STRENGTHENING THE AFRICAN SYSTEM FOR THE PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS
HURISA obtained observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on 25 April 2001 which was held in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Since then HURISA’s advocacy activities to strengthen the protection and promotion of the African human rights system includes:
capacity building on and supporting joint advocacy of the African human rights system;
supporting greater participation of South African NGOs in the activities of the African Commission; and
advocating for a strengthened African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
HURISA conducts training workshops on the African System for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in South Africa. NGOs, Community-based organisations, as well as departments of government and governmental institutions attend these training workshops. Participants use the knowledge they gained to promote the African system in their respective working environment. Organisations are encouraged and assisted to apply for observer status with the African Commission.
Presentations are made to the South African departments of Foreign Affairs, and Justice and Constitutional Development, on the government’s stance on refugees, indigenous peoples, human rights atrocities in Zimbabwe, Durfur – Sudan, and Swaziland. Other issues include the nominations of independent, impartial Commissioners of the African Commission, and the timeous submission of the South African government’s periodical reports to the African Commission.
HURISA organises preparatory meetings for South African NGOs interested in engaging with the Commission. Several NGOs as well as government departments and Chapter Nine Institutions attend these meetings. Presentations are made on new developments at the Commission, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the relationship between national institutions and the African Commission, and the South African government’s obligations to the Commission.
HURISA organises financial support and lead a South African NGO delegation to the NGO Forum meetings that precedes the Commission’s sessions. The delegation also attend the open sessions of the Commission. A report back meeting takes place after each session of the Commission.
A substantial part of HURISA’s annual African Human Rights Camp focus on the African system for the protection and promotion of human rights.
COALITION FOR AN EFFECTIVE AFRICAN COURT ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS
The Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights was created in May 2003 to advocate for a credible, effective and independent African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights through:
promoting full ratification by all African States of the Protocol Establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
promoting acceptance of the right of individual access to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights by encouraging States’ Parties to make the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol;
ensuring a transparent process for the nomination and election of judges of the highest repute and competence to the Bench of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
ensuring a fair representation of the legal systems of Africa and of gender balance in the nomination and election of judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
ensuring the full and meaningful participation of African civil society in the establishment and sustainability of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
providing technical support to entities seeking to use the Court to protect human rights in Africa.
HURISA hosts the secretariat for the Coalition, and is engaged in joint advocacy strategies with many African and international organisations.