Banjul, 8 June 2021: IHRDA and Child Rights Network for Southern Africa (CRNSA) are organizing a 3-day child rights strategic litigation training and case-identification workshop for lawyers and child rights defenders in Southern Africa. The workshop runs from 8 – 10 June 2021 in Maseru, the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Topics covered include concepts of human rights and child rights; the normative content of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Rights of Children Affected by Armed Conflict; procedures before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), following up on ACERWC recommendations and Observer Status with the ACERWC. Discussions will also touch on other African regional mechanisms for child rights protection (the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights); challenges to the enjoyment of child rights in Southern Africa; strategic litigation of child rights in Africa, as well as State party and shadow reporting. 

The workshop will culminate in a session to identify suitable cases with potential for high impact, which IHRDA and participants will eventually follow up and file for litigation before the relevant regional mechanism.

The workshop comes in a context where an alarming gap remains between policymaking and policy implementation, with serious implications on the achievement of child rights in African countries. Almost all African nations have ratified international and regional human rights treaties that are meant to protect the rights and welfare of children; yet, ratification does not often get translated into effective implementation. Consequently, harmful customs and practices affecting children continue to prevail across the continent.

This activity falls within the framework of the African Children’s Charter Project coordinated by Plan International.