1- Pursuant to Article 72 of the Rules of Procedure, and by virtue of the mandate assigned to me in my capacity as Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, the present Report gives an account of the promotional activities I carried out since the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission held in Banjul in May 2010.
2- It consists of three parts: first, the activities carried out in my capacity as member of the African Commission; secondly in my capacity as member of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities and, thirdly as Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa.
I – Activities carried out as Member of the African Commission
3- From 7 June to 11 June 2010, Dakar, Republic of Senegal, I took part in a seminar organised by the ACHPR on the communications/complaints mechanism. The aim of the seminar was to inform representatives from member States and NGO on the communications/complaints procedure. The process followed by the ACHPR after it receives a communication; the adoption and the completion of a decision; the Revised Internal Rules of Procedure and their consequences on the work of the ACHPR; and, the strategies for a more efficient and accessible communications/complaints procedure were among the topics covered by the seminar.
4- On 1 and 2 July, 2010, in Rabat, Morocco, I participated in a meeting organised by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The objective was to discuss the importance of building an international consensus on a just and viable solution of the question of Jerusalem and the role of African States and other actors in that regard. I delivered a presentation on “The Role of Non-State Actors, including Parliamentarians and African Civil Society” in the context of which we discussed different initiatives from the African Union and the African civil society in support of the Palestinian cause. With the aim of finding a just and viable solution to the conflict, the meeting also analysed the roles that regional, national, and local organisations could play.
5- On 19 August 2010, in Bamako, Mali, I participated in a workshop on the validation of the 2010-2014 strategic plan of the National Human Rights Commission of Mali.
6- On 2 October 2010, in Pretoria, South Africa, I participated together with Chairperson and the Vice-Chair of the ACHPR, in a meeting organized by the Human Rights Development initiative (HRDI) with the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and those at risk, vulnerable to and affected by HIV and other actors. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the mandate, the limits, and opportunities of the newly established Working Group of the AHCPR as well as the structures and mechanisms that could support the work of the Working Group. In addition the goal of the meeting was to explore various avenues for collaboration between the Working Group, NGO and the HRDI. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to meet and discuss with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr. Anand Grover.
7- From 4 to 6 October 2010, in Arusha, Tanzania, I participated in the Colloquium organised by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in partnership with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and with the support of the German agency for technical cooperation (GTZ) and the European Union, organized a colloquium for continental and sub-regional human rights institutions mandated with the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. The goal of the colloquium was to initiate a judicial dialogue between such institutions, in order to reinforce the means and ways through which cooperation and coordination can be ensured (notably through the exchange of information and expertise) between judicial, quasi-judicial, continental and sub-regional organisations mandated with the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. In addition to the African Court, the ACHPR, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, high-ranking delegates from the Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Court of Justice and the Tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) attended the colloquium. The East African Community Chief Justices Forum was also represented. I delivered a presentation on the theme “Legal Aid/Assistance – Considered as a Human Right by the African Charter ”.
8- After three days of constructive discussions, participants agreed on the following:
- Participants reiterated their commitment to the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights guaranteed by the African Charter and other regional and international human rights conventions;
- They recognized the importance of including national judicial institutions in the dialogue on the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the continent;
- They committed to sharing information on decisions which could be used by others in the context of their work in order to develop a rich African jurisprudence on human rights as well as a coherent approach;
- They highlighted the necessity of putting into place adequate and viable legal assistance systems at all levels;
- They committed to working together to reinforce the execution of their decisions and to sharing information on good practices in this area; and
- They agreed to institutionalise the colloquium and hold it every two years.