The advanced short course on children’s rights is one of the ways in which the CHR equips African professionals in the field of children’s rights, with the right knowledge and training that will enable them to better discharge their mandate. The short course, which is in its fifth year, brings annually approximately 50 participants from different African countries and various backgrounds such as government officials, members of civil society and non-governmental organisations, academics, students, representatives of the judiciary, law practitioners.
The participants are thoughtfully selected based on their active involvement towards the advancement of human rights, in general, and children’s rights, in particular. This involvement might be related to advocacy issues based on the Concluding recommendations of the Committee for a particular country; to a State party’s failure to report to the Committee; or to a legal proceeding pertaining to human rights issues. In this context, the CHR organises practical sessions, as part of the short course activities, in which the participants make use of their respective area of expertise and engage in discussions around litigation issues, reporting mechanism to the Committee, implementation strategies. The CHR also aims to be a support mechanism by providing technical advice for case development, following up on the implementation of the Committee’s Concluding observations and investigating the issue of non-reporting in a particular African state. The advanced short course in children’s rights organised by the CHR is a great opportunity for acquiring knowledge as well as for networking in the field of children’s rights.
The book project represents another positive initiative coordinated by the Children’s Rights Unit and it is aimed at promoting children’s right on the African continent. The project commenced in 2014 and is in the process of being finalized. The study focusses on the causal link between the reporting mechanism under the UN and the African human rights systems, and the realization of children’s rights in Africa. Seventeen African countries from all five regions of the continent have been scrutinized for the purpose of this study and the country reports resulting from this exercise were amalgamated into five sub-regional chapters. The project benefits as well from a number of theoretical chapters focusing on relevant children’s rights matters. The study analyses trends in data collected, extent of implementation of concluding recommendations issued by treaty bodies, progress made in the concrete realisation of the rights and welfare of children, factors that facilitated implementation as well as potential challenges. The research study also indicates concrete recommendations with the view to improving the realities of children on the African continent. In terms of methodological tools, the researchers combined the desk review approach with interviews of relevant stakeholders in those particular state parties. The findings of this study will be published in a book format (titled: Children’s rights in Africa: An assessment of the status of children’s rights through State Party reports) by PULP- University of Pretoria Press in the course of this year. The CHR gratefully acknowledges Plan International and the Norwegian Embassy as the donors of this project.
The multi-country study is a project of the Unit, in the final stage of its development. This particular initiative focuses on the extent of implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in five African states, namely: Egypt, Chad, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The research study provides an overview of the human rights situation in the selected countries, with a focus on children; the status of ratification and domestication of the regional treaty; the state reporting process and the concluding recommendations issued by the treaty body; the impact of treaty provisions on the juvenile justice system; communications brought by any the five state parties to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; best practices, challenges and recommendations, amongst others. The findings of these five country reports are summarised and synthesized into an overview chapter which draws the conclusion and the recommendations. The methodology used for this research combines desk review methods with semi-structured interviews with key actors in the realm of children’s rights in those particular countries. The outcome of this research study will serve as an advocacy tool in the advancement of children’s rights at the regional level. The CHR gratefully acknowledges Plan International as the donor of this study.