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Africa's Human Rights Record Remains Poor

Nov 26, 2009, 11:52 AM | Article By: Abba A.S. Gibba

The delegates at the 46th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People's Right held in Banjul from 11-25 November 2009 have observed that despite some progress made in the past, the overall human rights record in Africa is still poor.

They noted with regret that many African countries continued to violate the rights of their own people.

According to the delegates, the deteriorating human rights situation in many African countries has negatively impacted on the life of women and children.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the 46th Ordinary Session, delegates highlighted that climate change is another disturbing threat to the enjoyment of human rights on the continent

Among the resolutions adopted by the Commission are the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on prisons and places of detention in Africa, resolutions on the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on refugees, asylum seekers, internally-displaced persons and migrants in Africa.

It also adopted a resolution on the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders in Africa, appointment of the Chairperson of the working group on older persons, Resolution on Climate Change and Human Rights and the need to study its impacts in Africa, Resolution on the Impact of Global Financial Crisis on the Enjoyment of Social and Economic Rights in Africa and MOU between the Community Law Centre of the University of Western Cape, South Africa and the African Commission.

The Commission has decided to hold its 47th Ordinary Session from 12 to 26 May 2010 in Tunis, the Republic of Tunia.

It has also adopted its 27th Activity Report, which will be submitted at the 16th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union and 15th Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union, scheduled to take place in January 2010, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This year's session was attended by sixty-seven delegates, representing twenty-one states parties, seven National Human Rights Institutions, eight International and Inter-Governmental Organisations and forty-one African and International NGOs. Altogether 286 delegates had participated in the session.

The Commission often holds two Ordinary Sessions in a year: May and November. The sessions are always occasions for state parties, Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) to interact and look at the overall human rights situation on the continent.

The Commission has this time around elected Commissioner Reine Alapini-Gansou from Togo as its new Chairperson.