Press release on the Sensitization Seminar for African Union Member States on the ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa and the Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

    5 – 6 July 2019

    Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center

    Kigali, Rwanda

     Banjul – The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) informs the general public that the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa, one of its special mechanisms, in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, is organizing in Kigali (Rwanda) from 5 to 6 July 2019 and for the benefit of African Union Member States, a Continental Sensitization Seminar on the Ratification of two Protocols to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights:

          i.        Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa; and
         ii.        Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa.

    The purpose of the Seminar is to raise awareness on the existence of the two Protocols and the need for their urgent entry into force through ratification by a minimum of 15 States as required for each.

    It is worth recalling that the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa was adopted by the African Union at its 26th Summit Meeting held from 21 to 31 January 2016 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). Also, the Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa was adopted by the African Union at its 30th Summit Meeting held in Addis Ababa from 22 to 29 January 2018.   

    Fifty-three Member States of the African Union, parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, have been invited and thirty-two will effectively participate in this Seminar, namely: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    Each of these States is represented by at least one high-ranking official directly involved in the signing and ratification processes of international human rights instruments in their respective countries.

    Furthermore, all members of the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities including the Chairperson, Honourable Commissioner Yeung Kam John Sik Yuen, and Honourable Commissioner Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi will also participate in this Seminar alongside the distinguished representatives of States parties and other experts or partners of the Commission.

    At the end of this Seminar, the Commission expects to have heightened awareness on the existence of these two Treaties of the African Union open for signature and ratification by Member States as well as on the need and urgency to ratify these important human rights instruments aimed at protecting specific vulnerable groups, namely older persons and persons with disabilities. More specifically, the Commission expects to achieve the following results:

    • Participants undertake to ensure that their respective States ratify the Protocols as soon as their internal procedures are completed;
    • Participants gain thorough knowledge of the content of the two Protocols and the fundamental rights they protect;
    • Participants are well equipped to play a key advocacy role and/or work towards the ratification of the Protocols and promotion of the rights enshrined therein; and
    • Participants champion the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons and persons with disabilities.

    The Seminar is financed mainly from the general budget of the Commission with the support of the Republic of Rwanda, which is hosting this important activity.

    The Commission would like to express its gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Rwanda for agreeing to host this important meeting and for all the facilities and resources made available to the Commission and the participants for the effective and smooth conduct of the meeting.

    For further information, please contact:

    The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

    31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District

    Western Region

    P. O. Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia

    Tel: 00220 4410505/6

    Fax: 00220 4410504

    Email: au-banjul@africa-union.org

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      Date: 04 July 2019

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      • E-mail: au-banjul@africa-union.org

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