In a move meant to build stronger human rights protection mechanisms in Africa, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) is pushing for establishment of a Legal Aid Fund.
This is top on the agenda of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Arusha-based African Court and the Banjul-based African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) that is underway in Arusha, Tanzania.
Also to be discussed is the progress on the creation of the Pan African Human Rights Institute and 2016 celebrations to mark the African Year of Human Rights.
According to the President of the African Court, Hon. Justice Sylvain Oré, the four-day meeting that opened on 19 September 2016 also serves to cement the relationship of cooperation based on complementarity between the two institutions.
The fourth joint meeting was held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in July, 2015.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is a continental court established by African countries to ensure protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa and it complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The Court was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was adopted by Member States of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998.
The Protocol came into force on 25 January 2004 after it was ratified by more than 15 countries including Uganda. Uganda is however yet to make the declaration that allows citizens and NGOs to present cases of human rights violation to the Court.
Story By Catherine Ageno