Resolution on the Respect for International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in Periods of Armed Conflict

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,

Noting the increase and prolongation of armed conflicts in Africa, in particular internal armed conflicts, and the resulting human suffering and destruction;

Conscious that poverty, social injustice, economic and political bad governance frequently give rise to conflicts;

Convinced that the respect for humanitarian law and human rights helps to prevent the escalation of violence and facilitates the resolution of conflicts;

Concerned by the fact that the civilian populations have become the principal victims of the acts of violence perpetrated during armed conflicts;

Concerned by the widespread use of illegal means and methods of combat, notably the attacks against individuals who do not participate or no longer participate in the hostilities;

Seriously concerned by the illegal circulation of small arms and the recruitment of mercenaries;

Aware of the phenomenon of the use of children in hostilities;

Worried by the persistence of a culture of impunity, notably by the adoption of general or special amnesty laws;

Cognisant of the universality of the international humanitarian law and of the fundamental human rights principles and their complementary nature in situations of armed conflict;

Request:

1. The Member States of the African Union to:

1. Ratify or accede to the instruments of humanitarian and human rights law to which they are signatory;

2. Respect and ensure respect for humanitarian law under all circumstances as stipulated by Article 1 which is common to all four Geneva Conventions of 1949 relative to the protection of the victims of armed conflicts, and to guarantee the efficacy of human rights;

3. Take all the adequate legislative, regulatory and practical measures for implementing their obligations ensuing from international humanitarian law, including the imposing of criminal sanctions, and human rights instruments, in particular the Protocol to the African Charter relative to the Rights of Women in Africa and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child;

4. Ensure that genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of humanitarian law are duly pursued and punished by the national courts, or if need be, by the International Criminal Court;

5. Ensure a wide distribution of the instruments of humanitarian human rights law within the civilian population, the security forces, soldiers and to facilitate their distribution among Opposition Groups;

2. To the conflicting Parties:

1. To ensure that the hostilities are conducted in conformity with the laws and customs of war, notably to make a distinction at all times between civilians and combatants and between civilian property and military targets;

2. To guarantee respect for humanitarian law as a means of avoiding the displacement of populations, both within the borders of the territory in conflict and towards neighbouring States;

3. To ensure that individuals of less than 18 years do not participate in the hostilities and to take adequate measures to this effect;

4. To respect and protect the victims of conflicts without distinction as to which Party they belong and in particular to ensure that detainees are not subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment and that humanitarian workers are respected and protected;

5. To guarantee the access and facilitate the coordination of emergency humanitarian activities for the humanitarian organisations responsible for providing assistance and protection to the victims of armed conflicts;

3. To the African Commission:

1. To guarantee the follow-up on the recommendations relative to international humanitarian and human rights law.

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 27th April, 2005

Resolution on the Situation in Darfur

We the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights and the 11th African human rights book fair held at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel, Banjul, Gambia from April 24 to 26, 2005,

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations Organisation (UN) as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a state party and that as a state party the Sudan is morally and legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments and respect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms set therein without discrimination on any ground;

Recalling relevant Decisions and Communiqués adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government and those of the Peace and Security Council on the situation in Darfur notably Decisions AU/Dec.54(III) and Assembly/AU/Dec.68 (IV) adopted at the 3rd and 4th Ordinary Sessions of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government respectively as well as Communiqués PSC/PR/Comm.(XIII) and PSC/PR/Comm.(XVII) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council at their 13th Meeting and 17th Meeting respectively,

Welcoming Resolutions 1556/2004 of 30 July 2004 and 1590/2005, 1591/2005 and 1593/2005 adopted by the UN Security Council on the situation in Sudan and Darfur in March 2005.

Recalling also the Resolution of 4th June 2004 adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 35th Ordinary Session on the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan as well as Resolution E/CN.4/2005/L.36/Rev.3 adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights on 21st April 2005 on the situation of human rights in Sudan.

Deeply concerned at the continuing grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur as documented by the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur in its report of 25th January 2005 submitted to the UN Secretary General and Security Council, which concluded that the crimes committed in Darfur are “… no less serious and heinous than genocide…”

We call on the government of Sudan to comply with its obligations under the AU Constitutive Act, the UN Charter, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant instruments to which the Sudan is a state party, and in particular comply with the following:

1. Stops, with immediate effect, all attacks against civilians in Darfur and ends the grave violations of human and peoples’ rights in particular the forced de-population of entire areas in the region, rape and sexual violence against women and girls, abduction of women and children, and to cease all support, including the provision of supplies, to the Janjaweed militiamen.
2. Provides the necessary support to all international agencies and humanitarian organisations in order to ensure immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to the war affected areas of Darfur and to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilian populations.
3. Fully and unconditionally cooperates with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in his efforts to investigate and bring to justice all persons suspected of perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity as prescribed in the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.

We call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:

1. Make public the report on its mission to the Darfur region, which was carried out in July 2004, without any further delay and ask the government of Sudan to implement the recommendations contained therein.

We call on the international community to:

1. Continue supporting the AU in its efforts to help end the crisis in Darfur including by providing all equipment, logistical, financial, material, and other resources necessary to support the rapid expansion of the AU Mission in the region.
2. Take all the appropriate measures to ensure that the government of Sudan complies with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions 1556/2004 of 30 July 2004 and 1590/2005, 1591/2005 and 1593/2005 adopted on 29th and 31st March 2005 respectively.

Done at Banjul, The Gambia, on 26th April, 2005

Resolution on Armed Militia Groups in Africa

We the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights and the 11th African human rights book fair held at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel, Banjul, Gambia from April 24 to 26, 2005,

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations Organisation as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Protocol Establishing the AU Peace and Security Council, and other regional and international human rights instruments and humanitarian law;

Recalling Communiqué PSC/AHG/Comm. (XXIII adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), meeting at its 23rd meeting, at the level of Heads of State and Government, on 10 January 2005, in Libreville, Gabon;

Recalling also the Resolution on the Promotion and Respect of International Humanitarian Law and Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 14th Ordinary Session, December, 1993 in which the Commission invited all African States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to adopt appropriate measures at the national level to ensure the promotion of the provisions of international humanitarian law and human and peoples’ rights;

Stressing that maintaining peace and preserving territorial integrity is the prime responsibility of the State and that there is a need for specific instruction of military personnel and the training of the forces of law and order in international humanitarian law and human and peoples’ rights respectively;

Deeply concerned by the growing trend among some States to permit indisciplined militia groups to fight proxy wars on their behalf and that such groups commit heinous crimes abhorrent to all cannons of civilized life targeting defenceless civilian populations in particular women and children;

We call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:

1. Condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and destruction of life and livelihood committed by armed militia groups against civilian populations and the increasing trend among some African States to use militia groups to fight proxy wars on their behalf.
2. Pronounce itself on this dangerous phenomenon and advise African Heads of State and Government on the importance of taking the necessary steps including the adoption of a binding instrument to incriminate this practice and halt the impunity with which these groups commit crimes.
3. Initiate a study on the negative impact of armed militia groups on the safety and security of person in Africa, as well as the dangers they pose to national and regional peace and stability.

Done at Banjul, 26th April, 2005

Resolution on Prohibition and Prevention of Torture in Africa

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,

Recalling the universal and absolute character of the condemnation and prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments;

Deeply indignant at the persistence of such acts in Africa;

Noting with satisfaction the adoption by ACHPR at its 32nd Session held from 17th to 23rd October 2002, of the Robben Island Directives on the prohibition and prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments in Africa, and of the recommendations made during the consultative meeting on the implementation of the Robben Island Directives held in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, during its 36th Ordinary Session held in Dakar, Senegal, from 24th November to 7th December 2004;

Delighted with the appointment by ACHPR of a Follow up Committee of the implementation of these Directives during its 35th Session held in Banjul, the Gambia, from 23rd May to 4th June 2004;

Recommend to the 37th Session of ACHPR:

1. To adopt the recommendations of the first working session of the Follow up Committee held in Bristol, Great Britain, from 19th to 20th February 2005 and the annexed Rules of Procedure.

2. To appeal to the African States:

  • To ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments of 10th December 1984.
  • To ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatments of 18th December 2002 (see annexed specific draft resolution).
  • To ratify the Protocol to the African Charter establishing an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 9th June 1998 and the effective establishment of this Court.
  • To refer to the Robben Island Directives in the fulfilment of their obligations under Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

3. To make systematic use of the Robben Island Directives during consideration of the periodic reports of the States.

Done at Banjul, on 26th April, 2005

Resolution on the Situation of Indigenous Populations in Africa

Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,

We, the Organisations working for the protection of and respect for the rights of indigenous populations/communities and minorities in Africa, as recognised by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

Cognisant of the existing standards of international law relative to the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous populations/communities and minorities as guaranteed in the United Nations Declaration on the rights of individuals belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation on indigenous and tribal populations in independent nations, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on Bio-Diversity;

Cognisant of the commitment made by the African Commission through its Resolution adopting the Report of the Working Group on the situation of the rights of indigenous populations/communities, during its 34th Ordinary Session held in Banjul in November 2003;

Considering the perpetual conditions of extreme poverty and inhumanity that the indigenous populations and minorities in Africa continue to live in;

Considering the non implementation of the recommendations made during the preceding Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, notably those made during the 36th Session;

Urge the African Commission:

1. To enhance appreciation for and understanding of human rights within the different programmes of poverty alleviation currently being implemented in various countries with a view to safeguarding the rights of minorities and indigenous populations within the said programmes;

2. To actively popularize the Report of the Experts Working Group on indigenous minorities/communities, which is still unknown to the general public.

3. To take the necessary and appropriate measures for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Resolution of the 36th Session of the Commission;

4. To enter into a constructive dialogue with the government Authorities, the minorities and the indigenous populations during country visits.

Done in Banjul, 26th April, 2005

Resolution on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,

Having reviewed the dramatic situation of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa;

Concerned with the persistent conflicts in many African countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, and in some Great Lakes countries;

Draw the attention of the international community on the programmed elimination of the right of asylum in the world, particularly in the developed countries;

Aware of the need to mobilize resources to give assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees in Africa, more particularly in Darfur;

Rise up against restrictive practices and policies against African asylum seekers in the world and transit and readmission agreements whose only aim is to confine refugees and asylum seekers to Africa, in violation of the relevant legal instruments;

Aware that the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons must follow the changes taking place on the continent and the reforms initiated by HCR since the international consultations on the Geneva Convention of 1951;

Welcome once again the appointment by ACHPR of the Special Rapporteur on refugees and internally displaced persons;

Express our total willingness to collaborate with the new Special Rapporteur and urge the States and NGOs to do the same;

Recommend to:

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

  • To monitor the decisions and resolutions already taken by ACHPR on refugees and internally displaced persons;
  • To provide the Special Rapporteur with adequate resources to fulfill his mission.

Special Rapporteur

  • To play the role of facilitator of dialogue between the Commission, the States concerned and the refugees, with a view to resolving the problems of refugees through sustainable solutions such as the voluntary repatriation in their countries of origin.

Member States of ACHPR

  • To pay particular attention to the protection of economic, social and cultural rights of refugees;
  • To ensure strict respect of the 1951 Convention and the OAU Convention of 1969 within the framework of the agreements signed with the developed countries;
  • To formulate national legislations and establish National Commissions for assessing the qualifications to the status of refugees.

NGOs

  • We recommend that they provide the Special Rapporteur with the information and reports he needs to carry out his mandate.

Done at Banjul, 26 April, 2005

Resolution on the Freedom of Expression in The Gambia

We the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights and the 11th African human rights book fair held at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel, Banjul, Gambia from April 24 to 26, 2005,

Deeply concerned about the adoption of repressive press laws that legitimate the maltreatment of media practitioners in The Gambia

Gravely concern about the harassment and intimidation of journalists, arson attacks on media houses and practitioners, arbitrary arrest and the recent killing of Mr. Deyda Hydara, Managing Editor of the Point Newspaper on December 16th 2004

Considering the lack of professionalism and training on ethnical journalism that continues to make media practitioners and the media easy targets for manipulation

The Forum urges the African Commission

1. To monitor the freedom of expression in The Gambia, most especially in relation to the recent killing of Mr. Deyda Hydara, Managing Editor of the Point Newspaper, the numerous arsons attacks on the media and the intimidation of journalists
2. To urge the Gambia Government to investigate the killing of Deyda Hydara and to bring the perpetrator(s) of this crime to justice
3. To further urge the Gambia Government to respect the right to freedom of expression and to comply with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Declaration of Principles on the Freedom of Expression in Africa
4. To urge State parties to comply with the Declaration of Principles on the Freedom of Expression in Africa, and to uphold their responsibilities.

The Forum’s Recommendation to the State Parties on the Freedom of Expression in Africa

1. To provide adequate resources, assistance and support for the training of media practitioners in order to promote professionalism and to form alliances with relevant stakeholders such as regional media groups, State media and the general public
2. To remove all restrictions placed on broadcasting that prevents a diverse and independent dissemination of information.
3. to abolish the monopoly of broadcasting by the states, which is not compatible with the rights to freedom of expression as reflected in Article 5 of the Declaration on Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa.
4. To create the enabling environment that would enhance the free flow of information in the continent

Done in Banjul, 26th April, 2005

Resolution on the Post-Election Situation in Togo

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs in preparation of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, the Gambia, from April 27th to May 11th, 2005,

The Forum of Human Rights Defenders NGOs meeting in Banjul expresses its deep concern with regard to the political context in which the Presidential elections of 24th April were held.

It notes that massive irregularities marred the conduct of the elections, confirming the worries expressed by most observers of Togo’s politics.

It notes that once again, the interests of the people of Togo were sacrificed to the will of a group seeking to monopolize power and that, once again, the people’s thirst for political change has been scorned.

It denounces vigorously the passivity of the international and sub-regional community, particularly the attitude of France which hurriedly reached its decision before ECOWAS observers who had monitored the elections produced their mission report.

The Forum of NGOs is worried about the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms which have characterized the political and social life since the coup d’etat of Faure Gnassingbe and which have worsened since the proclamation of the election results.

It calls upon the attention of the international community, particularly ECOWAS, with regard to the eruption of violence and police and military repression of the civilian population.

It calls upon and urges the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to urgently take appropriate measures and actions in order to stop the serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Forum of NGOs calls for the reorganization of credible and transparent elections, taking into consideration the legitimate aspirations of the people of Togo.

It finally expresses its solidarity with the fallen victims under the bullets of the repressive forces.

 

Done at Banjul,  April 26th, 2005

Resolution on the Death Penalty

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from April 27 to May 11, 2005,

Recalling that the death penalty is prejudicial to human dignity and contradicts the very notion of the freedom of the human being by its irreversible character;

Underlining that it is often passed after unfair trials and is applied in a discriminatory manner depending on the ethnic group, the race or social origin of the convicts;

Stressing that the so-called deterrent effect of the death penalty has never been proved;

Underlining that the death penalty does not reduce in any way the suffering of the victims and that an increasingly considerable number of the families of the victims are opposed to the death penalty;

Recalling that prison conditions in the corridors of death, i.e. for persons sentenced to death awaiting execution, may include such elements as very long detention periods, total or almost total confinement in individual cells, the uncertainty around the time of execution, deprivation of contact with the outside world, including the family and lawyers; these conditions often constitute, therefore, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment;

Recalling that the international law fosters the abolition of the death penalty since it amounts to a restraint to the right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 3), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Art. 6) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Art. 4);

Recalling that several regional and international instruments abolish the death penalty;

Recalling that the Charters of the International Criminal Courts for Yugoslavia and Rwanda as well as the Charter of the International Criminal Court exclude the use of the death penalty at the international level; despite the fact that they concern the prosecution of the most serious international crimes – war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity;

Recalling the resolution of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 15th November 1999 asking the States to implement a moratorium on the executions and urging them to abolish the death penalty;

The participants at the Round Table on the abolition of the death penalty organized in Banjul on 1st May 2005 call upon the:

1. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

– to adopt a resolution urging the African States to ratify the second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

– to recall, in such a resolution, that sentencing to death minors of less than 18 years of age at the time of committing the crime is a violation of the customary international law;

– to urge the States that maintain the death penalty not to impose it on mentally sick persons;

– to urge the States that maintain the death penalty in their legislations not to extend it to new crimes;

– to take into consideration the possibility of formulating and adopting an optional protocol to the African Charter abolishing the death penalty;

– to systematically address the question of the death penalty while considering the reports of the States parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

2. Member States of the African Union

– to support any possible initiative of the African Commission with a view to the adoption of a protocol to the African Charter abolishing the death penalty;

– to support the World Day against the death penalty (10th October);

– to support the resolution adopted each year by the United Nations Human Rights Commission concerning the abolition of the death penalty;

– to ratify the second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aimed at abolishing the death penalty;

– States implementing a moratorium (de jure or de facto) to adopt a law abolishing the death penalty;

– Retentionist States to respect in all circumstances the guarantees stipulated by the international law concerning the death penalty, limit the number of crimes calling for the death penalty, and adopt a moratorium as soon as possible, as the first step towards the abolition of the death penalty.

3. European Union

– to support the initiatives of civil society in Africa on the abolition of the death penalty;

– to address the question of the death penalty in a systematic manner during political dialogues at all levels between the European Union and the member States of the African Union, in accordance with the Guidelines of the European Union relating to the death penalty (1998);

– to reserve a special place to the issue of the abolition of the death penalty in the EU/ACP relations, both at the Ministerial and Parliamentary level.

4. Civil Society

– to carry out awareness creating actions on the necessary abolition of the death penalty among the population, Members of Parliament, law enforcement agents, public authorities and the media;

– to make use of available legal means at the national and regional level in order to challenge the legality of the death penalty, particularly in terms of the right to life and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;

– to organize awareness creating activities on the occasion of the World Day against the death penalty (10th October);

– to seize the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on summary executions about cases of the death penalty which are in violation of relevant international standards, particularly the United Nations Guarantees for the protection of the rights of persons liable to the death penalty;

– to seize the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on torture and the Special Rapporteur of the African Commission on prisons and prison conditions in Africa about cases of prisoners likely to be sentenced or already sentenced to death whose prison conditions are not in keeping with the relevant international and regional standards;

– to seize national human rights institutions, where they exist, so that they take position for the abolition of the death penalty.

Done in Banjul, 26th April, 2005

Resolution on the Establishment of an Independent and Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

We the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights and the 11th African human rights book fair held at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel, Banjul, Gambia from April 24 to 26, 2005,

Expressing satisfaction at the entry into force of the protocol establishing the African Court on human and peoples’ rights;

Emphasizing that the entry into force of the protocol establishing the African Human Rights Court enforces a legal obligation on member states to complete the process of operationalization of the African Human Rights Court

Recognizing that our continent is facing serious human rights violations and the existence of the prevailing culture of impunity;

Emphasizing the urgent need for the operationalization of an effective, impartial and independent African Human Rights Court;

Deeply concerned that the decision taken by the Assembly of the African Union in July 2004 to integrate the African human rights court with the court of justice of the African Union has seriously delayed the completion of the process of the establishment of the African Human Rights Court;

Considering that the two courts have essentially different mandates, criteria for appointment of judges and litigants;

Recognizing the decision by the executive council of the African Union in Abuja in January 2005 to the effect that the discussion on the merger of the two courts should be without prejudice to the operationalization of the African Human Rights Court;

Welcoming the recommendation by the Executive Council of the African Union asking Member States of the AU which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Protocol establishing the African Human Rights Court;

The NGO Forum urges:

1- The African Union Assembly:

– To complete the process of operationalization of an independent and effective human rights court without further delay, through the nomination and election of judges, determination of the seat of the court, allocation of adequate resources and determination of other operational issues;
– To establish without delay the human rights fund so as to ensure sustainable and adequate fundings to human rights institutions including the African Human Rights Court;
– To ensure that the court is established at a place that guarantees its independent and effectivness as well as easy access for victims and civil society organizations;

2- The African Union Commission:

– To actively encourage the participation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in all deliberations regarding the operationalization of the African Human Rights Court;
– To actively encourage the participation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to any future discussion on the merger of the two courts;
– To involve civil society organizations in deliberations and process to operationalize the African human rights court;
– To urge the Assembly to operationalize the African Human Rights Court as soon as possible or at the latest at its next ordinary session;
– To reinvigorate and revitalize the process of nomination and election of judges to the African Human Rights Court;

3- The Member States of the African Union:

– To ratify the African Human Rights Court’s Protocol if they have not yet done so;
– To make the necessary declaration under Article 34 (6) of the Protocol if they have not yet done so;
– To comply with the Note Verbale of the AU Commission to nominate judges to the African Human Rights Court and to ensure adequate gender representation as required by the Protocol
– To take into account gender sensitivity in the process of nomination and election of judges;
– To make contribution to the immediate establishment of the Human Rights Fund

4- The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:

– To be pro-active in supporting and participating in the full establishment of an independent and effective African human rights court and the establishment of an African Human rights Fund;
– To express its views publicly to the AU Assembly and the AU Commission supporting and encouraging the immediate operationalization of the African Human Rights Court as soon as possible or at the latest at the next AU Assembly’s ordinary session;
– To urge member states that have not yet done so to ratify the Protocol and make the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol ;
– To participate to any future discussion on the merger of the two courts;
– To establish a working group which would include civil society organizations to undertake a review of its rules of procedure in order to ensure an effective relationship with the African Human Rights Court;

5- The Civil society organizations:

– To facilitate and participate in discussions held at a national level engaging civil society organizations and the media in the process to operationalize the African Human Rights Court;
– To advocate at the national, regional and continental level for the operationalization without delay of an effective and independent African Human Rights Court and the establishment of the AU Human Rights Fund;
– To actively participate and contribute to the discussion of any meeting of experts set up by the AU Commission on the operationalization of the African Human Rights Court and any future discussion on the merger of the two courts;
– To engage in capacity building and awareness raising activities on the procedure of and accessibility to the African Human Rights Court;
– To actively provide imput and information to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights regarding the operationalization of the African Human rights Court and any future discussion on the merger of the two courts.

Done in Banjul, 26th April, 2005