Closing the Implementation Gap in Sub-Saharan Africa


human rights sub-saharan africaHon Justice Harold Nsekela, former Judge President of the East African Court of Justice, makes a point at the RWI symposium on the importance of strengthening compliance with regional human rights decisions.

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute recently organised a two-day regional symposium in Nairobi, Kenya for key representatives of African regional and sub-regional courts as well as representatives of academic institutions, the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions, regional institutions and civil society.

The symposium provided a forum for practice-oriented discussions on how implementation of regional human rights commitments in Sub-Saharan Africa can be improved in terms of enhanced compliance with supranational human rights judgements and decisions. One key objective was to identify strategies for different stakeholders to pursue for this purpose ensuring greater possibilities for victims of human rights violations to obtain redress in practice.

joshorig“This event was remarkable for its participation – including representatives from the East African Court of Justice, ECOWAS Community Court of Justice and African Court on Human and People’s Rights – as well as the huge amount of interest in the subject area,” says Josh Ounsted, Director of RWI’s Nairobi office. “Two days was only just enough to get the conversation started, and we look forward to being part of not just taking the discussion forwards, but also to implementing some of the concrete recommendations that resulted.”

The discussions at the symposium, titled “Closing the Implementation Gap: Strengthening Compliance with Regional Human Rights Decisions in Sub-Saharan Africa”, also intended to contribute to the 2016 African Year of Human Rights and other efforts aimed at increased implementation of regional human rights instruments at the national level.

Johannes Eile“Domestic implementation of supranational decisions is a multi-faceted process. Cross-system and cross-sectoral dialogue and exchange are important means for finding solutions to address some of the challenges,” says Johannes Eile, Director of Programmes at RWI. “It was therefore encouraging to see the very active engagement during the symposium.”

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa began in 1991 and since then broad cooperation has been maintained bilaterally in several countries and regionally/sub-regionally. The Institute’s current Regional Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa is financially supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation.

Read more about the programme here.