The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 73rd Ordinary Session, held in Banjul, The Gambia from 20 October to 9 November 2022 adopted Resolution ACHPR/Res.533 (LXXIII) 2022 on the Renewal of Mandate and Reconstitution of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities in Africa.[ https://achpr.au.int/index.php/en/adopted-resolutions/533-resolution-re…. ] By this Resolution, the Commission, inter alia, appointed two Commissioner-Members, renewed the mandate of one Commissioner and appointed three Expert Members from the Regions of West, Central and Eastern Africa respectively.[ https://achpr.au.int/index.php/en/adopted-resolutions/533-resolution-re…. ]
By the same Resolution, the Commission requested the re-advertisement of the call for the application of expert membership of the Working Group, in order to fulfil the maximum membership threshold stipulated by Sections 6 and 7 of the Standard Operating Procedures on the Special Mechanisms of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (SOPs).
Accordingly, the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities in Africa wishes to extend its call for Applications for the Appointment of Expert Members from the Sub-Regions of North and Southern Africa, in view of attaining, a regional balance in its membership.
The Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities in Africa (as it is now known) was established by the Commission’s Resolution ACHPR/Res. 51(XXVIII)00, adopted at its 28th Ordinary Session held in Cotonou, Benin, from 23rd October to 6th November 2000.
The Working Group is required to be composed of five Experts representing the five sub-regions of the continent, taking into account the imperatives of linguistic and gender representation. Its mandate is as follows:
- Examine the concept of indigenous people and communities in Africa;
- Study the implications of the African Charter on Human Rights and well-being of indigenous communities especially regarding the rights to equality (Articles 2 & 3), dignity (Article 5), protection against domination (Article 19), self-determination (Article 20) and the promotion of cultural development and identity (Article 22);
- Consider appropriate recommendations for the monitoring and protection of the rights of indigenous communities;
- Gather information from all relevant sources (including governments, civil society, indigenous populations, and their communities) on violations of human rights;
- Produce a detailed report on its activities to the African Commission at each Ordinary Session.
The Working Group's mandate also includes promotion missions to States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Charter), organization of seminars and training sessions, publication of reports and research findings, sending urgent appeals to States Parties to the African Charter and active participation in regional and international meetings on the Rights of Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities in Africa.
In accordance with: its above-stated mandate; the SOPs; Resolution ACHPR/Res. 455(LXVI) 2020 on the Renewal of the Mandate, Appointment of the chairperson, Reconstitution and Expansion of Mandate of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa, under which the mandate of the previous members expired on 1 July 2022, as well as Resolution ACHPR/Res. 523 (LXXII) 2022 by which the Expert Membership was extended to 2 November 2022, and the above ACHPR/Res.533 (LXXIII) 2022 on the Renewal of the Mandate and Reconstitution of the Working Group, the Working Group hereby re-invites interested persons from the North and Southern sub-regions of Africa to submit their applications for consideration to serve as independent Expert Members.
Candidates must be nationals of the Member States of the African Union (AU) from North and Southern Africa, and must have proven experience and expertise in the field of human rights, in particular on issues relating to the rights of Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities. The term of office of the members of the Working Group shall be for the remainder of the two (2) years from the date of appointment of the current members.
The ideal candidates are required to, inter alia:
- Have experience and expertise on issues related to on issues relating to the Rights of Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities in Africa;
- Have proven advocacy and written skills;
- Be available to work for at least 5 hours per week;
- Be able to travel in discharging the Working Group’s mandate such as in country research and information missions, annual meetings, and representing the Working Group in activities related to its mandate;
- Speak English, French, Arabic or Portuguese, the AU working languages (fluency in at least two being an asset).
Applications from suitable candidates should be sent to the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. Due to financial constraints at the Commission, this is a pro bono position and there will be no financial compensation for selected members, although the costs related to authorized work would be covered in line with AU financial rules. Applications should be received no later than 27 March 2023, as the Commission intends to appoint the new members during its 75th Ordinary Session in 2023.
Applications should be accompanied by a cover letter and curriculum vitae, and should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and OkoloiseC@africa-union.org or by post to the address below:
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
31 Bijilo Annex Layout,
Kombo North District, Western Region
P. O. Box 673 Banjul