207/97 : Africa Legal Aid / Gambia (The) Summary of Facts 1. This communication is submitted by Africa Legal Aid (AFLA), an NGO, on behalf of a minor, Isaac Banda, and his brother, Robert Banda. 2. The Complainant alleges that the above-mentioned minor is reported to have been fraudulently taken out of his country of origin, Malawi, and subjected to working conditions close to slavery in The Gambia by someone called Collyer, a British national. 3. According to the Complainant, Mr Collyer proposed to employ the minor, Isaac Banda, as a domestic servant while he was residing with his parents in Malawi and undertook to finance his studies in lieu of salary. 4. Following such an arrangement and with the help of one Nyilenda, Mr Collyer is reported to have persuaded the minor, Isaac Banda, together with his parents to agree that the latter follow him to The Gambia and continue to serve him under the same terms of the above-mentioned arrangement concerning his education. 5. On their arrival in The Gambia, it is reported that the minor, Isaac Banda, was not allowed access to education. Occasionally, he was reportedly denied food. Furthermore, his employer, in 1995, is reported to have ordered him to immediately leave his house. Thanks to the intervention of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies and the Centre for Youths and Children, the minor, Isaac Banda, was repatriated to his country of origin. Complaint 6. The Complainant claims a violation of Articles 5 and 18(3) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 24(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , and Articles 11 and 32(1) and (2) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Procedure rd 7. The communication was received at the Secretariat of the Commission on 23 October 1997 by fax. The original copy arrived later by post. th 8. The Secretariat acknowledged receipt of the communication on 27 October 1997 and requested the Complainant to furnish it with further information. nd 9. The communication was ready but could not be considered by the Commission at its 22 Ordinary nd th Session from 2 to 11 November 1997. th 10. Africa Legal Aid reacted to the request for further information on 30 January 1998 thus: • • That the minor, Isaac Banda, lived in the house of a man called Collyer in The Gambia at the same time as his brother, Robert Banda, who referred the case to Africa Legal Aid. According to the Complainant, the two brothers who are reported to have returned to their country of origin did not have the means to take court action in The Gambia. The Complainant further states that the authorities of that country, having allowed such injustice to take place on their territory without intervening, allows one to wonder if the local remedies available are efficient and effective. rd th th 11. At its 23 Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 20 to 29 April 1998, the Commission decided to be seized of the communication, and requested more information on the circumstances surrounding the child’s entry into The Gambia and of his treatment while in the country. th 12. On 26 May 1998, the Secretariat sent letters to the Complainant and the State Party concerned informing them of the Commission’s decision.

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