PARTICIPATION OF NGOs IN THE 59TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS AND 33RD AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS BOOKFAIR
17-19 OCTOBER, 2016
VENUE: BANJUL, THE GAMBIA
Introduction: The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), also known as the ‘NGOs Forum’ is an advocacy tool used by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) to promote human rights promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.
The bi-annual event which precedes the Ordinary Session of the ACHPR, is an advocacy platform for discussing human rights issues in Africa with a view of identifying possible strategies for engagement or redress, which are forwarded to the African Commission as contribution to its work during a said Session.
The main objective of the NGOs Forum is to foster closer collaboration among NGOs and with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights in Africa.
As you may be aware, 2016 marks a critical junction on the continent’s human rights agenda and has subsequently been declared by the African Union as the ‘Year of Human Rights with a Special Focus on the Rights of Women’.
In particular, amongst other things, 2016 marks the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 1981, the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the African Charter in 1986, the 29th anniversary of the operationalization of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 1987 and the 10th anniversary of the operationalization of the African Court.
The year 2016 will also mark the 13th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (also known as the Maputo Protocol) which ushered in a recommitment to gender equality and the rights of women in Africa.
The October NGOs Forum will focus on celebrations of the Year as declared by the African Union. Consequently, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Pan African Parliament will lead commemorative celebrations in Banjul commencing on 21st October, 2016 (Africa Human Rights Day). The NGOs Forum will be organized prior to the celebrations as part of activities by African civil society and other stakeholders’ contribution towards the commemoration of the Year.
The Forum preceding the 59th Ordinary Session of the African Commission and the 33rd African Human Rights Bookfair will be held from 17-19 October, 2016 in The Gambia.
The April, 2016 Forum was also held in Banjul, The Gambia preceding the 58th Ordinary Session of the African Commission. The Forum was a resounding success with over 245 participants, representing civil society organization and NGOs in Africa and beyond. As per tradition, the NGOs Forum statement was read at the opening of the ACHPR session, while the adopted Resolutions and Recommendations were also forwarded to the African Commission during its 58th session.
Content: The Forum will cover three (3) main thematic areas namely:
- Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (update from sub-regional Focal Points on the general situation from the last NGOs Forum/ACHPR Session)
- Special Interest Groups Discussions (generally as per Mandate and Special Mechanisms of the African Commission, with exception of no: 14-17. Kindly note that the list of not exhaustive, new interest groups are welcome)
- Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa
- Rights of Women in Africa
- Human Rights Defenders in Africa
- Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa
- Prevention of Torture in Africa
- Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa
- Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa
- Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa
- Death Penalty and Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa
- Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa
- People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV
- Extractive Industries; Environment and Human Rights Violations
- Policing and Human Rights
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)
- Freedom of Association and Assembly
- Climate Change and Human Rights in Africa
3. Networking for Human Rights in Africa: sharing of experiences, best practices on how advocacy or lobby networks have contributed and continue to contribute to human rights promotion and protection.
Language and Participants: Proceedings of the Forum will be conducted in English and French with simultaneous interpretation facilities. The Forum will attract participants working on democracy, human rights and the rule of law issues in Africa and beyond.
Visa: 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 and provided with the requisite information to facilitate the acquisition process.
Accommodation: The African Centre would distribute negotiated room rates to participants.
Registration: All participants must complete and submit the registration form online which can be found at: http://www.acdhrs.org/registration-form/ no later than Wednesday, 15th September, 2016 providing all the details as contained in the form. The African Centre is not obliged to process registration forms received after the deadline.
Registration fees: As was contained in the November, 2015 information brochure, the registration fee is now $150.00 (one hundred and fifty United States Dollars) or its equivalent in Gambian Dalasis, Euros or CFA. The said amount meets expenses in relation to the conference package (conference room, tea and coffee breaks, lunch, water, projector etc) documentation, stationery and other administrative logistics/support provided during the Forum only.
Furthermore, note that the said amount should be paid by ALL participants in cash at the registration desk.
Panel Request: Kindly complete the panel request form online as detailed as possible before Wednesday, 31st August, 2016. Please note that the African Centre is not obliged to receive and process panel requests received after the deadline. Partners are required to contribute the amount US$300.00 (three hundred US Dollars) for all approved requests as their contribution towards the organization of the NGOs Forum.
Please note that panel requests should be framed around the theme ‘‘Year of Human Rights with a Special Focus on the Rights of Women’.
Administrative Fees for 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.
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 such a fee.
Training Workshop on Regional and International Human Rights Mechanisms: The African Centre and its partners will organize the above-mentioned training from 15-16 October, 2016 in Banjul, The Gambia prior to the NGOs Forum. Participation will be on a ‘first-come first-served’ basis. For more information, please visit www.acdhrs.org
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