Mauritius Mauritius: Promotion Mission, 2006

Dates:21 - 25 August 2006
Session:40th Ordinary Session
15 - 29 November 2006. Banjul, Gambia
Commissioner: Sanji Mmasenono Monageng

Ms Sanji Mmasenono Monageng is the Commissioner responsible for promotional activities in Mauritius. The promotional mission to Mauritius was undertaken from 21st to 25th August 2006. The objectives of the mission were as follows:
  1. To promote the African Charter and exchange views and information on its implementation;
  2. To raise awareness of and visibility of the African Commission and its functions especially among the relevant government departments and institutions, and in civil society;
  3. To encourage Mauritius to submit its 1st Periodic Report in accordance with its obligations under Article 62 of the African Charter; and
  4. To encourage a closer relationship between the African Commission and the Mauritius and between the African Commission and the civil society human rights NGOs in Mauritius.
Recommendations

The African Commission recommends to the Government of Mauritius to:
  1. Consider undertaking affirmative action in favour of groups marginalised on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom so as to  redress the imbalances that may exist against them.
  2. Encourage equal gender representation in politics.
  3. Accelerate the process of establishing an Independent Investigations Police Complaints Commission.
  4. Consider abolishing the death penalty as a legal punishment under the constitution since Mauritius has a domestic legislation which abolishes the application of the death penalty. This would be in line with the African Commission’s Resolution Urging States to envisage a Moratorium on the Death Penalty.
  5. Develop programmes aimed at educating the Mauritian population about abolition of the death penalty.
  6. Consider repealing the legislation that provides for issuance of certificates of morality prior to obtaining employment or at least restrict its application to certain specific groups of people where such a requirement is necessary, for instance, for security purposes.
  7. Consider providing the Office of the Ombudsman with more investigators to enable the office to discharge its mandate fully and effectively.
  8. Accelerate and submit its overdue Periodic Reports in accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  9. Popularise the African Commission, the African Charter and all the relevant regional human rights instruments within the country.
  10. Give a full report on the present situation of the Chagossians to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  11. Make the declaration under Article 34(6) Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights which permits NGOs and individuals to have direct access to the African Court. This would be in line with the African Commission’s Resolution on the Establishment of an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  12. Continue to undertake aggressive HIV/AIDS public awareness and information campaigns aimed at the whole population, and especially injecting drug users in order to prevent the use of drugs and at the same time combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
  13. Provide adequate provision of public health care and appropriate medical interventions for persons living with HIV/AIDS and drug users.
  14. Ensure that any HIV/AIDS support programmes are not only targeted at people living with HIV/AIDS but also target the care givers who also need support and assistance.
  15. Take into account the Resolution on HIV/AIDS Pandemic - Threat against Human Rights and Humanity adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights especially in relation to ensuring the protection of those living with HIV/AIDS against discrimination.
  16. Ensure that prisoners and other people living with HIV/AIDS, held in prisons and other places of detention are not discriminated against on account of their status.
  17. Address the potential problem of child prostitution, drug addiction and trafficking. In this respect, the government of Mauritius should endeavour to accelerate the process of amending the Child Protection Act to include provisions that address the problem of child trafficking.
  18. Ensure that the legal procedures that relate to obtaining evidence from victims of child prostitution should be amended so as to facilitate prosecution of such cases.
  19. Ensure that the legal procedures relating to accessing premises for purposes of carrying out searches should be reviewed with a view to facilitating police accessibility to premises where child prostitution activities may be suspected to be taking place.
  20. Expedite the process of hearing cases before them and dispose of them in order to clear the case backlog which is high at the level of the judiciary.
  21. Implement the law which provides for alternative forms of punishment as this would contribute towards reducing congestion within prisons.
  22. Ensure that the National Human Rights Commission submits its reports to the African Commission.
The African Commission recommends to the Political Parties in Mauritius to -:
  1. Adopt a policy that ensures equal representation of men and women in their executive committee structures and all other structures.
  2. Consider revising the law on the Certificate of Morality to get employment, to the extent that these certificates be required for some specific positions only, in order to alleviate the  present situation, which has led to high unemployment for people with previous convictions.
The African Commission recommends to Donor agencies and institutions to -:
  1. Provide material and financial resources to NGOs in Mauritius to facilitate them carry out activities aimed at promoting and protecting human rights.
The African Commission recommends to NGOs and academic institutions in Mauritius to -:
  1. Consider applying for observer status with the African Commission, as this would facilitate a good working relationship between them and the African Commission.


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