In newly published report, ISHR and four partner organisations assess China's lack of implementation of human rights commitments from its 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The report details the government's diverse strategies to silence and repress human rights defenders, lawyers, and journalists.
On 18 November 2021 the African Commission held a panel on the situation of African defenders in exile on the continent. The panel was moderated by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and benefited from input from a range of panellists. One of the main objectives of the panel was to present the draft report in order to gather contributions from various stakeholders.
“Perceived as troublemaker and being against the development of their countries, for defenders exile often presents itself as the only option to remain safe” said Remy Ngoy Lumbu, Chairperson of the African Commission and Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders.
While presenting the draft report, Arnold Tsunga, Director of National Democratic Institute Zimbabwe highlighted the resilience of defenders and the economic, political and psychological challenges they face in exile. He also shared some thoughts to reflect on a comprehensive protection mechanism for defenders in exile. The report analyses and shares findings on the followings:
- The threats faced by defenders forcing them to exile;
- Reports from defenders that exile doesn’t silenced them, they continue their work from afar;
- Exile doesn’t mean more or guaranteed security;
- While the AU imposes a duty of integration of people in exile, exiled defenders often face greater economic and political challenges in the host country;
- Deep impact on the mental health of defenders and their family members.
Honourable Commissioner Maya Fadel, Vice Chairperson and Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa ended by emphasising that defenders need to be linked to the existing categories of refugees and exiles to ensure they are taken cared of by the host country.
The study will soon be published on the website of the African Commission once all contributions collected during the panel are incorporated in the document.
During each ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘The African Commission’), Commissioners present their activity reports which provides an overview of the work done in between two sessions. On 23 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and Focal point on reprisals presented his report.
On the last day of the NGO Forum, a panel was organised to officially launch the newly established Lusophone Platform for Human Rights in Africa.
In compliance with Article 62 of the African Charter, States have the obligation to report every two years on the legislative, administrative and political measures taken with a view to give effect to human rights guaranteed by the Charter. Despite the challenges of conducting the sessions online, it doesn't prevent the African Commission from holding States accountable to their human rights obligations.
The passage of a human rights defender resolution by the Third Committee of the GA by consensus, with 85 co-sponsors, is another important step in ongoing work to strengthen the promotion and protection of those who defend rights.
During its 76th session and in a move welcomed by civil-society, the Third Committee of the GA adopted by consensus a resolution recognising the rights of all people to participate in elections and public affairs, without discrimination, including on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Civil society calls for an end to attacks against Sudanese women protestors and WHRDs following the military coup.
On 16 November, ISHR delivered a statement on the situation of human rights in Africa, with a particular focus on the criminalisation and arrest of women defenders in Sudan, of LGBTI defenders in Namibia and the progress made on legislative protection of defenders in Benin and Mali.
As we celebrate 40 years since the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which established the African Commission, the NGO Forum seized the opportunity to analyse the engagement of civil society with the Commission the past 40 years.
ISHR joins 15 NGOs in calling on Egypt to immediately communicate to Salah Soltan’s relatives his whereabouts, and release him from detention.
Sudanese human rights defender Abdulaziz Adam addresses the HRC to draw attention to the human right situation in Sudan.
Following a rise in the use of platforms to dehumanise persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and foster intolerance, the UN Independent Expert presents two reports from complementary angles.