Report on Meeting between government and CSOs in preparation for effective participation in the upcoming sitting of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
Written by khulumani.net
Zweli Mkhize represented Khulumani at last week’s preparatory meeting between government and CSOs in preparation for the upcoming sitting of the ACHPR.
The commitment of government to hosting these meetings is a very welcome development. Thank you to Ms Corlett Letlojane of HURISA for her unceasing efforts to build more collaborative relationships between government departments and civil society in the context of advancing human rights practices in South Africa and across the continent.
The report below was prepared by Zweli to share information on the discussions that took place on 27 March 2013.
REPORT ON MEETING BETWEEN DIRCO (Department of International Relations and Cooperation and representatives of Civil Society): Report by Mr Zwelikude Mkhize
On March 27, 2013, Mr Zwelikude Mkhize represented Khulumani at a meeting held between goverment and civil society organizations to discuss possible collaboration in preparing for participation in the 53rd Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, scheduled for later this month in Banjul, The Gambia.
The NGO Forum of the ACHPR takes place between April 6 and 8, 2013, just prior to the sitting of the ACHPR. Efforts are being made to expand civil society participation in the NGO Forum.
Zweli reported that HURISA’s Director, Ms Corlett Letlojane expressed appreciation to the DOJ and to DIRCO for their commitment in organising the meeting, following an earlier discussion with these departments on 20 March 2013. Both departments have undertaken to organise to host preparatory meetings for government and CSOs prior to the sittings of the ACHPR followed by debriefing meetings three weeks after each sitting of the ACHPR.
It was reported that the South African government’s report on the situation in South Africa with respect to the Rights of Children in the context of the African Charter on
the Rights and Welfare of the Child, is still outstanding at this point. The responsible Minister assured the meeting that this would receive attention.
The DOJ committed to facilitating the finalisation of the country’s outstanding periodic report to the African Commission by first week of May 2013. It was agreed that the report would be circulated to the participating CSO’s for further review before being submitted to parliament.
Concerns were expressed about the deteriorating human rights situation in The Gambia. It was agreed to use the upcoming sitting to highlight these concerns.