NGO Forum 2017






The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), also known as the ‘NGOs Forum’ is an advocacy platform coordinated by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (African Centre) to promote advocacy, lobbying and networking among Human Rights NGOs, for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.

The NGOs Forum shares updates on the human rights situation in Africa by the African and international NGOs community with a view of identifying responses as well as adopting strategies towards improving the human rights situation on the continent.

The African Union declared 2017 as the year of ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth’. This is in recognition of the fact that Youths constitute about 40% of the African population and are an enormous resource for the development of the continent.

Additionally, the adoption of the African Youth Charter in June 2006 by the African Union laid the basis for the constructive involvement of Youth in the development of Africa’s Agenda 2063. It sets the framework to enable policy makers to mainstream Youth issues in all development policies and programmes. Consequently, it provides a legal basis for ensuring Youth presence and participation in government structures and forums at national, regional and continental levels.

Consequently, the general focus of this NGOs Forum  will be ‘Engaging young people, especially women in human rights and democracy in Africa.  It will seek to review the implementation related to the African Youth Charter on youth participation in the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Africa.


The main objective of the NGOs Forum is to foster closer collaboration among NGOs and with the African Commission, for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights in Africa under the said themes.


The Forum will cover three (3) main thematic areas namely:

  1. Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (update from sub-regional Focal Points on the general situation)
  1. Special Interest Groups Discussions (Kindly note that the list of not exhaustive, new interest groups are welcome)
  1. Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa
  2. Rights of Women in Africa
  3. Human Rights Defenders in Africa
  4. Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa
  5. Prevention of Torture in Africa
  6. Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa
  7. Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa
  8. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa
  9. Death Penalty and Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa
  10. Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa
  11. People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV
  12. Extractive Industries; Environment and Human Rights Violations
  13. Policing and Human Rights
  14. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)
  15. Freedom of Association and Assembly
  16. Youths
  17. Climate Change and Human Rights in Africa

3. Networking for Human Rights in Africa: (sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learnt on how youth, advocacy networks have contributed or could contribute to democracy and human rights in Africa.


English and French are the languages of the NGOs Forum with available simultaneous interpretation facilities.


Representatives from African civil society/NGOs, international NGOs from Africa and beyond working on youth, democracy, human rights and the rule of law issues, academia, media, etc,


Participants are encouraged to make the necessary visa arrangements, where required, before departing from their respective countries to The Gambia. Where participants do not have Gambia Diplomatic Representation in their countries of residence, the ACDHRS would endeavor to facilitate the issuance of visa on arrival to such participants, provided the ACDHRS is informed well in advance..


The African Centre would negotiate room rates on behalf of participants and forward such information to participants.


All participants must complete and submit the registration form online which can be found at: no later than Friday, 13 October, 2017 providing all the details as contained in the form. Please note that the African Centre is not obliged to process registration forms received after the deadline.

Registration fees

The registration fee (US$150.00 – one hundred and fifty United States Dollars) or its equivalent in Euros or CFA must be paid by all participants in cash at the registration desk on the first day of the Forum. The subsidized amount contributes to hire of conference room, tea and coffee breaks, lunch, documentation, stationery and other administrative expenses for the duration of the Forum only.

Administrative Fees for assistance with organisation of side events

Partners that wish to organise side events and require the assistance of the African Centre should please note that an administrative fee of US$500.00 (five hundred US Dollars) must be paid to the African Centre by the said Partner.  Some duties, amongst others that will be undertaken by the African Centre include booking of meeting venue, distribution of invitation letters, registration of participants, booking and confirmation of interpreters (if any), facilitate purchase of stationery (if any), prepare folders, prepare name tags, badges, tying of banner, planning sitting position, distribute documentation, photocopying, etc

However, if the African Centre is informed of the organisation of the side event only for its information, then the Partner would not be required to pay the administrative fee.

Please disseminate this information to your networks as widely as possible.

For more information, please email: