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Banjul, 3 July 2023: IHRDA and Repère Développement Durable (RDD-ONG) have completed a human rights strategic litigation workshop, 26-29 June 2023, in Cotonou for Benin lawyers and human rights defenders.

Workshop was aimed at equipping participants with skills to engage in strategic litigation using international human rights instruments and mechanisms, notably within the context of the African human rights system. It also sought to promote the application of international human rights instruments before Beninese courts and to improve legal support for victims of human rights violations.

During the workshop, participants discussed human rights treaties ratified by Benin, the application of human rights treaties in Benin, including relevant institutions with human rights protection mandate, litigating before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), and the ECOWAS Court,  as well as matters of observer status before the ACHPR and ACERWC. Participants equally examined and treated hypothetical cases of human rights violations to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired. 

Workshop culminated in the creation of a pool dubbed “POOL-ADDH-BENIN”, comprising participating lawyers and human rights defenders as pioneer members. The pool aims to position itself as a collective of lawyers and human rights defenders ready and available to assist vulnerable people and victims of human rights violations in Benin. Pool members commit to work in synergy to monitor, document and report on the human rights situation in Benin and provide legal assistance to victims of human rights violations at domestic and supranational levels.

Activity falls within the framework of a project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy to build a legal environment for the protection of human rights in Benin.