The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) has organised a three-day human rights training workshop for the Prison Service of The Gambia.

The workshop brough together 35 officers from various prisons of the country.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Director-General of the Prison Service, Ansuman Manneh, said, “The training is timely as it comes at a time when government is embarking on security sector reforms to instill public confidence in the sector…Therefore, human rights training for Prison Officers will undoubtedly enable them to render better services to the society and the country”.

On his part, IHRDA Executive Director, Gaye Sowe, recalled that a few Prison Officers had benefited from the initial phase of the human rights capacity-building program for Gambia public security agencies that ran from October 2015 to March 2016, and noted that the demand for this training was triggered by the outcomes of the 2015-2016 phase of the program. He underscored the importance of prison conditions in assessing the human rights situation of a country, and called on the Officers to take this training seriously.

Discussions during this workshop will cover important issues related to the services of Prison Officers as provided for by Gambian law and international law, notably the Gambia’s regional and international human rights obligations; prohibition of torture; rights of detainees/prisoners; the right to personal liberty; dealing with women, children and non-nationals.

In addition to this training, IHRDA is equipping the Prison Services with a human rights manual.

This project is supported by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives of the Canadian Embassy, Senegal.