I present this report pursuant to Rules 23(3) and 72 of the present Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
This report sets out the activities undertaken by myself in my capacity as a member of the Commission and Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa. The report covers the period between the 48th Ordinary Session held from 10 - 24 November 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia and the 49th Ordinary Session.
Activities carried out in my capacity as Member of the African Commission
From the 29 November to 1 December 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya
At the invitation of IPAS Africa Alliance, and in collaboration with Commissioner Soyata Maiga: the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, I attended a 3 day retreat organized for Commissioners and the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. The theme of the retreat was “Abortion and Reducing Maternal Mortality in Africa-A Human Rights Approach”.
The objectives of the retreat were as follows:
- To share with ACHPR Commissioners and staff information on the magnitude and consequences of women’s lack of access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including safe abortion services, and the impact of this on maternal mortality and morbidity in the Africa.
- To examine shared understandings of how unsafe abortion and its consequences are tantamount to a violations of women’s human rights
- To review individual countries’ status vis a vis the provisions of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, particularly with regard to Article 14 (2) (c), and
- Find ways of monitoring African Member States’ compliance with the Protocol and the Maputo Plan of Action.
During the workshop we were trained on different topics such as: The Status of Abortion Laws in African Countries and their implications for Health; Impact of Evidence Based research for Policy; Unsafe abortion, what constitutes violations of women’s rights; Understanding and using tools effectively to protect women’s rights; Access to Safe Abortion in particular the Significance of the AU Protocol from Ratification to Implementation of the AU Protocol and also on holding Governments Accountable, review of abortion in UN human rights bodies, Monitoring of State Compliance with the Protocol and Maputo Plan of Action, Member States’ periodic reports to the African Commission and the mechanism of shadow reports, Working with AU Special Rapporteur on Women, advocacy Opportunities and Angles, possibilities of linking international human rights treaties (e.g., CEDAW, CCPR, CESCR, CRC and CAT) with the Protocol and the work of Special Rapporteurs, and the African Court, The possibilities it provides. In the process we also heard testimonies from physicians who have treated complications and what they felt needs to be done.
From the 23 February to 3rd March 2011 in Banjul
I participated at the 9th Extraordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.