Civic bodies should push for ratification of African Court

Non-Governmental Organisations should intensify their efforts in lobbying respective governments to ratify the protocol establishing the African Human Rights Courts as only 26 of the 54-member African Union have ratified it.

In a key note address to the Forum on the Participation of NGO’s (NGO Forum) at the 50th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Amnesty International said only five countries Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Tanzania subscribed to the declaration under Article 34(6) of the protocol which allows individuals and NGO’s direct access to the Court.

The address was delivered on behalf of Dr Kolawole Olaniyan the Legal Adviser, International Secretariat of Amnesty International, during the NGO Forum which opened in Banjul, The Gambia on 19-21 October 2011.

“…..As a competent judicial body, the court has the capacity to address the many human rights instruments promulgated in Africa without identified judicial mechanisms. It will offer individual victims of human rights violations a regional forum for the adjudication of their claims, and the right to an effective remedy,” said Olaniyan.

Olaniyan said the African Court was capable of transforming the culture of impunity to that of respect for human rights, and restoring confidence in the regional human rights system.

Meanwhile, the Gambian Minister of Justice Dr Edward Antony Gomez who officially opened the NGO Forum impressed on the importance of human rights, saying they are sacred, sacrosanct and inviolable.

The meeting of NGOs which ended on 21 October 2011, reflected and assessed the impact of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

Post published in: Africa News

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