Swaziland Swaziland: Promotion Mission, 2006

Dates:21 - 25 August 2006
Session:41st Ordinary Session
16 - 30 May 2007. Accra, Ghana
Special Mechanism:Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information

The promotion mission to the Kingdom of Swaziland (Swaziland) undertaken from 21 – 25 August 2006 was within the context of the mandate conferred the African Commission under Article 45 of the African Charter. The mission was undertaken by Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, the member of the African Commission responsible for the promotion of human rights in the Kingdom of Swaziland and the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in Africa. She was assisted by Mr. Robert Eno, Legal Officer at the Secretariat of the African Commission.


The African Commission recommends to the government of Swaziland to:
  1. initiate constructive dialogue with civil society to discuss the political process and the participation of all citizens and interest or pressure groups on the constitution;
  2. ensure that proper disciplinary measures are put in place to prevent exploitation of girls by their teachers;
  3. ensure the independence of the judiciary and respect the decisions of the courts;
  4. allow civil society organizations including the Swaziland Law Society access to prisons and other places of detention;
  5. abolish the death penalty;
  6. ensure that the Police is properly trained to ensure respect for the rights of individuals in an open and pluralistic society;
  7. repeal the law on Public Order to ensure that individuals who wish to protest would not need a permit but would rather inform the Police for the latter to provide security and the necessary logistics;
  8. ensure that there is equality before the law;
  9. ensure the separation of adult female prisoners from the female juvenile prisoners;
  10. adopt affirmative action measures to ensure the promotion of the rights of women and lift them in decision making positions in some key institutions, including the Police;
  11. the scholarship and employment policies should be re-examined to prevent discriminatory practices;
  12. ensure the monarch respects the doctrine of separation of power and the rule of law ensuring that power belongs to the people;
  13. take urgent steps to establish the national human rights Commission and ensure it conforms with the Paris Principles;
  14. establish measures to build confidence and trust between the police and the citizens;
  15. ensure that the seeming conflict between culture/customary law and positive law is harmonized to avoid confusion;
  16. encourage individual as well as group participation in the socio-economic and political governance of the country;
  17. ensure that girls who choose not to participate in the Reed Dance are not victimized, and that no one should be compelled/forced to work for the King or evicted from their property if they do so;
  18. take steps to ratify the protocol on the rights of women in Africa and the protocol on the establishment of an African Court on human and peoples’ rights;
  19. ensure the effective implementation of the African Commission’s recommendations on communication 251/2001 – Swaziland Lawyers for Human Rights v Kingdom of Swaziland; and
  20. take steps to submit its periodic reports to the African Commission I accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter;
  21. keep the African Commission constantly informed of developments in the country; and
  22. ensure that the constitution recognizes and complies with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in particular the right to assembly and association, including the right to form and belong to political parties and trade unions;
The African Commission recommends to NGOs/civil society to:
  1. closely collaborate with the government in the establishment of a constitutional democracy;
  2. settle differences through dialogue and where necessary through the courts;
  3. keep the African Commission constantly informed of developments in the country; and
  4. apply for observer status with the African Commission.
The African Commission recommends to the international community to:
  1. support the current political process in the country through law reform, human resource development and institutional capacity building capable of meeting the challenges posed by the new dispensation; and
  2. support civil society organisations to make a meaningful contribution to the political process.


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