Assessment of the human rights situation in Africa
Even if some countries are doing well, especially with migration, with women’s rights, when it comes to freedom of assembly and association and freedom of speech, it is difficult, it is alarming. There is a destruction in some countries, destruction of the voices of human rights defenders. Journalists and bloggers are targeted every day. So there is a lot to do with these issues. We also have a recommendation for the African Commission: that it is the duty of the African Commission to support NGOs to participate in the African Commission, especially the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the African Court, and the committee of experts on the welfare of children.
In North Africa, all of the countries have ratified the international convention, but when it comes to implementation, it fades away, it doesn’t exist
To support them in terms of building their capacity, because we have good papers on human rights in Africa, but the implementation is not. As I said, in North Africa, all of the countries have ratified the international convention, but when it comes to implementation, it fades away, it doesn’t exist. So that’s the role of civil society in North Africa, to push, to realize this implementation.
Ensuring the independence of the African Commission
In my last participation in the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Sharm el Sheikh, I gave a statement before the Afican Commission, and one of our recommendations was that we should ensure independence. We fear that there is interference by some stakeholders in this mechanism and we don’t know what’s the reason behind it. They want to be weak and to interfere in its work and this is not good.
We should advocate as NGOs, we should litigate regionally and internationally, that we should support the independence of the African Commission
So we should advocate as NGOs, we should litigate regionally and internationally, that we should support the independence of the African Commission. We fear that in the future it will be just like any system which is not working. So we advocate for that. And also we know that there is an article in the reform of the African Union (10.5) which says that there should be a reform in the Africa Commission and we are against it. And we shall advocate that the commission should be always independent.
If we have any recommendation, civil society should be supported in Africa. Civil society should know that they have a very good regional system, which is the African system. And we should build their capacity to know that we have the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, we have a good African Court, and a very good committee.
Civil society should be supported in Africa
We should bring their attention that there is a prominent system in Africa. We should also guarantee the independence of the African Commission. Also NGOs should play a very good role in terms of protecting human rights, especially in Africa.
Najim Molesun is the Executive Director of the Network of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in North Africa. He is also a member of the steering committee of the NGO Forum of North Africa.