ACHPR61 | Mandate of African Commission’s Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders comes to an end


After 10 years as Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders and 12 years as a Commissioner, Ms Reine Alapini-Gansou bid goodbye to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) at its 61st session. ISHR took this opportunity to thank the Special Rapporteur for the achievements during her mandate and pointed out emerging threats and challenges in some countries. 

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In a statement delivered on 9 November, ISHR thanked Reine Alapini-Gansou for her tremendous work for the protection and promotion of human rights defenders’ rights in Africa. We expressed the hope that her successor and the Commission will continue building on her important work and ensure that the standards and resolutions she helped adopting are duly implemented.

The statement also called for States to support and cosponsor the draft resolution A/C.3/72/L.50 on human rights defenders currently being negotiated at the UN General Assembly. This resolution is an important first step in encouraging the implementation of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders and should be adopted without any amendments aiming to undermine the work of human rights defenders.

Of great concern regarding restrictions to the work of defenders are two draft laws in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: the draft national law for the promotion and protection of human rights defenders (currently reviewed by the national assembly) and the draft law amending the law N 2001 N°004/2001 on non-profit organisations table before the national assembly by the  DRC minister of Justice on 9 October 2017 . ISHR urged the Commission to pressure Congo into ensuring that these laws which current provisions are in contradiction with international human rights standards get back in line and do not hinder the work of human rights defenders.

Read the statement in English

Read the statement in French 

Watch ISHR's interview with Reine Alapini-Gansou here 

Photo: ISHR


  • Africa
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • NGOs
  • Reprisals and intimidation
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
  • ACHPR Special Rapporteur on HRDs
  • Congo (Kinshasa)