The Network of African National Human Rights Institutions held its 8th Biennial Conference under the theme “Advancing the Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities: the Role of National Human Rights Institutions”.
The Conference was attended by representatives of national human rights commissions from across Africa who are members of the network as well as eminent jurists, academics and human rights activists. The Court was expected to be represented by a Judge and Senior Legal Officer.
Click to view the concept note and programme.
The Court prepared two presentations on the “ The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its Possible Role in the Protection of the Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities” and “The Role of National Human Rights Institutions in the Promotion of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.” Unfortunately, the first paper could not be presented during the opening ceremony because of ill health of Justice Bernard M Ngoepe.
During the third on the role of NHRIs at domestic, regional and international levels, the presentation by the Court representative on the “Role of NHRIs in the Promotion of the Court” was so well received that the bulk of the plenary discussion centered on the Court’s presentation and other issues relating to the Court which participants requested clarification on. It was clear that there was a low level of awareness about the Court among NHRIs which the presentations and discussion went a long way to alleviate.
Fortuitously, from 16-19 November 2011 the Court is organizing a seminar for NHRIs to further raise their awareness about the Court and to promote it among them with a view to exploring ways and means of working with these institutions to engage governments and civil society in the effective utilization of the Court.