The Gambian government announced in Banjul on Wednesday that it signed a Cooperation Agreement on Tuesday, 12 January, 2021, on migration matters with the government of Switzerland in Berne.
A statement made available to PANA stated that the cooperation agreement was meant to curb irregular migration and ensure effective protection of the rights of Gambian citizens who were migrants in Switzerland.
“The Agreement will create cordial working relations between the government of The Gambia and the government of Switzerland in identifying opportunities, coordinating and managing challenges of migration.
These, the two countries believe, will further strengthen relations and deepen cooperation with regard to the effective management of migration, unemployment and creation of more opportunities for women and youth in The Gambia,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the Gambian government further negotiated for all undocumented Gambian migrants in Switzerland to be trained on livelihood skills and integrated in the Swiss community.
“As The Gambia progresses in enhancing its democracy, there is need to ensure that the country adheres to international Human Rights Instruments by respecting the laws of other countries whilst also ensuring that Gambian citizens within and outside enjoy the required protection of the Government.
“In this regard, the Gambian Government and the Government of Switzerland agreed that all legal remedies will be exhausted before any voluntary returnees will be repatriated,” the statement pointed out.
The statement also said that the Gambian government further assured all Gambians that it was approaching migration as a developmental issue and that the signed cooperation agreement would also pave the way for the establishment of a multi-purpose skills training centre and create other opportunities for young people to achieve their goals in The Gambia.
The statement said both countries agreed on the spelt-out modalities which serve as an enabling tool to ensure equitable and balanced intervention with a view to attaining dignified life for Gambians in Switzerland and Swiss citizens in The Gambia.
Furthermore, as part of efforts to strengthen the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries and on the invitation of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, the Vice President and Federal Councillor of Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis, is expected to visit The Gambia on Friday, 12 February, 2021, the statement said.