PRI is delighted to have received Observer Status to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), which is mandated to protect the rights of children enshrined in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
Representatives of PRI attended the current session of the Committee in Addis Ababa last week, where discussion was underway on the first draft of a General Comment by the Committee on Article 30 of the African Charter, which provides for the children of imprisoned mothers.
Sending a mother to prison even for a short period in prison can be devastating for her children. They may have to contend with separation from mother, the break-up of their family and a move into alternative care, or in some circumstances, they may end up living with their mother in detention facilities.
PRI has been advocating to the Committee for a focus on the following:
- ensuring that the draft addresses States parties directly and clearly to promote effective implementation of Article 30.
- encouraging the Committee to extend the application of the General Comment to all children affected by the involvement of parents/ caregivers in the criminal justice system, and not just to those who live in prison with their mothers.
- encouraging the Committee to refer to other sources of information and judgment such as other human rights treaty bodies or constitutional court decisions as a means of enriching the ACERWC’s own authoritative interpretation of Article 30.
PRI hopes the General Comment will be adopted after consultation with NGOs.
Please check back here for progress over the next few months.