WEST AFRICA | CIVIL SOCIETY EVALUATES THE IMPACT OF NATIONAL LAWS ON DEFENDERS

20 years after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, where do we stand on the legal protection of defenders in West Africa? To assess the progress and challenges that remain in the region, ISHR, in collaboration with the West African Network of Human Rights Defenders (ROADDH), the Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (HRCDD) and HRCnet, are organizing a workshop that will involve defenders from all over the region.
For years, ISHR has worked with partners in West Africa to strengthen the legal protection of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the region. As a result, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso passed laws in 2014 and 2017 specifically guaranteeing the protection and promotion of the work of defenders. These unprecedented achievements are creating positive momentum in the region for the protection of human rights defenders, as recent years have been challenged by increased terrorist threats in the region.
What is the impact of this progress on the effective protection of defenders? What are the challenges for their full implementation? How can civil society initiatives be strengthened to have an impact on the implementation of these mechanisms? These are the questions we will try to answer during the workshop that will take place in Abidjan from August 28 to August 31, 2018, in addition to celebrating these important achievements.
While celebrating the important steps taken by some countries in the region, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights will meet with advocates from the region. It will also take this opportunity to engage particularly with Côte d’Ivoire advocates to identify their needs as well as the impact and challenges of implementing the law and work collaboratively to strengthen its application. effective.
At the same time, as we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, this workshop will provide an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of protection in West Africa. since the adoption of the Declaration, to steps already taken by different countries to strengthen this protection and to develop strategies to strengthen the protection of HRDs in the region. This will be done through an assessment of this protection and international and local opportunities to improve it.
Finally, a video message recorded by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders outlining the objectives of his mandate as we celebrate the twentieth anniversary and encourage the work of defenders in the region will be screened at the ceremony. opening.
For more information, contact:
Marthe Pedan COULIBALY, Ivoirian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders
coalitio[email protected]