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 Environmental Rights Agreement Coalition called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to develop an environmental rights agreement to increase public participation and protect environmental rights defenders.
On 19 October 2023, in collaboration with KUTAKESA and African Defenders, ISHR held an event on the sidelines of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on restrictive laws affecting human rights defenders in Africa.
On 24 October, ISHR delivered a statement on the situation of human rights in Africa, drawing the attention of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Commission’) to the concerning trend of adopting laws and policies that restrict the rights of defenders in Africa, especially in Angola and Zimbabwe, as well as the need to ensure that existing measures and mechanisms to protect defenders are effective.
On 19 October, with the support of ISHR, the Tanzanian Human Rights Defenders Coalition organised a one day event with defenders from all around the country to reflect on the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders and validate the civil society led draft on the promotion and protection of the rights of defenders in Tanzania.
To strengthen the protection of the environment and those who defend it, ISHR has joined the Environmental Regional Agreement Coalition in calling on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to initiate the development of an environmental rights instrument.
On 23 October, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights gave an update on its cooperation between its institution and national human rights institutions as well as with non-governmental organisations.
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.
During the 77th Ordinary Session, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights granted observer status to nine non-governmental organisations. It rejected five applications. Four of these applications were rejected on the grounds that the organisations did not have offices in Africa.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission, or ACHPR) welcomes comments on the draft study of the Impact of Climate Change on Human Rights in Africa. The study, which was discussed at the Commission’s 77th Ordinary Session, is available on its website. Interested stakeholders should submit their comments by 30 November 2023.