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Human Dignity is committed to strengthening the role and participation of national NGOs at the sessions of regional and international human rights protection mechanisms. 

Ensuring the effective participation of non-governmental organisations in reviews of States parties human rights records is crucial to prevent and monitor violations of economic, social and cultural rights at the national level.  

Human Dignity focuses special attention on strengthening the capacity of NGOs to take part in the sessions of the Committee on ESCR and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and report on the human rights situation. 

Human Dignity: 

1. Provides technical support to national NGOs in the drafting and submission of information and alternative reports to the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant mechanisms.

Concretely, we have co drafted and submitted joint reports on Namibia, Kenya and Uganda amongst others. The majority of the our concerns and recommendation were endorsed by the UN Committee.

The purpose of alternative reports is to raise awareness on the measures taken at the national level to realise economic, social and cultural rights. Above all, alternative reports promote change by ensuring that the concluding observations and recommendations to governments made by the Committee/African Commission reflect the current situation of a particular country. These recommendations, in turn, provide the basis for action for NGOs and other actors, including National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), to improve the respect, protection and realisation of human rights on a national level.

Strengthening the capacity of NGOs to prepare alternative reports for submission to United Nations Treaty Bodies or the African Commission in connection with their review of a State party respect for human rights has been shown to be a powerful tool in helping committees better understand the situation in the country and in formulating well targeted recommendations. 

2. Facilitate NGOs active participation in the review of States' periodic reports by supporting and coordinating their participation in the sessions of the Committee on ESCR and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

We support the trips of NGOs representatives to Geneva so they can raise our joint concerns to the UN experts. We also organise joint briefing sessions between UN experts and our NGO partners.

 

What are the main mechanisms monitoring the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights?

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by its States parties. 

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially within two years of accepting the Covenant and thereafter every five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”. For more information about the work of the Committee, click here.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights  

The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights enshrines economic, social and cultural rights, in particular in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 22.

The African Charter has established the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, inaugurated on 2 November 1987 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Every two years after the ratification of the Charter, the 53 States Parties shall submit to the Commission a report on the measures taken to give effect to the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed by the Charter. These periodic reports by the States are reviewed by the Commission which adopts concluding observations. For more information about the Commission, click here.