Foroyaa has been reporting on the long detention of children because of their relation to alleged insurgents. They are missing school and have not been seen by the relatives who expressed concern. Foroyaa strongly recommends that the relatives should go to the Department of Social Welfare to lodge a Complaint.
The reason for this is simple. Section 66 of the Children’s Act states that “It is the duty of the Government to
- a) Safeguard, protect and promote the welfare of children”
It adds that “the Department of Social Welfare ……………is responsible for the Welfare of children.”
Children are human beings with rights. Section 5 of the Children’s Act states that “in addition to the rights guaranteed under Chapter 4 of the Constitution Of The Republic of The Gambia, every child” has additional rights. According to section 10 “…../no child shall be subject to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family life, home correspondence or attacks on his or her honour or reputation.”
Clearly, to detain a child for more than 72 hours without charge or court appearance constitutes an arbitrary and unlawful interference with his family life.
Such a child has the right to protection of law. Lawyers who are human rights defenders should voluntarily take up such cases before the high in order to enable it to enforce such rights.