African Commission On Human Rights Ends Meeting In Gambia

Experts at the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR), which ended Thursday in Banjul, the Gambian capital, have said that the Commission's greatest handicap was its inability to perform its mandate of protecting human rights in Africa.

Reine Alapini-Gansou, Chairperson of the Commission, stated that at the Banjul session, participants adopted new rules which seek to enhance human rights services in such a way that they would complement the activities of the African Court on Human and People's Rights.

These activities, Alapini-Gansou said could transform Africa into a continent where peace, justice and democracy would triumph.

She said that efforts were being made to ensure that all Africans gained access to both the ACHPR and the Human Rights court with a view to being able to challenge human rights cases involving them.

Commissioner Alapini-Gansou reminded State Parties to the charter, setting up the Commission, of their responsibility in sensitizing their citizens on the need to take advantage of the Commission and the court in settling their cases.

She stressed the need to protect women and girls against human trafficking and sexual exploitation during and after the FIFA World Cup taking place next month in South Africa.

Speaking earlier at the closing session, the Gambian Solicitor-General, Awa Bah, described the Charter setting up the Commission as "Our manifesto to hoist a better developed Africa".

"Africa is blessed with diverse ecology and abundant wealth, but the wealth of our natural resources is yet to benefit the African. The proceeds from our natural resources are in most cases beneficial to international companies, rebels and corrupt governments, thereby impoverishing Africans," she lamented.

According to her, the 1998 Maastricht Guidelines against the Violation of Economic Social and Cultural Rights have challenged National Human Rights Commissions to advocate the promotion of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and address as v igorously as possible the violations of civil and political rights.

Tags: Gambia  human rights  Africa  ACHPR  

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