ZOOM WEBINAR
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 to promote advocacy, lobbying and networking among and between 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 the promotion and protection of human rights in the continent.

‘40 ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADOPTION OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS’ The founding and premier treaty of the African human system is the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter). Convinced that it was the inalienable right of all people to control their own destiny and further conscious of the fact that freedom, equality, justice and dignity were essential objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU – now African Union) in Nairobi, Kenya on 27th June, 1981 adopted the African Charter. Also known as the Banjul Charter, the African Charter entered into force on 21st October, 1986. To date, with the exception of Royal Kingdom of Morocco, the African Charter has been ratified by the rest of the 54 Member States of the African Union. Consequently, the year 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter which also established by Article 30, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 1987 to ensure implementation of the provisions of the African Charter by Members States. The adoption of the African Charter and the subsequent establishment of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights were welcomed as landmark developments crucial for the promotion and protection of human rights in the continent. Since its adoption in 1981 and with the establishment of the African Commission in 1987, significant progress has been registered in the promotion and protection of human rights. In addition, several Additional Protocols have been adopted, including but not limited to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (also known as Maputo Protocol), Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court). However, despite registered achievement and progress in some quarters, the continent continues to witness many forms of human violations on a daily basis. With the emergence of Covid19 in December, 2019, the situation of human rights situation in Africa has taken or continues to take a downward trend in some States as measures taken by States for the curtailment of the spread of the virus leads to more rights violations.

OBJECTIVE

The main objective of the NGOs Forum is to provide a platform for African civil society or NGOs to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter and evaluate its implementation over the years highlighting successes and challenges. The Forum will also provide an opportunity to identify recommendations for the continued implementation of the provisions of the Charter which will contribute towards transforming the Africa we want as in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Methodology and Content The Forum will cover three (3) main thematic areas namely: Theme I: Focal Points Reports on the Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa: The sub-regional focal points will submit their reports on the situation of human rights and democracy in Africa focusing on countries (Benin, Eswatini, Kenya, Namibia, Seychelles) whose State Reports will be examined during the 69th Ordinary Session of the African Commission. Ensuing discussions will conclude with recommendations on the continued implementation of the Provisions of the African Charter. Theme II: Special Interest Groups: Participants will be divided into three (3) working groups, each group will evaluate the impact and implementation of the African Charter since its adoption, their engagement in the implementation of the African Charter (identifying registered successes, challenges and recommendations on the way forward.) Theme III: Networking for Human Rights: This session will focus on the engagement and cooperation among and between regional networks with a view of enhancing such cooperation for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. A panel discussion will also be organized on engagement with the African human rights system and mechanisms. The Lusophone Human Rights Defenders Network will also be launched during the event. Proposed resolutions and recommendations will be presented in plenary for adoption and subsequently forwarded to the African Commission as the contribution of the NGOs Forum to the work of the 69th Ordinary Session of the African Commission.

The general content of 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)

Special Interest Groups Discussions

(Kindly note that the list is not extensive, new interest groups are welcome)

Networking for Human Rights in Africa

(sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learnt towards durable solutions for forced displacement in Africa) A series of panel discussions on general human rights related issues will be organized within the main agenda of the NGOs Forum as well as at side events, and even extending to the margins of the Ordinary Session.

Languages:

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

Participants:

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.

VENUE

ZOOM WEBINAR

Expected Outcomes

  • Update on the situation of democracy and human rights in Africa (particularly in Benin, Kenya, Eswatini, Namibia and Seychelles). The said State reports will be examined during the 69th Ordinary Session
  • Launching of the Lusophone Human Rights Defenders Nework
  • Adoption of recommendations and resolutions to be forwarded to the African Commission for its consideration during the 69th Ordinary Session
  • Report of the NGOs Forum

Visa:

Accommodation:

REGISTRATION FREE

PANEL FEES

Administrative Fees for side events:

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 organization 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 further informations or clarifications, contact: