The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights concluded its 77th Ordinary Session held in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania from 20 October to 9 November 2023. During the session, the Commission renewed its Bureau. It received solemn declarations from elected and re-elected members and launched several documents and newsletters, among others.
The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) notes the announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, that she will conclude her term in August.
The post of High Commissioner requires a mandate holder who is principled, independent, expert, and deeply committed to human rights.
It requires a mandate holder who can engage in strategic dialogue while also pursuing accountability and combating impunity for violations and abuses of human rights, even those committed by the most powerful states and actors.
It requires support for human rights defenders and solidarity with individuals, groups and minorities subject to various forms of discrimination and oppression.
The UN Secretary General’s process for the appointment of the next High Commissioner should be open, transparent, merit-based and involve meaningful consultation with independent civil society organisations and human rights defenders.’
ISHR will seek to support and critically engage with the work of the next mandate holder in order to ensure their commitment to public diplomacy in favour of advancing human rights worldwide.
In its statement before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ISHR denounced the adoption of restrictive civic space laws and requested the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals (‘the Special Rapporteur’) to release his first reprisals report.
ISHR has joined dozens of national, regional and international NGOs expressing concern at the attempts of the government to restrict the right to protest of Guatemalan human rights defenders.