Commemorative Activities of the Africa year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women

    Dates: 21st October – 4th November 2016
    Location: Banjul, The Gambia


    The African Union (AU) has declared 2016 “Africa Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women”. This is in recognition of the fact that 2016 marks the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) in 1981; the 30th Anniversary of the entry into force of the African Charter in 1986; the 29th Anniversary of the operationalization of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) in 1987; the 10th Anniversary of the operationalization of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2006; the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the African Youth Charter in 2006; and the 13th Anniversary of the adoption in 2003 of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, also commonly referred to as the Maputo Protocol.

    The focus on women acknowledges the strides made thus far in pushing women’s rights and the gender agenda on the continent, as well as an awareness of the challenges that still continue in this regard.

    The 59th Ordinary Session of the Commission, which is the fulcrum around which the commemorative activities in Banjul are organized, will bring together different stakeholders to take stock of the gains made thus far, and also the prospects going forward.

    The commemorations will commence with a Joint Opening Ceremony of the 59th Ordinary Session and the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the Children’s Committee).

    The Joint Opening Ceremony will be followed by a High Level Dialogue on human rights in Africa; and thereafter a three-day series of Panels will take place, showcasing the work of the Special Mechanisms of the Commission as seen through the prism of women’s rights and a gender lens.

    A Youth Panel will also be organized within the framework of the 59th Ordinary Session, to give voice to the youth as Africa’s future, in line with Agenda 2063 and the aspirations behind “the Africa we want”.

    This is the first time ever that Organs of AU with a human rights mandate have come together and synchronized their processes so as to hold their Sessions in the same city, over the same period and organize a Joint Opening Ceremony of their respective Sessions. This has been deliberately done, to underscore the point that human rights are indeed their collective responsibility. In doing so, these Organs are putting concrete action behind their words regarding the unity and commitment required to make real change in the actual every day human rights situation of Africa’s citizenry.

    This synchronicity recognizes, underscores and reflects the harmonization required to push the continent’s human rights agenda forward; it also shows the willingness of AU Organs with a human rights mandate to coordinate their activities and processes, as required by the African Governance Architecture.

    It is expected that the outcome of the deliberations of the 59th Ordinary Session of the Commission and the 28th Ordinary Session of the Children’s Committee would expand awareness, spark initiatives and spur Africa to further action in the field of human rights, and more particularly, women’s rights.

    Concept Note






    WATCH LIVE our Human Rights Conference


    Human Rights Dialogue

    Special Mechanisms

    Youth Panel













    ·         Human Rights Dialogue

    Concept Note
    • Panel 1: Ratification and Domestication of AU Human Rights Instruments
    • Panel 2: Implementation of Decisions of AU Organs with a Human Rights Mandate
    • Panel 3: Synergy and Coordination
    • Panel 3: The Human Rights and Transitional Justice Cluster

    ·        Special Mechanisms

    Concept Note

    ·        Youth Panel

    Concept Note
    • Drama on African Youth Charter
    • Video Presentation
    • Spoken word/poem on AYC as a Human Rights Instrument
    • Discussion

    Keynote Speeches & Presentations – Now Available    




     "The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who 'disappeared'. That's what the candle is for." - Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International

     "Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free." - 14th Dalai Lama


      Date: 20 July 2016


      Translate page

      Contact Us

      • 31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District
      • Western Region P.O. Box 673 Banjul
      • The Gambia
      • Tel: (220) 441 05 05, 441 05 06
      • Fax: (220) 441 05 04
      • E-mail:

      ACHPR Newsletter

      Subscribe to receive news about activities, sessions and events.
      © 2018 African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights