VP Jallow-Tambajang

(JollofNews)- The curtains closed Wednesday on the 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR) which was held from 1st- 15 November, 2017 at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi, some 12 km away from Banjul. Up to 619 delegates took part in a session that has been punctuated by celebrations marking the 30 years of Africa’s human rights body.

In her closing statement, Gambia’s Vice President Aja Fatoumata Tambajang said ACHPR sessions usually provide a forum for State parties, NGOs and human rights bodies to evaluate the status of
implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its protocols.
“The pertinent human rights issues discussed during the session, the recommendations and observations of the Commission, as well as the contributions of civil society organisations and other human rights
bodies are all meant to steer the affairs of our African continent,” she stated.
The the two-week long forum drew participants from various parts of the world, and provided an opportunity for State parties, NGOs, human rights organisations and activists to reflect on Africa’s human rights situation. An unique opportunity that allows NGOs representatives to give a different perspective about the human rights situation in their respective countries, challenging governments narrative.
VP Tambajang said the number of States reports considered and the constructive dialogue that follow examplify not only the important role played by the Commission on issues affecting African development,
but also reflect the enthusiasm of all stakeholders in ensuring our rights are realised and enjoyed by all without any discrimination.
“As the session marks also the 30th anniversary of the oprationalization of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, we must recognise and celebrate the Commission landmark achievements and milestones in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa,” she emphasized.
In a statement read on her behalf by Commissioner Lawrence Murugu MUTE, ACHPR Chair Soyata Maiga expressed concerns about the persistence of human rights violations in many areas despite the progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights by State parties.
“Civil conflicts persist; acts of terror continue to kill and maim our populations; and Africa’s citizens continue to face poverty, unemployment and worsening good and nutritional insecurity. Our citizens’civil, political, economic, social and indeed peoples’ rights continue to ne violated,’ she deplored.
She acknowledged the fact that these challenges are not new, and made it clear that States have the primary responsibility to mobilize the required efforts to ensure the respect and implementation of the
rights guaranteed by the Charter.
“This cannot be done without political will, which is constantly renewed through concerted and organized actions that have their roots in the progressive domestication of international and human rights instruments, as well as in the domestication and implementation by States of the principles, guidelines, general comments and other recommandations which the Commission has launched over the years,” she
said.