We, the participants to the NGO Forum in the 50th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and 24th African Human Rights Book Fair held from 19th – 21st October, 2011 in Banjul, The Gambia
Recalling the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which entrusts it with a treaty monitoring function and the mandate to promote human and peoples’ rights and ensure their protection in Africa;
Recalling the resolution on the criteria for the granting and enjoyment of observer status of non-governmental organisations working in the field of human rights with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
Recalling the resolution on the protection of human rights defenders in Africa;
Recognizing the on-going violations of the rights of human rights defenders in many member states;
Concerned at the failure of the African Commission on Human Peoples’ Rights to grant observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians, an organization that meets the criteria for eligibility to the granted observer status.
Recognizing that the Coalition of African Lesbians is a human rights organization that works to protect LGBTI people from human rights violations including: discrimination, extrajudicial killings, rape, hate crimes, and other forms of sexual violence.
Deeply concerned that despite efforts by civil society organizations to obtain reasons for the refusal to be granted observer status, the Commission has repeatedly failed to do so;
Recognizing that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights works to protect human rights defenders from human rights violations and should be cognizant of the heightened risk that LGBTI human rights defenders are faced with.
We therefore recommend that the African Commission:
Done in Banjul – 21st October, 2011