The 50th Session of the ACHPR: a new opportunity to assess the human rights situation in Africa

06.10.2011

The semi-annual session of the African Commission on Human Rights and People’s Rights (ACHPR) will be held in Banjul at the end of this month (October 24 to November 7). It will be preceded by the regular NGO Forum (19 – 21 October), where human rights defenders and other civil society actors will come together and identify priority areas which will be communicated to the ACHPR through resolutions and recommendations.

 

The semi-annual session of the African Commission on Human Rights and People’s Rights (ACHPR) will be held in Banjul at the end of this month (October 24 to November 7). It will be preceded by the regular NGO Forum (19 – 21 October), where human rights defenders and other civil society actors will come together and identify priority areas which will be communicated to the ACHPR through resolutions and recommendations. In preparation for these two events, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Co-organized in partnership with the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights studies, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and Conectas; a training workshop for African civil society actors on the regional and international human rights mechanisms for civil society actors in Africa (14-18 October).

This session takes place when the continent celebrates the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1981-2011). During the regular session of the ACHPR, the focus will be on celebrating that 30th anniversary. The challenge of this session will be to assess the situation of human rights in Africa 30 years after the adoption of the Charter.   ISHR will organize, during the NGO forum, a workshop on this point with the special rapporteur on human rights defenders to evaluate the protection of human rights defenders in Africa 30 years after the adoption the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

A number of other issues will be dealt with during the session of the ACHPR including the democratization process in North Africa and the accompanying violence, the situation in North Africa, the African Union's response to these questions, and the question of human rights defenders.

In addition, three countries will have their state reports reviewed namely Burundi, Nigeria, and Togo. ISHR will support human rights defenders from these countries for the submission of their reports and liaison with the Commissioners.

ISHR’s advocacy work will focus on the protection of human rights defenders. The focus will be on the issue of retaliation that the defenders who work with human rights mechanisms of the African Union are subjected to. ISHR will intensify its efforts towards the adoption of the resolution on this issue.

Given the increasingly important role played by NationalHuman Rights Institutions ( NHRIs) in the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent, ISHR will increase its advocacy on their effectiveness, especially those that have the affiliate status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.

Finally, ISHR in partnership with Conectas and AJPD will launch a Roadmap on the engagement of civil society in the process of preparing and submitting the state report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.