The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union ended on 11 February with a number of key decisions aimed to the betterment of the African people and children. In this regard, important decisions were taken following the report of the Committee to the Executive Council. One of them is the appointment of Mrs. Kembo Takam Gatsing Hermine from Cameroon, as a member of ACERWC for a term of five (5) years, to replace Mrs. Aho Assouma Suzanne from Togo who complete her term in the Committee. The Summit has equally adopted the theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) 2019 “Access to a Child Friendly Justice System in Africa”; in line with Aspiration 8 of Agenda 2040 which prescribes among others that the minimum age of criminal responsibility in all States Parties should be set to 12 years or above. The Executive Council requested the AUC, in consultation with the African Commission on International Law (AUCIL) to expedite the study in order to speed up the amendment of Article 5(1) of the Protocol of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the Court to grant direct of the Committee access to the Court. The Summit further urged States Parties to fully comply and execute decisions and recommendations of the Committee regarding communications and States Parties reports considered by the body.
On the sidelines of the Summit, the second volume of the “African Human Rights Yearbook”, jointly published by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child has been launched within the framework of complementarity and the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights on the continent. The second edition, enriched with contributions of scholars and academicians across the continent, constitutes a firm step towards institutionalizing this publication, which is timely because of the challenges the pressure on Human Rights in Africa.