On behalf of the Secretary General and the National Executive Committee, the United Democratic Party writes to express our deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families, loved ones and friends of the more than fifty young people who died tragically off the coast of Mauritania today.
We pray that Allah may grant all their souls al Jannah.
UDP mourns the untimely deaths of these young lives with each and every family grievously affected and indeed we mourn with all Gambians this devastating national tragedy and we urge all Gambians to remember our brothers, nephews and sons in their prayers.
Today is very sad day in the Gambia, for our nation to lose even one life that could have been prevented is tragic enough but to have more than fifty lives perish at sea because of hopelessness and desperation is a real national calamity.
The lack of opportunities for our young people is one factor driving them to seek greener pastures in Europe using the so-called ‘backway; this must be the concern of all Gambians. And as Gambians we must wage a war against poverty that blights the lives of our youths and fight diligently against Human Trafficking which aids and abets such tragedies.
It is the responsibility of the Government of the day to provide equal opportunities for all particularly the young and vulnerable.
As Gambians, we all fought against the vicious dictatorship that was here for 22 years in order to establish a government that will help the poor and the vulnerable, therefore UDP urges the Gambia Government and all its organs and agents to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding this fateful journey for these young people and to redouble their efforts to stamp out Human Trafficking in the Gambia.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 5/12/2019________________________________________________________________
EXTRACT FROM THE 2019 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT
The 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report found that the Government of The Gambia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Consequently, in this year’s TIP Report, The Gambia was ranked Tier 3.
While the Gambia did take some steps to address trafficking, the report details many deficiencies and a lack of significant effort. ……However, the government did not complete any trafficking prosecutions for the second consecutive year, did not investigate reported cases of child sex tourism, identified and assisted the fewest number of trafficking victims in five years, failed to protect trafficking victims from intimidation, and decreased efforts to raise public awareness about human trafficking.