President of the (Moroccan) National Human Rights Council, Mr. Driss El Yazami, handed over the chairmanship of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions to Mr. Lawrence Mushwana, Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, during the General Assembly of the Network, held on October 19th, 2011, Cape Town, South Africa.
The Moroccan NHRI has chaired the African Network since the 7th Conference of the Network, held in Rabat (November 2009). The Council spared no efforts, since then, to strengthen the Network in terms of partnership and international contributions.
Capacity building and exchange of experiences
Chaired by the Moroccan human rights council, the Network strengthened the capacity of its Secretariat to conduct capacity assessments of NANHRI member NHRIs and gap analysis. It organized several regional workshops to strengthen the capacities of the member institutions: the sub-regional workshop for commissioners of East African NHRIs (Uganda, May 2010), the Annual Regional Human Rights Training Workshop for African National Human Rights Institutions (Ghana, May 2011), a workshop on the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Kenya, September 2010), a conference on corruption and human rights (Botswana, March 2011), to name a few.
During the last two years, the Network worked to strengthen the capacities of its members to be in conformity with the Paris Principles. The Network efforts led, for example, to the re-accreditation of the Mauritanian and Ivorian national commissions as “A” status institutions. In addition, it has never ceased encouraging states to create strong national human rights institutions to promote and protect human rights in Africa.
Cooperation and partnership relations
The African Network of National Human Rights Institutions, under CNDH chairmanship, fostered cooperation and partnership relations with regional and international human rights organizations, mainly UN agencies, the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, etc.
The Network organized several workshops to promote cooperation and interaction with regional and international human rights mechanisms. It held, for example, several workshops on the African regional human rights mechanisms (Senegal, September 2010), on the African regional human rights institutions, in conjunction with the UNDP, (Johannesburg, July 2010), etc.
The Network also strengthened its presence at the international level through active participation in the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, the International Coordination Committee of NHRIs and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Under Moroccan chairmanship, the Network of African Human Rights Institutions has made two major achievements. Indeed, upon the initiative of the Moroccan national human rights institution, the Network concluded a partnership agreement with the international Association for the Prevention of Torture. This agreement aims to build the capacities of the African NHRIs and help them play an affective role in the prevention of torture, through a three-year plan of action (2011-2013). The Network has also adopted Yaoundé Declaration on Business and Human Rights. By virtue of this declaration, the Network adopted a three-year plan of action to implement the responsibility, duty and remedy framework developed by the representative of the UN Secretary General in the field of business and human rights.
The (Moroccan) national human rights institution developed an intranet for the members of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions. This project was implemented in line with the Network’s communication strategy.
During the Network’s General Assembly, Ghana was elected vice-president of the Network. It will organize the 9th Conference of NANHRI. It will receive then the chairmanship of the Network from South Africa after two years from now.
The members of the Network’s steering committee, the accreditation committee and the representatives of the Network before the International Coordination Committee of NHRIs (ICC) and the Working Group on Business and Human Rights were elected during this gathering.
The National Human Rights Council is still member of NANHRI steering committee. It was elected as NANHRI representative before the ICC Financial Committee.
The transitional justice experiences in Morocco and South Africa are the two major experiences in the African continent, through their Equity and Reconciliation Commission and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, respectively.Print this page Send this page