The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights during its 35th ordinary session held from 21 May to 4 June 2004 in Banjul, The Gambia:
Recalling that the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union adopted the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa at its 2nd Ordinary Session held in July 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique;
Noting that the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child entered into force on 29th November 1989 and the Committee of Experts on the Rights of Child;
Considering that the situation of the women and children in Africa need to be thoroughly addressed;
Considering that women and children are victims of multiple human rights violations;
Considering deportation, slavery, child trafficking and the proliferation of street children in some countries of our continent;
Considering the persistence of traditional practices that are harmful to women and children in some African countries (“almoudou” children and genital mutilation);
Concerned about widespread poverty among women and the stigmatization of women and children with HIV/AIDS;
1. Urges member states of the African Union to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa in order to facilitate its entry into force;
2. Urges all AU member states to ratify the United Nations Convention against All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and member states that have ratified it with reservations to withdraw them;
3. Launches an appeal to Member States to incorporate the above-mentioned international instrument into their national laws;
4. Urges member states to set up a special protection mechanism for women and children in war zones;
5. Appeals to member states to disarm and demobilize child soldiers, and put in place a system for their social reintegration;
6. Appeals to Member States to implement programmes to fight against HIV/AIDS;
7. Appeals to Member States to devise a system to help women benefit from social security.
Done in Banjul, 4 June 2004.