the risk of statelessness, and with equitable access to free primary education, secondary education, and health and social services at the community level.|
|Free primary and secondary school||Yes|
|Digital possibilities||The Committee remains concerned about reports indicating the persisting lack of monitoring of the information accessible to children in Internet cafes and video showrooms, and the absence of guidelines to regulate information accessible to children in those places. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the effective monitoring of the information accessible to children in Internet cafes and video showrooms, develop guidelines to regulate information accessible to children in those places, and conduct awareness-raising in cooperation with the cafes and showrooms in that regard.|
To guarantee the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to the health sector and are used effectively. The Committee as well recommends that the State party develop and implement comprehensive policies and programmes for improving the health situation of children and facilitating greater and equal access to high-quality primary health services for mothers and children in all areas of the country. The Gambia should also take all effective measures to increase the number of trained medical and other health personnel, and facilitate cooperation between trained medical personnel and traditional healers, especially midwives. Also, the Committee recommends that the State party improve access to maternal care services by improving health infrastructure and increasing the availability and accessibility of emergency obstetric and neonatal care and skilled birth attendants at lower- and district-level health facilities. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen efforts to address malnutrition and diseases of children, including by strengthening educational programmes, campaigns to inform parents about basic child health and nutrition, hygiene and environmental sanitation and reproductive health, and by providing sufficient drugs, including rapid diagnostic tests and malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoeal rehydration drugs. Gambia should further strengthen its efforts to increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
|Relation to other countries|
The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to protect children from violations of their rights arising from tourism activities and the establishment of community child protection committees across the country and of adolescent neighbourhood watch groups in communities around the Tourism Development Area. Furthermore, the Committee welcomes the development of a manual for training on and the eradication of child labour and sexual exploitation in the tourism industry and the introduction of the Tourism Code of Conduct to hotels, motels and restaurants within the Tourism Development Area. However, the Committee is concerned about the persistent violations of children’s rights arising from tourism activities.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
The Committee welcomes the establishment of five children’s courts throughout the country, alternative measures to detention, the raising of the age of criminal responsibility, and the abolition of the use of corporal punishment in the juvenile justice system. However, it is concerned about the establishment of only three equipped children’s courts out of the five courts provided for in the Children’s Act, the lack of separate detention facilities for boys and girls and the lack, in most police stations, of separate pre-detention facilities for children and adults. It is also concerned about the limited use of legal aid due to the insufficient human resources allocated to the National Agency for Legal Aid and the low level of awareness among the population of the existence of legal aid, especially in civil cases. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the need for continuing and strengthening the training of the police, magistrates and social workers on the provisions of the Children’s Act and on international standards regarding the administration of the juvenile justice system.
The Committee is concerned about the discrimination against children born out of wedlock, who cannot inherit from the estate of their fathers as the “personal law” does not recognize their inheritance rights.
Concluding observations on the second and third periodic reports released on 20 February 2015. More information about education: Constitution of Gambia
|Last Updated (date)||2nd of March, 2022|