PRESS RELEASE - For immediate release

11 August 2008, Banjul, The Gambia - The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights wishes to inform the general public that on the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Botswana, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) will undertake a Fact-Finding Mission to Botswana from 11- 15 August 2008.

The Mission, which is part of the Commission’s protection mandate, is being undertaken in accordance with Article 46 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with the objective of investigating the human rights situation concerning Zimbabwean migrants in Botswana.

The Mission will be undertaken by Commissioner Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga, Member of the African Commission responsible for the promotion of human rights in Botswana, and the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Migrants in Africa. He will be accompanied by Ms. Oluwatosin Nguher, Legal Officer for Protection, at the Secretariat of the African Commission.

The delegation will be meeting with Government Officials, Representatives of political parties, Non-governmental organizations and other civil society organisations in Botswana. The delegation will also pay visits to the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants and Dukwe Refugee Camp, to inspect the living conditions of inhabitants of these camps and to know what the authorities are doing to regularize their status in the country.

Terms of reference for the Mission are as follows:

  1. To examine the laws, policies and other measures adopted on asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
  2. To examine how and whether the International and Regional instruments on refugees have been domesticated.
  3. To examine any challenges faced by the Republic of Botswana in the implementation of its obligations under International and Regional instruments and specifically, the African Charter regarding rights of Zimbabwean asylum seekers and migrants.
  4. To make recommendations to the Government on how to give effect to their obligations under the African Charter.

For further information, please contact:

The Secretariat of the African Commission

PO Box 673 Banjul
The Gambia
Tel: 220 4392 962 Fax: 220 4390 764
E-mail: achpr@achpr.org or bsec@achpr.org or Secretary@achpr.org