Special Rapporteur on Rights of Women in Africa - 45OS


1. From 1st to 5th December, 2008, I carried out a human rights promotional mission in Congo, at the invitation of the Congolese Government, in my capacity as Commissioner responsible for the country. During the visit, I had discussions with representatives of Government and Institutions such as the Senate, National Assembly, the Office of the Ombudsman, The Bar, National Human Rights Commission, Civil Society organisations and Women’s Associations on the general human rights situation in the country and in particular on the status of implementation of the rights enshrined in the African Charter and other relevant and duly ratified African human rights legal instruments

2. I presented a paper to students at the Marien N’Gouabi University on the theme: The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: “Present Situation and Prospects” in  commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

3. The recommendations made at the end of the visit are yet to be adopted by the African Commission before being made public. However at the end of the mission, a brief overview was given to the Prime Minister at his request, assisted by his colleagues and members of the Government. Our discussions were open and frank and centred on the numerous challenges that need to be addressed for the full enjoyment by the people of the Congo of the rights enshrined in their national legislation and in the African Charter and other related instruments.

4. On 10th December, 2008, I served on the Special Panel of the ‘Espace d’Interpellation Démocratique’ (Democratic Forum) in Mali. This public forum is organised on the 10th of December of every year and offers the opportunity to all Malian citizens who feel they have a legitimate reason to bring to question Members of the Government from the various Ministerial Departments on cases of human rights violations. This exercise which is peculiar to Mali helps to address the concerns of the citizens in the areas of good governance: problems relating to land management and bottlenecks in justice delivery within the public service.

5. On 22nd December 2008, I spoke, at the request of the Management of the National Law Institute of Mali, at a Conference on the theme: ‘The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Vision, Practice and Jurisprudence’.

6. The objective in the short term was to incorporate into the curricula for Magistrates interactive and documented conferences on the regional and international Conventions and the African Human and Peoples’ Rights system.

7. On 28th December 2008, I moderated a Conference on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights attended by NGOs and students in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights organised by the Ministry of Justice, in Mali.

8. A number of dignitaries and representatives of the State apparatus and organs of the United Nations with a human rights mandate participated in this Conference. Participants were particularly interested in the procedure governing individual communications before the African Commission and relations between the African Commission and the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.

9. On 17th March 2009, I participated in a one-day discussion and experience sharing forum with the members of the National Human Rights Commission of Mali (NHRC), and the Pivot group/Rights and Citizenship of Women, a coalition of Women’s NGOs involved in the protection of the rights of women, on the country’s proposed Gender Equality Policy.

10. The project was formulated and pioneered by the Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Affairs and aims to promote greater involvement of Malian womenfolk in the formulation and  implementation of all public policies, guarantee them both greater access to appointments and elective positions including their economic wellbeing.

11. This forum was intended to involve the NHRC, as a key stakeholder, in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of every policy relating to the promotion of human rights and to collect its amendments and contributions to the vision, the guiding principles and orientations of the project and map out its areas of intervention.

12. From March 30 - 3rd April, 2009, I participated in the Extraordinary Session of the African Commission, in Banjul, to consider promotion mission reports and pending communications/complaints.