Helping Secure a Humane Future in The Gambia

15th Annual Youth for Human Rights World Tour travels to The Gambia to support the reforms of the government and encourage broad implementation of human rights education.

Youth for Human Rights International World Tour and President Dr. Mary Shuttleworth are welcomed to The Gambia.

In the spirit of a new era for human rights in The Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Barrow, the 15th Annual Youth for Human Rights International World Tour joined forces with officials and nonprofits in the country to raise awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Youth for Human Rights The Gambia country coordinator Nfamarah Jawneh, founder and executive director of the human rights NGO Beakanyang Kafoo, welcomed Youth for Human Rights International President Dr. Mary Shuttleworth to his country.

Dr. Shuttleworth and Jawneh met with President Barrow, the Minister of Education, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, the Minister of Youth & Sports and the National Youth Council to brief them on Youth for Human Rights and pave the way for broad implementation of the program in the country.

For the past two decades, The Gambia was subjected to gross human rights abuses under the dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh. Growing up under these conditions, today’s youth have no concept of their rights or the rights of others. 

Youth for Human Rights is premised on the belief that an understanding of human rights is the first vital step in ensuring human rights for all. 

To demonstrate the simplicity and versatility of the program and its use in many different settings, Dr. Shuttleworth and Jawneh delivered human rights workshops at an elementary school, four secondary schools, an orphanage and a village. 

Jawneh explained that during the previous regime, the mere mention of “human rights” was viewed as opposition to the government, but in fact, the UDHR completely aligns with the Constitution of The Gambia. He plans to launch a national competition to select a youth delegation to represent The Gambia at this summer's annual Youth for Human Rights International Human Rights Summit at the United Nations in New York.

Executive Director of The Gambia National Youth Council, Mr. Lamin Darboe, praised the Youth for Human Rights educational materials, saying they make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights very easy for youth to understand. He is eager to collaborate with Youth for Human Rights on a national level and wants to implement a Gambia/Senegal human rights education campaign, to ensure the success of the cross-border relationship that he views as essential to the peace and prosperity of the region.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates its 70th anniversary year in 2018. Yet few people today can name more than three of the 30 rights encompassed in the document. The UDHR begins with the affirmation that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” And it calls on “every individual and every organ of society” to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.”

The Youth for Human Rights curriculum provides the first necessary step in making human rights a reality, with its engaging multi-media materials that makes these rights understandable to people of all ages.

The Church of Scientology and Scientologists support United for Human Rights, and its program for young people, Youth for Human Rights, the world’s largest nongovernmental human rights education campaign, reaching out in 195 countries in 27 languages and embraced by 2,300 activists, officials, groups and organizations. Their support of the initiative is inspired by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s conviction that “It is vital that all thinking men urge upon their governments sweeping reforms in the field of human rights.”

For more information, visit the Youth for Human Rights website.


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