The African Union Human Rights Organs namely the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), and the African Court on Human and People’s Rights (AfCHPR) are holding a retreat of legal officers of the three organs from 26-28 January, in Maputo, Republic of Mozambique, to brainstorm and exchange views on pertinent and substantive issues of common interests.
In her statement during the opening session, the President of the AfCHPR, Honourable Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, reiterated the urgent need for synergized efforts between the three organs, especially during this crucial era of the African Union reform, she urged the organs to unite on complementarity or face the risk of perishing on dysfunctionality. She stated that promotional complementarity coming from the ACHPR and the ACERWC will inevitably impact the protective complementarity stated under Article 2 of the Protocol establishing the Court.
Honourable Commissioner Remy Ngoy Lumbu, Chairperson of the ACHPR, expressed his wish that the discussions will ultimately make it possible to refine the working methods for the full realization of the rights guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and other relevant regional and international human rights instruments. He hoped that the rich presentations during the retreat will result in formulating concrete propositions that will enable the three organs to fulfil Aspiration 3 of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union which envisages “an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law” in the Africa We Want.
On behalf of the Chairperson of the ACERWC, Honourable Joseph Ndayisenga, Mrs Catherine Wanjiru Maina, affirmed the ACERWC’s commitment to strengthen its collaboration with its sister organs as stated under Rule 82(2) of the ACERWC’s Revised Rules of Procedures, which provides that the ACERWC should establish collaboration mechanisms with the ACHPR and the AfCHPR on common matters of interests.
The retreat was opened by the Honourable Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Mozambique, Honourable Helena Mateus Kida, who in her opening statement stressed the importance for the three Human Rights organs to establish mechanisms for quick consultations on judicial matters. She highlighted the crucial role a synergised collaboration between the organs will have on the consolidation of a culture of the rule of law, good governance and human rights on the continent.
This joint retreat which is the first of its kind, provides for a platform to highlight the functioning, success areas and challenges faced by the technical bodies of these three organs, as well as propose practical solutions to enhance the complementarity functions among these institutions.
The retreat is expected to provide a framework for coordination among the three organs, and the adoption of a staff exchange programme to further strengthen the collaboration between the organs in order to strengthen the exchange of best practices, ideas and skills in the implementation of their respective mandates.