The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria organized a State Reporting Workshop on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) on August 23-24, 2022.
The overall objective of the workshop was to support the Government of Ethiopia in fulfilling its reporting obligations under the African Charter (overdue by 3 reports) and the Maputo Protocol (initial report overdue) by submitting quality reports to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission).
The workshop brought together participants from various state and non-state institutions, including representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Health, Federal Prison Commission, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as well as experts from EHRC, the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria and Addis Ababa University.
In her opening remarks, EHRC’s Commissioner for Women’s and Children’s Rights, Meskerem Geset, indicated that states are required to regularly report on concrete measures taken to implement the rights enshrined in ratified treaties, and challenges encountered in implementation. Noting gaps in Ethiopia’s engagement with the regional human rights mechanisms, Commissioner Meskerem stressed the paramount importance of engagement with the African human rights treaty bodies.
The workshop familiarised participants with the applicable state reporting guidelines on the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol, followed by a report drafting exercise where useful initial inputs were gathered for a zero-draft report. The exercise also demonstrated the crucial role of CSOs and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in the report preparation phase.
In her closing statement, Commissioner Meskerem appreciated the fruitful participation of participants, and expressed her hope that the state will commence the preparation of its periodic report on the African Charter and the initial report on the Maputo Protocol “ensuring that EHRC and CSOs are consulted early in the report drafting phase.”