Gambia (CRC 20-02-2015)
The Committee considered the combined second and third periodic reports of the Gambia (CRC/C/GMB/2–3) at its 1941st and 1943rd meetings (see CRC/C/SR.1941 and 1943), held on 15 January 2015, and adopted the following concluding observations, at its 1983rd meeting, held on 30 January 2015.
B. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12 of the Convention)
- The Committee welcomes the adoption of the Women’s Act 2010 and the development of the National Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2010–2020. However, it remains concerned about:
(a) The persistent application of legal and societal discrimination against girls, including the discriminatory provisions contained in the “personal law”, such as those relating to the inheritance rights of girls;
(b) Discrimination against children born out of wedlock, who cannot inherit from the estate of their fathers as the “personal law” does not recognize their inheritance rights;
(c) Discrimination faced in society by children with disabilities, and their limited and inadequate access to premises and facilities, including schools;
(d) The persistent de facto discrimination faced by children living in poverty, working children, children in street situations, children living in rural areas and refugee children;
(e) The provisions of the 2014 Criminal Code according to which the new crime of “aggravated homosexuality” carries punishments of up to life in prison, which encourages the persecution and stigmatization of, and discrimination against, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, including children, and children from LGBTI families.
- The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Ensure that no legal provisions that discriminate against girls and women are applied, in particular those relating to inheritance;
(b) Ensure that children born out of wedlock can inherit from the estate of their fathers;
(c) Invite local, religious and other leaders to take a more active role in supporting efforts to prevent and eliminate discrimination against the girl child, and to provide guidance to communities in that regard;
(d) Take all necessary measures to ensure equal access of children with disabilities to all public services, in particular health care and education;
(e) Ensure that children who belong to LGBTI groups and children from LGBTI families are not subjected to any form of discrimination, and repeal the legal provisions criminalizing homosexuality;
(f) Address as a matter of priority the situation of children in the most marginalized or disadvantaged situations, and especially the various types of discrimination suffered by children born out of wedlock, children living in poverty, working children, children in street situations, children living in rural areas and refugee children;
(g) Include information in its next periodic report on measures and programmes relevant to the Convention on the Rights of the Child undertaken by the State party in follow-up to the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, as well as the outcome document adopted at the 2009 Durban Review Conference.