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Gambia: CNDH Participation in the NGO Forum on Human Rights and Governance in Africa

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) participated in the NGO Forum held prior to the 73rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) under the theme “Human Rights and Governance in Africa: A Multi-Dimensional Approach in Addressing Conflicts, Crises and Inequality”, organized by the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), on 17 and 18 October 2022, Banjul, Gambia.

In this context, the CNDH, represented by Mr. Mourad Erraghib, Director of the CNDH Chairperson Cabinet, delivered a statement on behalf of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI). In this regard, the CNDH shed light on the fundamental role played by non-governmental organizations in expanding the work of the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) recognized by the Paris Principles.

Paris Principles mandate the NHRIs to develop relations with NGOs devoted to promoting and protecting human rights, to economic and social development, to combating racism and to the protection of vulnerable groups.

Within the same context, the CNDH underlined the ACHPR conviction that the cooperation of NHRIs with NGOs is one of the key metrics against which compliance with the Paris Principles is assessed when NHRIs are undergoing review. NHRIs are indeed regarded as the bridge between NGOs and the State. Accordingly, he stressed the importance of developing a strategy to leverage cooperation between NHRIs and CSOs to alleviate the human rights situation on the African continent.

In the same context, the CNDH emphasized the situation in the African continent in light of the current conflicts and crises and called on NHRIs to prioritize and roll out Conflict Early Warning and Response mechanisms at the national and regional levels in collaboration with the African Union to achieve the ambition of a continent without guns.

The CNDH also welcomed the progress made by countries with regard to their participation in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA). It also highlighted that the NANHRI intends to ensure that the human rights-based approach is on the table in every room and related discussions.

Participants in this Forum focused on studying issues such as «digital rights and security", "climate change", "Covid-19", "gender", "the issue of human rights defenders", etc.

The NGO Forum is held on the side-lines of the Ordinary Session of the ACHRP. It aims to discuss the latest issues in Africa, encourage the establishment of networks between NGOs, etc.

Download the NANRI statement