The 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and 39th African Human Rights Book Fair Banjul-The Gambia


Divided in 3 main thematic, each of them had specific objectives

Theme I entitled: Update from sub regional focal points on Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Africa,

  • Finding durable solutions to displacement and xenophobia;
  • Ensuring human security through women’s participation and leadership in a framework of peace, security and human rights;
  • The rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) and migrants: Protection and provision of basic needs.

Theme II entitled: Special interest group discussion

  • Consultation with NGOs on the African Union-United Nations joint framework on Human Rights;
  • The relevance of the draft action and implementation plan for the Human and Peoples’ Rights decade in Africa (10-YAP) to the 2019 AU theme, and more specifically to the Protocol on statelessness/ nationality in Africa;
  • The Status of intersex and transgender refugees in Africa;
  • And the Special Interest Groups Discussion.
  • Theme III entitled: Networking for Human Rights in Africa
  • The role of courts in protecting the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls: decriminalization of abortion through strategic litigation- Safe but not silent: challenges, resilience strategic and protection of displaced Human Rights Defenders (HRDS)
  • Human rights in the digital age: Threats to freedom of expression and the impact of surveillance on the right to privacy
  • Consultation on the draft Shadow Reporting Guidelines under the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol

From 17th to 23rd October 2019, a team, constituted of Nicoline Wazeh, Michelle Tankoua and Mirene MALE of the Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement (CAWOPEM), took part in the 65th Ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Banjul-The Gambia. Prior to the ordinary session that started on October 20th and will be ending on November 10th 2019, a three days forum preparing the participation of NGOs to the said session and the 39th edition of African Human Rights Book Fair, was organized under the theme: The “year of the refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa”. Michelle Tankoua sat on the first Panel in which she presented a report on Human right situation in Central Africa sub-region. She ceased this opportunity to raise awareness by emphasizing on the current crisis and human rights violation in Cameroon, as her speech was mainly centered on the above mention country.

Seconding Michelle’s intervention, during the plenary session, Nicoline Wazeh drew attention on the women and children rights violation in the ongoing Boko Haram and Anglophone Crises in Cameroon and the type of exaction that are being committed in the said conflict zones.

Special Interest Groups Discussions

CAWOPEM’s participation in the Special Interest groups Discussions was remarkable as Nicoline chaired the working group on the rights of youth and children, Michelle contributed in the group on death penalty and extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary killings in Africa and Mirene actively participated in that on Women Rights in Africa. At the end of the NGO forum, CAWOPEM was able to submit a statement that was integrated to the statement produced by Cameroonian NGOs present at the forum. A Resolution on Cameroon was also included in the final resolutions and recommendations of the NGO forum.

Side Events

At a side event organised by South Africa on the “Promotion of Women, Peace and Security in Africa” Nicoline was invited as a panellist to share Cameroon’s experience in the development of a first-generation NAP for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.

The side event Human Rights Situation in Cameroon did not only weakness CAWOPEM’s technical support but also its participation, as two of its members were panellists. During the side event, panellist Michelle Tankoua did a presentation on Justice, arbitrary detention and fair trial and panellist Nicoline Wazeh focused on the human rights violations of women and children in the ongoing crises around Cameroon.

The CAWOPEM delegation in Banjul actively participated in the following side events:

  • Sexual Harassment;
  • Amplifying African women voices under forced displacements;
  • Elections;
  • Advocacy in francophone Africa;
  • Side event on Human Rights Situation in Cameroon;
  • South African panel on the “Promotion of Women, Peace and Security in Africa”