HUMAN RIGHTS NGO FORUM SCHEDULED FOR END OCTOBER In advance of the 57th ordinary African Commission session

Civil society organizations from Africa and beyond will convene at

Kairaba Beach hotel in Banjul The Gambia to participate in the Forum

on the Participation of NGOs preceding the 57th Ordinary Session of

the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).

The participants at the Forum will discuss the current human rights

and democracy challenges in Africa as well as review corresponding

strategies to address the identified challenges .

The Forum which is organized and hosted by the African Centre for

Democracy and Human Rights Studies (African Centre) – the

Secretariat of the NGOs Forum and the Forum Steering

Committee, in collaboration with the African Commission on

Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) will be held

from 31st October-2nd November, 2015 in Banjul, The Gambia. It

will be officially opened by Mr. Gaye Sowe, Executive Director of the

Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and closed by

Mr. Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer of the Pan Africa Lawyers

Union (PALU). Other speakers to address the Forum during the

opening ceremony will include The Chairperson of the African

Commission, H.E. Sylvie Kayitesi, as well as the NGO Forum Steering

Committee Members.

According to the African Centre Press Release, the Forum provides an important platform for stakeholders to address challenges; exchange views and explore practical approaches and experiences with the objective of fostering cooperation among and between NGOs as well as with the African Commission and of

course, States and other stakeholders in promoting and protecting

human rights in Africa.

It will discuss reports assessing the human rights situation in Africa,

particularly in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Sierra Leone, whose

State reports will be reviewed by the African Commission at the 57th

session in fulfillment of Article 62 of the African Charter on Human

and Peoples’ Rights.

Resource Persons and Facilitators during the Forum will be Experts in the

field of human rights and democracy, primarily from the African continent,

who will be facilitating a series of presentations and or panel discussion

amongst others including: 2016 African Year of Human Rights with Focus on the Rights of Women, Electoral Process in Africa, Challenges and opportunities of accessing sub-regional and continental courts in Africa, Protective Mandate of the African Commission, Addressing Laws Restricting Civil Society Space in Africa, Declassification and Decriminalization of Petty Offences.

The press release further states that the 31st African Human Rights Book Fair will run concurrently with the Forum, with the objective of giving human rights NGOs the opportunity to share their publications, working tools and other materials with other NGOs, and to promote networking on the continent and beyond.

At the end of the three-day deliberations, recommendations emanating from

the sessions will be forwarded to the African Commission for its consideration

during the 57th Ordinary Session, which is also scheduled to take place at the

same venue from 4th – 18th November, 2015.