Workshop to focus on access to justice in Africa and Asia

The Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape in conjunction in partnership with the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice is convening a three-day workshop on Africa and Asia Civil society on Access to Justice. The workshop, which will take place from 27-29 March 2019, at the Protea Hotel Parktonian - Johannesburg, will focus on the role of civil society groups from Africa and Asia in effectively participating in the process leading to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), which will take place in July in New York.

One of the focus of the HLPF this year is SDG16 relating to access to justice. This workshop will discuss the importance of the HLPF process and the Voluntary National Review process (VNR). Through the VNR process, countries are able to report to the HPLF on the progress made in implementing the SDGs. Fifty-one countries will conduct Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) for HLPF 2019. Seventeen of these will be African countries, and 14 Asian countries

The objectives of the workshop include the following:

  1. To provide information and data on SDG 16.3 and the HLPF scheduled to take place in July 2019
  2. To develop strategies with a view to ensuring the visibility and active participation of civil society groups from Africa and Asia during the HLPF in July 2019
  3. To build capacity of civil society groups in Africa and Asia to understand and engage with the Voluntary National Review process
  4. To allow for cross-fertilisation of knowledge and ideas on access to justice between civil society groups in Africa and Asia and other regions.

The workshop will draw participation from countries such as Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and Mongolia made up of academics, judges, activists, policy makers/government officials representatives from civil society organizations and human rights lawyers involved in access to justice in Africa and Asia.

The workshop will be in form of sharing of experiences and presentations. The Deputy Minister for Justice, Hon. John Jeffrey and the Minister in the Presidency, Dr Nkosazana Zuma will both deliver keynote addresses during this meeting.