The Coalition for Change – The Gambia (CCG) – a civil, human and political rights organization which brings together a cross-section of the Gambian community at home and abroad, was launched in April 2011. The group is a non-partisan organization established to challenge the dictatorship and restore basic freedoms in The Gambia through non-violent action.
CCG engaged officials and parliamentarians of the European Union in Brussels before and after that body’s submission of a 17-point agenda during dialogue with the Gambia Government. The group provided crucial information to UN Special Rapporteurs ahead of their planne visits to The Gambia, and members continue to interact with UN agencies including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Two submissions were also made by CCG members as part of the Universal Periodic Review of The Gambia in 2014-15.
PAST & ON-GOING ACTIVITIES
a. Played a key role in an ECOWAS Court case filed against the Gambia Government in relation to the August 23, 2012 executions of nine prisoners, as part of an anti-death penalty campaign. The case, which was filed with support from OSIWA.
b. Campaign to relocate the Headquarters of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) from Banjul, The Gambia in view of that country’s disregard for the African Charter. CCG leaders attended ACPHR’s sessions, including one in Yamoussokro, Cote d’Ivoire where a coalition of African NGOs began working together for this objective. The campaign, supported by AfRO /OSIWA, has intensified given the worsening human rights situation in The Gambia.
c. Access to Information Project: The project is aimed at increasing awareness amongst the Gambian population and empowering them through access to information. It’s also designed to mould Senegalese views about the political climate in the country.
d. Direct Action: collaborating with other groups in marches and civil disobedience on matters related to human rights in The Gambia.
e. Advocating for visa ban and targeted sanctions on the APRC / Jammeh regime – campaign aims at positively changing the human rights environment in The Gambia, in collaboration with several organizations and groups. AfRO / Open Society Foundations International Advocacy have supported this project, including a mission to Geneva in 2014.
f. Lobbying legislatures, governments, and regional organizations: EU, AU, UK, US. Senegal to pressure the regime in Banjul to embark on fundamental reforms aimed at promoting democracy and popular participation in the country.
g. Research and documentation for possible use by the International Criminal Court and for ensuring justice in a post-Jammeh era.
h. Op-ed writing: contributing well-researched articles to major news outlets for publication.
i. Outreach campaign: reaching out to groups dedicated to similar goals to share experiences and resources.
j. Effective participation in the United Nations Universal Periodic Review process as it relates to The Gambia: training workshops, submission of reports, interventions, lobbying, and follow-up. Amnesty International, CIVICUS, UPR-Info, and AfRo / Open Society Foundations have provided invaluable assistance for this campaign.
k. Social media campaign: Twitter, Facebook, Website, blog, on-line radio.
l. Symposia and panel discussions.
m. Book-writing: Standing Up Against Injustice was published with support from OSF.(2)
n. Support political parties in carrying out their fundamental duties.
o. Campaign aimed at getting Senegalese musicians to desist from praising President Jammeh and serving as his tools.
p. Working with Senegalese and Gambian artists to produce anti-impunity songs and videos.