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Banjul, 27 October 2023: IHRDA is concluding its first-ever child rights strategic litigation training and case-identification workshop for lawyers and child rights civil society activists in Guinea Bissau. The workshop runs from 25-27 October 2023.

Deliberations touch on human rights and child rights concepts and terminology; problems affecting the enjoyment of children’s rights in Guinea Bissau, the Guinea Bissau legal and judicial framework for the protection of children’s rights, the normative content of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and procedure before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). The workshop also gives insights on other African regional mechanisms for child rights protection, notably the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Facilitators will equally do an overview of strategic litigation of child rights in Africa and the ACERWC litigation toolkit, and enlighten participants on State party and shadow reporting before the ACERWC. The discussions culminate in a session to identify suitable cases of child rights violation with potential for high impact, which IHRDA will eventually assist domestic child rights defenders to follow up and file for litigation before the relevant regional mechanism.

The workshop comes in a context where a significant gap remains between policy-making and implementation, with serious implications on the achievement of child rights in Guinea Bissau, as there is continuous widespread prevalence of several harmful practices affecting children, especially girls, in the country.

“This workshop is IHRDA’s first in Guinea Bissau, and is an important milestone in IHRDA’s aspiration to expand its work and impact in Lusophone Africa”, IHRDA’s Senior Legal Officer, Eric Bizimana, stated.

The activity falls within the framework of phase II of the Pan-African States Accountability Program (PASAP II) coordinated by Plan International.