The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has warned unauthorised organisations against operating childcare centre in The Gambia. 

The ministry says any person or entity found illegally operating will be punished by law.

“It has come to the notice of the Department that influx of unauthorised Child-Care Centres and private Residential Care Homes are operating in the country, without the due process of registration through the Department,” the ministry said in a statement.

The warning comes days after an orphanage in the country run by Gambian-based UK charity Penny Appeal was closed over allegations of sexual abuse and illegal operation. 

“A person who manages or operates an Unauthorized Child-Care Centre or private residential home commits an offence and would be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dalasis or imprisonment  for a term not exceeding two years or both  fine and imprisonment ( Sec. 203 of the Children’s Act 2005).

“It is against this backdrop that the Department would embark on closure of all unauthorized Child-Care Centre or Private Residential Care Homes in operation within the Gambia effective  August 2020.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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