, ARUSHA, Tanzania Dec 12 – The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) will undertake a regional sensitization visit to the Republic of Chad from December 14-16 for the purpose of holding discussions with relevant stakeholders with a view to promoting the Court.
The delegation of the Court will also pay courtesy calls to top Chadian government officials, relevant ministries, Bar Association and the Human Rights Commission.
The seminars will be preceded by a one-day sensitization for senior Chadian Journalists and Editors on 14 December, 2015.
The Mission will be led by the President of the Court Hon Justice Augustino Ramadhani.
Since December 2010, the Court has carried out continent-wide promotion programmes which have so far seen it hold 24 sensitization visits and 9 regional and continental seminars and conferences.
“The main objective of the sensitization visits is to enhance the protection of human rights in Africa,” Justice Ramadhani said in a statement.
Specific objectives include raising public awareness about the Court; encouraging the ratification and the deposit of the Declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol of the Court that allows individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court; sensitizing would-be applicants on how to access the Court and the procedures before the Court; encouraging the public to utilize the Court in settling human rights disputes and encouraging the utilization of the Court to render advisory opinions.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with a view to enhancing the protection of human rights on the continent.
Since the adoption of the Protocol in June 1998 (more than 16 years ago), twenty nine (29) of the fifty four (54) Member States of the African Union have ratified it, and seven (7) State Parties to the Protocol have made the Declaration under Article 34(6).
The success of the Court as a human rights protection mechanism requires much wider ratification of the Protocol by Member States, as well as their acceptance of the competence of the Court by making the Declaration under Article 34(6). This “universal” ratification will give the Court the legitimacy it needs to effectively discharge its mandate.