Press release on the promotion mission of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to the Democratic Republic of Congo


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) wishes to inform the public that it will undertake a human rights promotion mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 6 to 12 August 2016, at the invitation of the Government in accordance with Article 45(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter).

The delegation will be led by the Chairperson of the Commission, Honourable Pansy Tlakula, who is also the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. The delegation will include:

-          Honourable Commissioner Soyata Maiga, Vice-Chairperson of the Commission and Chairperson of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa; and

-          Honourable Commissioner Reine Alapini Gansou, Commissioner in charge of monitoring the promotion and protection of human rights in the DRC and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa.

The objectives of the mission are to, among other things, promote the African Charter and all other regional and international legal instruments on human rights; strengthen relations between the Commission and the DRC in the area of promoting and protecting the rights guaranteed by the Charter and other relevant national, regional and international legal instruments; hold discussions with the Government of the DRC on legislative and other measures taken to give full effect to the provisions of the African Charter and the other ratified instruments; share views and experiences with the Government and other human rights stakeholders in the country on strategies to improve the enjoyment of these rights;gather all relevant information on the level of enjoyment of their rights by women, children, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, indigenous populations/communities, older persons, persons with disabilities and other categories of vulnerable persons living in the DRC; identify best practices, affirmative actions and, where appropriate, persistent challenges; assess the level of enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of populations, as well as measures taken by the Government to implement these rights; gather information on the situation of human rights defenders in the DRC and, where necessary, make the various stakeholders to understand the challenges faced in the effective enjoyment of their human rights; share views and gather information on the extractive industries sector and assess the impact of extractive industries on the lives of the population and the environment; gather information on the issue of HIV/AIDS and inquire about the measures and policies introduced by the Government to prevent the pandemic and to protect the rights of people living with HIV and those at risk, vulnerable to, and affected by the disease; meet with all human rights stakeholders to, among others, hold discussions on their programmes, their assessment of the human rights situation in the country and the challenges faced in the conduct of their activities; visit prisons and other detention centres to learn first-hand of detention conditions; and monitor implementation of recommendations made by the mission undertaken in 2011.

The delegation will meet and discuss with key State and non-State actors involved in the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in the DRC. It will hold discussions, in particular, with the Prime Minister, Ministers and other high-ranking technical officials of Ministries, institutions and State agencies with a human rights promotion and/or protection mandate and whose actions have an impact on the effective enjoyment of human rights in the country. The delegation will also interact with civil society organizations and other non-governmental stakeholders involved in the promotion and protection of human rights in the DRC.

At the end of the mission, preliminary findings will be presented to the relevant authorities and the delegation will hold a press conference. A detailed report of the mission will be prepared and tabled before the Commission for consideration at a later session.

For further information, please contact the Secretariat at the following address: