By Catherine Ageno
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights today embarks on a three-day sensitization mission to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
The mission is led by the President of the Court Hon Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud and some Registry staff.
In a statement, President Aboud says the mission is to encourage Mauritania to deposit the Declaration to allow individuals to access the Court directly.
“The success of the Court as a human rights protection mechanism requires a wider ratification of the Protocol by the Member States, as well as their acceptance of the competence of the Court, by making the declaration under Article 34(6)”, she stressed.
She says this universal ratification will give the Court the legitimacy it needs to effectively discharge its mandate.
Mauritania acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on 14 December 2005 but is yet to deposit the Declaration under Article 34(6).
The States that have deposited the Declaration so far are Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mali, Niger, and Tunisia.
According to the Court’s Registrar, Dr. Robert Eno, the main objective of the sensitization visits is to enhance the protection of human rights in Africa.
He says specific objectives include raising awareness about the Court; encouraging the ratification of the Protocol and deposit of the Declaration that allows individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court; sensitizing would-be applicants on how to access the Court and the procedures before the Court; encouraging the public to utilize the Court in settling human rights disputes and encouraging the utilization of the Court for advisory opinions.