The Chairperson of the Follow-up Committee on the Implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines reports as follows:
REPORT OF ACTIVITIES BY COMMISSIONER DUPE ATOKI, CHAIRPERSON OF THE FOLLOW-UP COMMITTEE OF THE ROBBEN ISLAND GUIDELINES DURING THE INTERSESSION PERIOD NOVEMBER 2007 TO MAY 2008.
I regret to report that torture is still prevalent in Africa. The overall situation with regard to the prevention of torture in Africa has not improved in any remarkable way compared to the situation six months ago. Events happening in some countries have negatively affected the improvements of the situation in other parts. In that regard I am thinking about situation in the Horn of Africa and the Republic of the Sudan, where conflicts in one country has impacted on neighboring States. It is widely known that torture is still prevalent in many parts of Africa and the challenge of the Follow-up Committee is ensure wider knowledge of the RIG and the work of the Follow-up Committee.
I am pleased to inform you that the follow-up Follow-up Committee on the Implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines met in Cape Town Lodge, on 2 April 2008. That meeting was also attended by the Special Rapporteur for Prisons and Conditions of Detention, Commissioner Mumba Malila. This was a follow up of the first meeting of the Follow-up Committee from 19 to 20 February 2005 in Bristol, United Kingdom. The main objective of the Cape Town meeting was to review progress of the Committee and to draw up an effective Plan of Action or Programme of Activities for the promotion, dissemination and the implementation of the Robben Islands Guidelines. I am pleased to report that the Committee identified three States Parties to the African Charter to serve as pilot countries for the implementation of the RIG. The Committee also agreed to meet for another meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, in July 2008. That meeting of the Follow-up Committee will be followed up by sub-regional workshop on the RIG between the 22 -25 July 2008.
I also attended the Second Annual Conference of OPCAT in the African Region in Cape Town, between 3 to 4 April 2008, which also marks almost two years since the OPCAT was in force. The Conference explored the main challenges of implementing the OPCAT in Africa.
From 3 to4 February 2008, I represented the ACHPR on a Workshop on Sexuality and Human Rights organised by Actions Aid, where I chaired several sessions.
Between 3 – 5 May also attended the NGO Forum being held here in Ezulwini.