VYCA organises Bantaba

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Voice of the Young Children’s Association (VYCA), The Gambia, last Friday organised its 2nd annual bantaba, to discuss issues affecting children and their lives, in a ceremony held at the KMC Conference Hall in Kanifing.

In her opening remarks, Hon Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay, Speaker of the National Assembly, described the theme of the bantaba- “Children and communities unite to fight child sex tourism” as apt, adding that it is a clarion call for all to take action against sexual exploitation of children.

According to the National Assembly Speaker, the theme is underpinned by the belief that children, communities, families and the government can galvanise their efforts in a concerted manner and dedicate their time, energy and creativity to creating an environment where children are protected from sexual abuse and exploitation.

Speaker Jahumpa-Ceesay also highlighted The Gambia Government’s commitment to the fight against sexual abuse and exploitation of children, wherever they take place whether in the home, community or tourism industry.

“As a government, we would continue to put children high on our political and development agenda. The enactment of the Children’s Act 2005 and the Tourism Offenses Act 2003, provides a legal framework for the protection of children from sexual exploitation by Gambians and non-Gambians alike”, she revealed.

For her part, Marie Saine-Firdaus, CPA Vice- Chairperson, described the bantaba as a milestone in the history of CPA and its partners in combating child sexual abuse and exploitation and promoting the culture of respect and protection of the rights of children, through education and awareness-raising.

She explained that child sex tourism is one of the global human rights tragedies that the world is grappling with today. She then advised the children to take great care of themselves. Bakary Badjie of Child Protection Alliance chaired the ceremony.

Author: Written by Assan Sallah & Sheriff Barry
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper