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Banjul, 9 May 2023: IHRDA has concluded a 2-day workshop with members and secretariat staff of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on mainstreaming transitional justice into its mandate and work.

The workshop that was held from 7-8 May 2023 in Maseru, Lesotho, sought to boost the capacity and commitment of ACERWC to deal with transitional justice issues, which are a major cause for concern across the continent, with profound implications on children.

Discussions at the workshop touched on transitional justice concepts, principles, mechanisms and current issues in the discourse and practice of transitional justice in Africa, notably with regard to children, as well as ways of mainstreaming transitional justice into ACERWC’s work using the AU Transitional Justice Policy and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ study on transitional justice and human and peoples’ rights in Africa, among other resources.

The workshop was formally opened by the Vice-Chairperson of the ACERWC, Honourable Anne Musiwa, and comes in a context where many African countries are either undergoing transitional justice processes or are experiencing conditions that would eventually necessitate the putting in place of transitional justice frameworks.

“This workshop is very timely as it provides ACERWC with new opportunities for engagement on transitional justice issues. We commend IHRDA for convening this workshop, while hoping we’ll work together to document ACERWC’s impact on transitional justice processes across Africa” – ACERWC Vice-Chairperson, Honourable Anne Musiwa, stated.

“Most transitional justice frameworks on the continent fail to adequately consider the role of and impact on children in these processes, whereas children are often among the most affected by violations and circumstances in transitional justice-related contexts”, IHRDA Interim Head, Mr Edmund Foley, remarked. He added that this workshop is expected to contribute in strengthening the focus on children in transitional justice processes in Africa.

This activity falls within the framework of a project funded by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to strengthen transitional justice in Africa. The workshop complements training workshops IHRDA recently concluded for civil society child rights defenders from various sub-regions in Africa on advancing child rights in transitional justice processes on the continent.