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The African NGO Forum Puts before the African Commission Issues Affecting the Continent and the Way Forward

The African NGO Forum Puts before the African Commission Issues Affecting the Continent and the Way Forward

By Editor

During the 56th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Forum for the participation of NGOs tabled a number of issues that continue to affect the African continent despite all the efforts put in to avert them.

One of the most urgent issues raised was the refugee and asylum seekers situation on the continent. In the recent past, several sexual minority persons have applied for resettlement to Western countries only to be turned down. Others remain in refugee camps where they live in uncertainty as the asylum process is not one that takes several months at the very least.

Delegates at the 2008 ACHPR in Nigeria
Delegates at the 2008 ACHPR in Nigeria

The forum called upon the African Commission to push all member states to develop laws that protect refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants against discriminatory practices as well as formulate measures to deal with the issue of displaced persons in their countries.

Most importantly, they called upon the AC to urge African governments to make laws that ultimately protect all citizens as a way of getting rid of people having to seek asylum on the basis of human rights violation.

The forum addressed other issues like the instability in Guinea Beasu. It was noted that the West African state has not had a consistent government in its 41 years of existence as an independent state. The country has seen several government transitions that have been characterized by unlawful killings, extrajudicial executions, ban on freedom of expression and communication as well as human and drug trafficking.

To obviate the above situation, the NGO forum advised the AC to call on the new government and all concerned regional bodies to re enforce all laws and agreement acts that re-enforce protection of human rights.

Also discussed were the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa which saw the nationals gruesomely kill African immigrants. The South African nationals argued that the only way to take back their country and economy was to have all African immigrants leave with immediate effect.

The NGO forum shared its thoughts on what can be done to stop a relapse of such attacks as well as the need for the xenophobic victims to be taken care of accordingly.

The forum also saw delegates talk about the rights of human rights defenders, elderly persons, persons living with disability, the instability in South Sudan among other pressing continental issues.

The NGO Forum presented its statement before the Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, The Gambia on April 21, 2015.