2 million people live in the Gambia. 1.1 million are children, and 360,ooo of the children are under five years old.
From the day you are born you have the right to have a name and to be registered as a citizen in your country. 79,000 children are born every year in the Gambia. 3 out of 10 are never registered. There is no documented proof that they exist!
You have the right to life. The Gambia must do all it can to allow children to survive and develop. 1 of 14 children in the Gambia (5,000 every year) die before the age of 5, usually due to causes that could have been prevented. The number of children who die has decreased, but is still high.
You have the right to food, clean water, medical care and the right to privacy when consulting an adult about any health problem. 8 out of 10 children in the Gambia use basic drinking water services. 4 out of 10 children use basic sanitation services. 1,600 children (0-14 years) live with HIV/AIDS.
You have the right to a home, food, clothing, education, health care and security. Almost 5 out of 10 children in the Gambia live in extreme poverty with less than 1.90 US-dollar (94 Gambian Dalasi) a day to live on.
You have the right to go to school. Primary and secondary schools should be free for everyone. Almost 8 out of 10 children in the Gambia go to school, but many of them leave school too early.
You have the right to protection against all forms of violence, including neglect, maltreatment and abuse. Only 60 countries have forbidden all forms of corporal punishment for children. Many still allow caning in schools. The Gambia has not forbidden corporal punishment.
You have the right to be protected against both economic exploitation and work that is hazardous to your health or which prevents you from going to school. All work is prohibited for children under 12. Some children are forced into the worst forms of child labour, such as being debt slaves, child soldiers or used for commercial sexual exploitation. An estimated 100,000 children (2 out of 10 of the children aged 5-14) in the Gambia have to work.
You have the right to say what you think about any issue that affects you.
The adults should listen to the child’s opinion before they make decisions,
which must always be made in the best interest of the child!