Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent in Gambia and Status of Modern Slavery

The Global Forum of (GFOD), in collaboration with The Inclusivity Project, launched their landmark report titled ‘Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent in Gambia and Status of '. 

The report, authored by Alima Taal and Halimatou Ceesay, highlights communities discriminated on work and decent, persistence of slavery and discrimination, prohibitions

and restrictions on the CDWD, modern slavery emanating from traditional slavery, the impact of slavery on the development paradigm of the CDWD, both national and international response mechanisms for tackling modern slavery, case stories and some important recommendations that will help in the eradication of discrimination based on work and descent in The Gambia.

Gambia, officially known as the Republic of Gambia, is a small country in West . It is the smallest country within mainland Africa and is surrounded by Senegal on all sides, except for its western coast on the Atlantic Ocean. Gambia has an estimated population of 2.47 million, comprising 1.26 million women (50.41%) and 1.23 million men (49.59%).

Gambia has over 948,000 persons (41.6%) living in multidimensional poverty, and over 18.8% of the population living in severe multidimensional poverty. 

Gambia's population is predominantly Muslims (96.4%), with majority Sunni Muslims. English is the official language, while Mandinka and Wolof are the lingua franca languages, and the most frequently spoken languages include Pulaar, Serer, Diola and Sonink. 

Commenting on the report, Paul Divakar, Convenor, Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent, said: “Understanding the historical context and cultural dynamics that contribute to discrimination based on work and descent is crucial for developing effective strategies to address these issues. Additionally, legal frameworks and policies aimed at protecting the rights of marginalized communities need to be examined and, if necessary, strengthened to ensure their effectiveness.”

Authors Tall and Ceesay, in their acknowledgment, called it ‘distressing' to see that even in the 21st century, individuals with a particular are still denied opportunities for education and employment. “It is even more concerning that they remain victims of social discrimination, such as being denied entry into Mosques, social gatherings, and religious festivals, among many more instances. To recognise someone's worth based on their caste, rather than their merit or skills, is a gross injustice,” they added. 

“Through this status report, we have made an attempt to give a profile of the Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) in Gambia. We have also attempted to add to the evidence of the CDWD trapped in various modern slavery in Gambia,” they opined. 

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