29 January 2018

African Court On Human and Peoples' Rights Organises Sensitisation Seminar to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Photo: Lucas Barasa/The Nation Media Group
African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights President Justice Slyvain Ore (centre) during a training for senior editors and journalists at Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha on September 8, 2016. (file photo).
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The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (AfCHPR) will undertake a sensitisation mission to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from 5 to 7 February, 2018. The sensitisation mission is part of the on-going efforts of the Court to interact with different stakeholders in order to deepen their understanding of the Court's mission and importance and to encourage States to ratify the Protocol establishing the AfCHPR and deposit the declaration under Article 34(6), which allows direct access to the Court by NGOs and individuals.

The main objective of the visit is to encourage SADR, which has already ratified the Protocol, to deposit the declaration required under Article 34(6) of the Protocol.

So far, 30 out of 55 African Union (AU) Member States have ratified the Protocol and only 8 of them have deposited the declaration recognising the competence of the Court to receive cases from NGOs and individuals. These 8 States are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Tunisia.

During the three-day mission, the Court delegation composed of three Judges and Registry Staff, will hold a seminar for human rights stakeholders in the country, and also pay courtesy calls on the SADR President and the Speaker of the National Assembly , among others.

The President of the AfCHPR, Hon Justice Sylvain Oré, has welcomed the SADR's invitation to conduct the sensitisation, adding that it was a step in the right direction.

"For the Court to achieve its objectives and further strengthen African human rights systems, a greater number of countries must ratify the Protocol and make the declaration under Article 34(6)," he stressed.

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