28 March 2017 - On 14 and 15 March 2017, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Centre for Human Rights, Eduardo Mondlane University in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (Special Rapporteur), Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, organised a consultation on the draft ‘Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa’ (Draft Guidelines).
The purpose of the consultation was to elicit comments on the Draft Guidelines from various stakeholders with a view to strengthening its content. The event was attended by a broad range of stakeholders including Election Management Bodies, National Human Rights Institutions, media, academics and civil society organisations.
This consultation was the first of numerous scheduled consultations on the Draft Guidelines. It is expected that other consultations will be held in other sub-regions of Africa. The feedback received from this consultation together with others received at future consultations will guide amendments to the working text.
The Draft Guidelines are being developed pursuant to Resolution 307 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), adopted in August 2015, authorising the Special Rapporteur to develop guidelines on access to information and elections for Africa. In May 2016, an experts meeting was held to discuss broad principles to be contained in the Guidelines. Subsequently, a Working Group composed of some participants at the initial experts meeting was held in August 2016 to discuss in greater detail, the content of the Draft Guidelines. Once finalised, it is expected that the Draft Guidelines will be adopted by the ACHPR in 2017.