After the first capacity-building activity on the roles and responsibilities of oversight and accountability mechanisms in countering terrorism with Anglophone African countries held in Kenya, CT PHARE – Counter-Terrorism Platform for Human Rights Engagement has just returned from Morrocco where the same activity was implemented, this time with Francophone African countries.
From the 3rd to 5th October in Casablanca, the CT PHARE team welcomed more than 40 high-level practitioners from oversight and accountability mechanisms, as well as Judiciary, Prosecutor, Law Enforcement, Bar Association and Civil Society Organisations from eleven different countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Maroc, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Senegal, Tchad, and Togo.
It was also an honour to work again with experts from the African Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism of the African Union Commission, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
Mr. Aziz Dadas, Governor of the Casablanca Anfa District Prefecture of Morocco kindly opened the ceremony together with the IIJ’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Steven Hill, whereas Ms. Katarina Stohrova, Policy Officer of the European Delegation in Morocco, closed this three-day event. In their speeches, they all highlighted, with different nuances, the importance of promoting human rights in counter-terrorism.
Indeed, this three-day activity consisted of working sessions and interactive discussions to identify gaps, vulnerabilities, and good practices in the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of counter-terrorism operations in the eleven above-mentioned North, East, and West Francophone African countries.
The expected outcomes of the activity were:
- Increased understanding among participants on how to address gaps and vulnerabilities in their national response to human rights violations in the context of counter-terrorism operations.
- Strengthened collaboration between and among National Human Rights Institutions, Ombudsmen, police complaint authorities, civil society organisations, and the judiciary regarding the promotion and protection of human rights.
- A formulation of a set of recommendations, through establishing a guideline on how to strengthen the role of oversight and accountability mechanisms in the field of counter-terrorism.
The same activity will be replicated with Southeast Asian countries and with Middle Eastern countries in November 2023.
During the discussion with the participants, the vast majority underlined the importance of these kinds of activities where good practices, as well as vulnerabilities, are shared at the regional level. They also appreciated the inclusion of civil society organizations in the consultations. Finally, they look forward to the recommendations that will be developed from this activity, as a tool that will assist them and their office in carrying out the work of human rights oversight in the field of counter-terrorism.
CT PHARE is generously funded by the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission.