THE AFRICAN UNION OF THE BLIND OBTAINS OBSERVERSTATUS TO THE AFRICAN COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON THERIGHTS AND WELFARE OF THE CHILDACERWC
On December 15, 2017, the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) was awarded a prestigious end year giftby the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). At theACERWC 30th Ordinary Session held in Khartoum, Sudan on 6th – 16th December, our application tothe Committee for Observer Status was approved under reference No. OBS/026/2017.
ACERWC draws its establishment and mandate from the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare ofthe Child (ACRWC) that came into force in 1999. The Charter that complements the efforts of theglobal Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – that was adopted a decade earlier – realizes therights of the child within the unique yet diverse context of Africa. In particular, the ACRWC obliges theCommittee to “promote and protect the rights enshrined in the Charter…monitor the implementationof the rights…interpret the provisions of the Charter at the request of a State Party (of the AU), aninstitution of the AU or any other person or institution recognized by the AU….and perform suchother tasks as may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.”
AFUB’s strategic framework on engagement with the AU aims at prioritizing issues of blind and partiallysighted persons in the agenda of African Governments. AFUB is already enjoying a good workingrelationship with the African Disability Alliance (ADA), the African Disability Forum (ADF) and equallyimportant, the African Union Division of Social Affairs to advance the realization of the AfricanDisability Protocol and the Marrakech Treaty. Consequently, our new relationship with ACERWC,which is also an AU organ is a catalyst towards achievement of our ambition and bolstering of thesenoble relationships. Additionally, the honour and Status to Observe empowers us to initiate as well asstrengthen existing programmes and campaigns that will promote and protect the rights of children withdisability in Africa, with particular reference to those who are blind and partially sighted.
We look forward to fruitful engagements!
YAW Debra Ofori
African Union of the Blind