The Donor Roundtable: A Step Towards Healing and Reparations for Victims of Human Rights Violations in The Gambia

May 15, 2023

Janet Sallah-Njie, Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR), sharing her views on the Stakeholder Conference

Photo: UNDP, 2023

“We will strive tirelessly to make sure that justice is served and that the rights and dignity of the victims are upheld.” 

This statement was made by President Adama Barrow in the recently concluded Stakeholder Conference on the implementation of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) recommendations, which has rightly brought hope to victims of past human rights violations in The Gambia. Held at the Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Banjul, the conference gathered various stakeholders to discuss the TRRC's recommendations.

For victims and their families, the TRRC was a long-awaited opportunity to address the injustices they suffered in the past. The conference presented an opportunity for them to engage with stakeholders and ensure that their voices were heard. Fatou Jatta, a victim of the HIV Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme, addressed the stakeholders, donors, and dignitaries, emphasizing the importance of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals, families, and communities.

Fatou highlighted that compensation is only one component of the reparations program, with others including restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition being equally important. She urged key institutions, donors, and stakeholders to support memorialization activities and to provide urgent medical care, psycho-social support, educational welfare, and livelihood support for the victims. She also encouraged the government and donors to support the Victims Support Trust Fund to help families and loved ones affected by the dictatorship.

The conference featured panels that discussed the role of civil society, media, and the challenges and opportunities for implementing the TRRC's recommendations. A partnership platform between the government, civil society, and the private sector was launched to promote collaboration among stakeholders and ensure a coordinated and effective implementation process.

The conference also featured a donor round table attended by representatives of various donor agencies and international organizations who expressed their commitment to supporting the implementation process. For victims of past human rights violations, the donor round table was particularly significant as it represented a commitment by the international community to support their quest for justice and accountability.

Overall, the Stakeholder Conference was a step in the right direction towards promoting accountability and human rights in The Gambia. It provided an opportunity for victims and their families to engage with stakeholders and ensure that their voices were heard in the implementation process. The launch of the partnership platform and the donor round table were significant steps towards mobilizing resources and ensuring a coordinated and effective implementation process. As the implementation process continues, it is crucial that stakeholders continue to engage with each other and work towards a common goal of promoting justice and accountability for victims of past human rights violations.