The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is undertaking a sensitization visit to the Republic of Senegal from 5 to 7 September 2012. The aim of the visit is to raise public awareness and support from the Senegalese authorities to help the African Court achieve its mandate.
The African Court’s delegation visiting Senegal is led by Honorable Justice Gérard NIYUNGEKO, President of the Court, and also comprises Judges of the Court, Modibo Tounty GUINDO and El Hadji GUISSE, as well as other members of staff of the Court’s Registry.
During the visit, the Court’s delegation expects to meet and hold discussions with a number of personalities involved in human rights issues in Senegal, in particular Government officials notably the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, the Speaker of the Parliament and the President of the Senate.
The delegation will also make a courtesy call on the President of the Constitutional Court, the President of the Supreme Court, the Head of the National Committee of Human Rights, the Ombudsman of the Republic, and any other institution/organization that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may deem necessary to ensure the success of the visit.
In addition, the Court, in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the Senegalese Bar Association, will organize a sensitization seminar for Human Rights Organizations on 6 September 2012 in Dakar under auspices of HE Macky Sall. The seminar will be attended by participants from the Government, the Judiciary, the Senegalese Civil Society and other stakeholders in the field of human rights in Senegal.
The seminar will be opened by a high ranking personality from the Government of Senegal representing the Head of State. The President of the Senegalese Bar Association will deliver a speech on behalf of the Civil Society. The President of the African Court, Honorable Justice Gérard Niyungeko, will make a presentation on the African Court and other members of the delegation will provide any supplementary information. They will also hold discussions with the participants on their respective role in ensuring an effective protection of human rights in Africa.
The paramount objective of the Court’s visit to Senegal is to enhance human rights protection in the country and hold discussions with Senegalese High ranking political authorities in a bid to persuade the Government to make the Declaration allowing Senegalese individuals and NGOs to bring their cases directly before the African Court. Without such a declaration, the Court would have no jurisdiction over cases brought by individuals and NGOs from the country. The second objective is to sensitize public about the Court, its functions and procedure before it as well as raise awareness about the Court and its role in ensuring the protection of human rights in Africa.
Senegal is the twelfth (12th) country to be visited by the Court within the framework of its promotional activities. Countries in which the Court has already held such sensitization activities include Tanzania, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Mali, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana, Gabon, South Africa, Nigeria and Burundi. The sensitization programme proved to be effective since, in most cases, visited countries subsequently made the special declaration allowing their citizens and NGOs to directly bring cases before the African Court. Similar visits are planned to take place in other several countries on the continent.