The African Union Commission has today sent out a call for papers from organs and employees of the African Union, member states, human rights commissions, academic institutions, think tanks, civil society organizations, women’s organizations and the wider public. The papers, once selected will be published in the Commission’s newsletter, the AU ECHO in its January 2016 edition.
The aim of the newsletter is to feature evidence based and solution-oriented articles on the progress that has been achieved as well as innovative initiatives that are being undertaken with regard to promoting and upholding human rights, with a particular emphasis on the rights of women, guided by AU Human Rights Frameworks. The topic was selected based on the theme of the AU summits for 2016 i.e. “Year of Human Rights with Special Focus on Rights of Women”. The newsletter will be distributed first to Heads of State and other high level delegates at the January 2016 summit of the African Union. Soft copies will be posted on the AU website www.au.int. Copies will also be distributed to partners, academic institutions, media and civil society organisations.
The crucial role that human rights in general, and women’s rights in particular play in the African Union’s vision towards an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena cannot be over emphasized. Over the past few decades, numerous Afro-centric human rights normative frameworks have come into play – including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights – which have become indispensable to the wider global Human Rights and Development Architectures and set the stage for the realization of human rights.