Africa Human Rights Day Media Invitation
Africa Human Rights Day is celebrated in Africa for entering into force of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (African Charter), on 21 October 1985. This is the apex regional human rights mechanism ratified by the African Union Member States, including South Africa. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the inauguration of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (African Commission) established to promote and protect human and people’s rights, including interpretation of the African Charter. The African Union has also declared 2017 as a year for ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth’. Although the African Charter and African Commission have been in existence for over 30 years, is it only known by very few civil society organisations, including NGOs, Human Rights Defenders and National Human Rights Institutions. This is due to the lack of publicity and promotion despite the explicit provisions of the Charter placing a duty on States to popularise at national level through education, awareness raising, research and seminars.
The seat of the African Commission is based in Banjul, The Gambia and is currently chaired by Advocate Pansy Tlakula whose term at this AU organ ends in November 2017, including holding a Mandate as the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. The African Commission is holding its 61st Ordinary Session from 2 � 15 November 2017, in Banjul, The Gambia. As per tradition, this Session will be preceded by the NGO Forum from 28-30 October 2017.
The purpose of the event is to:
Strengthen the African human rights system � by marking Africa Human Rights Day in South Africa
Increase education about the African system of human rights in South Africa to CSOs, NGOs, National Institutions and Government officials
To assess the impact of the regional mechanism in South Africa and find ways of improving respect, promotion and protection of human rights in South Africa and beyond.
Source: Government of South Africa