We the Participants of the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 39th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, recommend that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:
- Urges states to recognize the important role that human rights defenders play in the promotion and protection of human rights and in strengthening democracy.
- Urges states to fully comply with the United Nations Declaration on human rights defenders, which was adopted by consensus at the United Nations General Assembly in 1998 and the resolution adopted by the ACHPR on human rights defenders.
- Disseminates the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights defenders to all sectors of society.
- Urges states to support the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his or her work by extending open invitations to visit the country and cooperating in the follow up of recommendations.
- Supports the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defender in order for her to be able to discharge her mandate, including responding to human rights violations against individual defenders, and intervening with relevant governments;
We urge the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to:
- Undertake fact-finding missions to assess the situation of human rights defenders in particular countries and make recommendations to the relevant governments to improve the situation of human rights defenders and ensure protection of their rights;
- Pay special attention to the specific vulnerabilities of women as well as of the specific violations they face in their work in defense of human rights because of their sex or gender identity.
- Include in her regular reports to the ACHPR trends affecting the operation of NGOs and the situation of human rights defenders in Africa.
- Work with the emerging Networks of NGOs on Human Rights Defenders, presenting existing in Southern, East/Horn of Africa and West).
Done in Banjul, May 8th, 2006