African Commission Grants CHREAA The Observer Status.

The announcement was made on 14 May 2017 at the commissions 60th ordinary session in Niamey Niger.

Benefits of having this status.

 

OBTAINING
AND
THE
BENEFITS
OF
OBSERVER
STATUS
WITH
THE
AFRICAN
COMMISSION
ON
HUMAN
AND
PEOPLES’
RIGHTS
Prepared
by:
CENTRE
FOR
HUMAN
RIGHTS
FACULTY
OF
LAW
UNIVERSITY
OF
PRETORIA
SOUTH
AFRICA
18
AUGUST
2008
2
1
Introduction
The
African
Commission
on
Human
and
People’s
Rights
(the
Commission)
was
established
under
article
30
of
the
African
Charter
on
Human
and
Peoples’
Rights
(the
Charter)
with
the
twin
mandate
of
promotion
and
protection
of
human
rights
in
Africa
as
provided
for
in
the
Charter.1
It
is
the
primary
body
responsible
for
human
rights
in
Africa.2
In
accordance
with
articles
75
and
76
of
the
Commission’s
rules
of
procedure,3
non-­‐governmental
organisations
(NGOs)
granted
observer
status
by
the
Commission
may,
through
authorised
representatives,
participate
in
the
public
sessions
of
the
Commission4
and
its
subsidiary
bodies.
Furthermore,
the
Commission
may
consult
such
NGOs
on
various
issues.
2
Criteria
for
granting
observer
status
In
terms
of
a
resolution5
adopted
by
the
Commission
during
its
25th
ordinary
session
held
in
Bujumbura,
Burundi,
from
26
April
-­‐
5
May
1999,
the
Commission
subjects
the
granting
of
observer
status
to
a
set
of
criteria.6
These
criteria
are
as
follows:
1. All
NGOs
applying
for
observer
status
with
the
Commission
shall
be
expected
to
submit
a
documented
application
to
the
Secretariat
of
the
Commission,
with
a
view
to
showing
their
willingness
and
capability
to
work
for
the
realisation
of
the
objectives
of
the
Charter;
1.1
All
NGOs
applying
for
observer
status
with
the
Commission
shall
consequently:
a. Have
objectives
and
activities
in
consonance
with
the
fundamental
principles
and
objectives
enunciated
in
the
OAU
Charter
(now
the
Constitutive
Act
of
the
African
Union)
and
in
the
Charter;
b. Be
NGOs
working
in
the
field
of
human
rights
c. Declare
their
financial
resources
1.2 To
this
effect,
such
an
NGO
shall
be
requested
to
provide:
1 Art
45
of
the
Charter.
2
Article
30
of
the
Charter.
33
Adopted
in
line
with
art
45(2)
of
the
Charter.
4
According
to
rule
2(1)
of
the
Commission’s
rules,
the
Commission
holds
two
ordinary
sessions
per
year.
5
Resolution
on
the
criteria
for
granting
and
enjoying
observer
status
to
non-­‐governmental
organisations
working
in
the
field
of
human
rights
with
the
African
Commission
on
Human
Peoples
Rights.
6
This
was
in
line
with
the
AHG/dec.126
(XXXIV)
of
the
Assembly
of
Heads
of
State
and
Government
which
had
requested
the
Commission
to
undertake
a
review
of
the
criteria
for
observer
status
with
a
view
to
enhancing
efficiency
and
co-­‐
operation
between
the
Commission
and
NGOs.
3
a.
A
written
application
addressed
to
the
Secretariat
stating
its
intentions,
at
least
three
months
prior
to
the
Ordinary
Session
of
the
Commission
which
shall
decide
on
the
application,
in
order
to
give
the
Secretariat
sufficient
time
to
process
the
said
application
b. Its
statutes,
proof
of
its
legal
existence,
a
list
of
its
members,
its
constituent
organs,
its
sources
of
funding,
its
last
financial
statement,
as
well
as
a
statement
on
its
activities.
c. The
statement
of
activities
shall
cover
the
past
and
present
activities
of
the
NGO,
its
plan
of
action
and
any
other
information
that
may
help
to
determine
the
identity
of
the
organisation,
its
purpose
and
objectives,
as
well
as
its
field
of
activities.
d. No
application
for
Observer
Status
shall
be
put
forward
for
examination
by
the
Commission
without
having
been
previously
processed
by
the
Secretariat.
e. The
Commission’s
Bureau
shall
designate
a
rapporteur
to
examine
the
dossiers.
The
Commission’s
decision
shall
be
notified
without
delay
to
the
applicant
NGO.
3
What
observer
status
entails
According
to
the
said
resolution,
all
observers
shall
be
invited
to
be
present
at
the
opening
and
closing
sessions
of
all
Sessions
of
the
Commission.
a. An
observer
accredited
by
the
Commission
shall
not
participate
in
its
proceedings
in
any
manner
other
than
as
provided
for
in
the
Rules
of
Procedure
governing
the
conduct
of
sessions
of
the
African
Commission.
Amongst
others,
NGOs
with
observer
status
can
prepare
“shadow”
reports
on
the
human
rights
situation
in
their
countries.
These
“shadow”
reports
enable
the
Commission
to
have
a
constructive
dialogue
with
a
state
representative
when
that
country’s
periodic
report
is
being
considered.
b. All
observers
shall
have
access
to
the
documents
of
the
Commission
subject
to
the
condition
that
such
documents:
(i) shall
not
be
of
a
confidential
nature;
(ii) deal
with
issues
that
are
of
relevance
to
their
interests.
c. The
distribution
of
general
information
documents
of
the
Commission
shall
be
free
of
charge;
the
distribution
of
specialised
documents
shall
be
on
a
paid-­‐for
basis,
except
where
reciprocal
arrangements
are
in
place.
d. Observers
may
be
invited
specially
to
be
present
at
closed
sessions
dealing
with
issues
of
particular
interest
to
them.
4
e. Observers
may
be
authorised
by
the
Chairman
of
the
Commission
to
make
a
statement
on
an
issue
that
concerns
them,
subject
to
the
text
of
the
statement
having
been
provided,
with
sufficient
lead-­‐time,
to
the
Chairman
of
the
Commission
through
the
Secretary
to
the
Commission.
f. The
Chairman
of
the
Commission
may
give
the
floor
to
observers
to
respond
to
questions
directed
at
them
by
participants.
g. Observers
may
request
to
have
issues
of
a
particular
interest
to
them
included
in
the
provisional
agenda
of
the
Commission,
in
accordance
with
the
provisions
of
the
Rules
of
Procedure.
4
Relations
between
the
Commission
and
Observers
1
Organisations
enjoying
observer
status
shall
undertake
to;
a.
establish
close
relations
of
co-­‐operation
with
the
Commission
and
to
engage
in
regular
consultations
with
it
on
all
matters
of
common
interest;
b. present
their
activity
reports
to
the
Commission
every
two
years.
Administrative
arrangements
shall
be
made,
whenever
necessary,
to
determine
the
modalities
of
this
co-­‐operation.
2
The
Commission
reserves
the
right
to
take
the
following
measures
against
NGOs
that
are
in
default
of
their
obligations:
a.
non-­‐participation
in
sessions;
b.
denial
of
documents
and
information;
c.
denial
of
the
opportunity
to
propose
items
to
be
included
in
the
Commission’s
agenda
and
of
participating
in
its
proceedings;
d.
observer
status
may
be
suspended
or
withdrawn
from
any
organisation
that
does
not
fulfil
the
present
criteria,
after
deliberation
by
the
Commission

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