The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria(the Centre) attended the 24th Ordinary Session of the Civil Society Organisations Forum on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (CSO Forum), held from the 13 - 14 April 2024, in Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho. The session was held on the eve of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC).  

During the CSO Forum, the Centre hosted a collaborative panel with the Center for Reproductive Rights and Forum for African Women on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of children under the theme “The Right to Education in Africa”. The panel discussion addressed the intersectionality between the right to education and SRHR in Africa, particularly focusing on supporting pregnant learners and adolescent mothers.

The overarching objectives of the panel discussion were to influence the interpretation of SRHR and the rights of girls, shape a more inclusive narrative around these issues in the African context and to foster accountability for SRHR norm implementation in the region, urging stakeholders to uphold commitments and prioritise the right to quality education and well-being of pregnant learners and adolescent mothers. Through collaborative efforts and informed dialogue, the panel sought to drive change and ensure the realisation of the right to education and opportunities for all children. To this end, the panel made recommendations towards the development of comprehensive re-entry guidelines for pregnant learners and adolescent mothers and comprehensive sexuality education within the context of the right to education.

Prof Nkatha Murungi - Acting Director Centre for Human Rights
Dr Elvis Fokala - Manger Children's Rights Unit

On 15 April 2024, the Centre presented its partner statement at the opening of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the ACERWC and acknowledged the ongoing conflicts across Sudan, the DRC, Somalia, and other African countries. It recognised the unfolding catastrophe in Gaza and emphasised the urgency of prioritising children’s welfare in conflict zones.

The Centre extended its appreciation to the ACERW for heeding its request for a Day of General Discussion on the rights of children with albinism.

The Centre reiterated its commitment to supporting the rights of intersex children, referencing Resolution 552 adopted by the African Commission. The Centre also requested the ACERWC’s engagement in developing standards and guidelines for the protection of the rights of intersex children, proposing a continental study. The Centre expressed readiness to facilitate the hosting of the Day of General Discussion at the 44th Ordinary Session of the ACERWC.

Additionally, the Centre highlighted its ongoing knowledge building projects, including the Commentary on the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and support for the African Yearbook on Human Rights and expressed its continued commitment to collaboration.

For more information, please contact:

Pof Nkatha Murungi
Acting Director:
Centre for Human Rights

Tel:  +27 (0)12 420 4684
Fax: +27 0) 86 580 5743

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Dr Elvis Fokala
Children's Rights Unit

Tel  +27 (0) 12 420 3587
Fax +27 (0)86 580 5743 

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