Women’s Rights Unit coordinates African Charter and Maputo Protocol report drafting workshop in Eswatini

Posted on June 20, 2019

The Women's Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, coordinated a 4-day state reporting workshop from 26 to 30 May 2019 in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The aim of the workshop was to draft the State Party Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (African Commission). The report is in two parts, with part A focusing on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and part B on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Justice in Mambane, Eswatini in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights.

The Centre was represented by Ms Patience Mungwari Mpani, Ms Oluwatomi Sode, Ms Annie M. Bipendu from the Women’s Rights Unit and Professor Michelo Hansungule, Professor of Human Rights Law at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.

This workshop was the second in a series of workshops, which started in April 2019 with a capacity building training of country representatives on report writing. Eswatini is in the process of drafting its combined 2nd to 9th periodic reports on the African Charter and its initial report on the Maputo Protocol. These will form one report that will be submitted to the African Commission.

In the development of this report, several consultations were made with diverse stakeholders to obtain inputs on efforts made by the country to realise its human rights obligations under the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol.

The workshop brought together officials from different government departments (including the Department of Justice, which included the Prime Minister’s office, as well as Labour, Gender, Health and Education) as well as members of academia, civil society organisations, trade unions and traditional leaders. The participants play an important role in the drafting of the report and their contributions were very useful to the process.

The Kingdom of Eswatini signed and ratified the African Charter on 15 September 1995 and later deposited this instrument on 9 October 1995. In accordance with Article 62 of the African Charter, the country submitted its initial report combined with its first periodic report in May 2000. The current report under drafting is the second periodic report which combines 7 overdue reports. It covers the developments made by the Kingdom of Eswatini in the realisation of the rights contained in the treaty since the submission of the country’s last periodic reports. It also responds to key issues raised in the Concluding Observations issued by the African Commission in May 2000.

The workshop was divided in three main sessions. The first session consisted of panel discussions on different thematic areas relating to civil and political rights, socio-economic rights and the collective rights in the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol. The discussions helped to raise important human rights issues in Eswatini and bring out statistics and useful data for the drafting of the report. The second session was a drafting exercise in which participants were divided into groups based on their expertise to draft section of the report in accordance to the guidelines issued by the African Commission and input on a draft report that had been prepared in advance of the meeting by the technical assistants. The third session was a report back of the group work and synthesis of the report into a revised draft.

The Centre has launched a website on its state reporting project and contains more information on the state reporting process under the Maputo Protocol.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Patience Mungwari Mpani
Project Manager: Women’s Right Unit
Tel:  +27 (0)12 420 4525
Fax: +27 0) 86 580 5743
[email protected]

- Author Centre for Human Rights
Published by Simphiwe Khumalo

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