Monday, July 22, 2024

The 79th Session of the ACHPR NGO Forum Commits to Addressing Africa’s Educational Challenges

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By: Alieu Jallow

During the ongoing Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 79TH Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights preceding the 79th ordinary session a special session on the topic “Contribution of Civil Society to the Promotion and Protection of Migrants’ and Children’s Rights” denounces several factors, including the limited availability of safe and regular migration pathways.

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As development actors working alongside governments to achieve developmental progress, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) renewed their commitment on Saturday to addressing challenges hindering Africa’s educational system. The Gambia is currently hosting the forum on the participation of NGOs in the 79th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

This year’s theme is “Educating an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa.”

Despite provisions in several human rights instruments such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the African Youth Charter, and the Maputo Protocol, the continent’s educational system continues to face stark realities such as access to basic education, inadequate educational materials, and resources, among others.

Mrs. Hannah Foster, Chairperson of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, underscored the need for collective responsibility in the protection of human rights, stressing the call for everyone to be involved in the process.

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The Chairperson advocated for collaboration between civil society and government actors to achieve the collective goal of protecting human rights.

“It is evident that civil society has not rested on its laurels and has continued to play its role in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms to complement the efforts of governments and other partners. Consequently, it must be promoted and protected by everyone, everywhere, every time, and every day,” she emphasized.

Jannet Sallah Njie, Vice-Chair of ACHPR, called for collaboration to overcome the challenges facing the education sector and urged for the building of schools in rural areas.

Speaking on behalf of the Chief Justice, Justice Isatou Jallow Sey described education not as a luxury but as a catalyst for sustainable development and societal cohesion that empowers individuals to claim their rights, challenge injustice, and contribute to their community.

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“Investing in education is investing in the very fabric of society, paving the way to a brighter future. The role of NGOs in advancing this theme cannot be overstated. NGOs are the lifeblood of civil society, champions in championing the cause of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Africa. They are vanguards of change, courageous voices advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and catalysts for progress,” Justice highlighted.

The next three days will be critical as officials will hold panel discussions on the contribution of civil society to the promotion and protection of migrants’ and children’s rights, panels on the Protection of Human Rights by United Nations Mechanisms and by Regional Judicial or Quasi-Judicial Entities, and the Protection of Human Rights by UN Mechanisms: Impact, Challenges, and Best Practices.

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