ACHR discussion

REDRESS joins NGOs and litigants for African Commission session

REDRESS will attend the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which will take place from 25 April to the 9 May in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and will also participate in the NGO Forum preceding the session.

The African Commission is Africa’s principal human rights mechanism and monitors implementation of the rights set out in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

REDRESS currently has 17 cases pending before the African Commission and will follow up on a number cases, including  the case that REDRESS filed last year against Chad of behalf of victims of former dictator Habré.

On 22 April, REDRESS will participate in a side event in the margins of the NGO Forum on “Enforced disappearances: the fight for truth and justice”.

The event has been organised by REDRESS together with the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, Collectif des Famillles de disparus en Algérie, Lawyers for Justice in Libya and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

The panel will examine the issue of enforced disappearances in Africa, in particular, in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Libya and Algeria.

While frequently resorted to in colonial times, enforced disappearances in Africa continue to be practised today in a range of contexts, including during conflict in Zimbabwe, Algeria, Kenya and Sudan.

Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, enforced disappearances have also become part of the arsenal of several countries’ counter-terrorism operations, for instance, in Kenya and Ethiopia.

In other countries in Africa, enforced disappearances are closely linked to migration. They are also used as a method to suppress political opposition (for example, in Zimbabwe) or of policing (such as in Kenya) or as a tool to discriminate against marginalised people and to silence human rights defenders.

The organisations are hoping that the side event will help bring this issue to the attention of NGO Forum participants and gather input on what the Commission should be doing on the matter.

On 24 April, REDRESS will also be holding a discussion on provisional measures in African Commission communications.

Provisional measures are a crucial element of the African Commission communications procedure, allowing it to respond swiftly to the most urgent human rights problems.  However, issues remain with the mechanism, particular with respect to the implementation of provisional measures.

Participants will assess the current provisional measures mechanism and identify opportunities for improvement.

For more information about REDRESS’ participation in the African Commission’s session, please contact REDRESS’ Head of Law and Policy Juergen Schurr on juergen@redress.org.