African Children's Rights Committee in Session This Week

This week, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) will hold its 18th session in Algiers from November 27 to December 1, to engage in a dialogue with States, civil society actors and other stakeholders.  [OSF] The ACERWC is based in Addis Ababa and is composed of eleven experts elected by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government for five-year terms, from a list of candidates proposed by States Parties.  It began work promoting and monitoring compliance with the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 2002 and also operates a complaints procedure, which resulted in a first decision in 2011 regarding Nubian children denied citizenship in Kenya (IHRDA and OSJI on Behalf of Children of Nubian Descent in Kenya) v. KenyaNo. Com/002/200 (2011)).

The Committee, created by Article 44 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, is directed to:
  • Receive and consider individual complaints of violations by State Parties of Charter rights and express its views as to the presence or absence of a violation or violations.
  • Interpret the provisions of the Charter and set rules, principles and standards governing children’s rights and welfare in Africa through general comments, resolutions and declarations.
[ACERWC]  As the only treaty body focused on children’s rights which also accepts individual complaints, the ACERWC is unique among supranational human rights mechanisms; however it has only received two communications to date (one against Uganda declared admissible, and one against Kenya decided on the merits).  Among its achievements, the ACERWC counts the ratification of the Charter by 46 (of 53) African Union member states, adoption of Rules of Procedure and other guidelines, thematic discussions with stakeholders, celebration of  the Day of the African Child on June 16 annually, an investigative mission to Northern Uganda.

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