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Director’s update: Human rights at the crossroads

As the year end looms, ISHR executive director Phil Lynch shares reflections on the context in which we operate, the importance of applying a principled, non-discriminatory approach to human rights, and the crucial work of defenders.

DRC adopts national law to protect, promote rights of defenders

The DRC has become the fifth country in Africa and the first in Central Africa to adopt a legal instrument for the promotion and protection of human rights defenders. Though some provisions are contrary to international protection standards, if effectively implemented, this new law should help create an enabling working environment for defenders.

Protection mechanism crucial to implementation of law on defenders in Niger

On 15 June 2022, the National Assembly of Niger passed a law on the rights and duties of human rights defenders. This makes Niger the fourth African country to adopt such a law. However, for the law to produce the desired effects, it must be widely known and understood by all stakeholders. The establishment of an independent and inclusive protection mechanism will ensure the full implementation of the law.

Outcome of the NGO Forum

For the first time since 2019, the NGO Forum ahead of the ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), was held in person in Banjul on 17 and 18 October. This session’s discussions focused on human rights and governance in Africa: a multi-dimensional approach in addressing conflict, crisis and inequality.

Outcomes of the 73rd session of the African Commission

After three years of online sessions, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission) resumed in person sessions. The 73rd session was held from 20 October to 9 November 2022 in Banjul, The Gambia. This session was marked by the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Commission.

ACHPR73: How to protect civic space in Africa?

On 22 October the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), Agir Ensemble pour les Droits Humains (AEDH), Tournons la Page, Synergie Ukingo Wetu (SUWE) and SOS Information Juridique Multi Sectorielle (SOS-IJM) organised a side event on the state of civic space in Africa and how to better protect it.