UPR Info co-organises a CSO strategy workshop in Malawi
On 18-20 June, UPR Info together with the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) organised a “CSO strategy workshop on implementation of UPR recommendations”. This was the fourth workshop that UPR Info organised in collaboration with local partners.
During the three-day workshop:
- Malawian civil society members discussed their experiences with the UPR mechanism from 2010 to 2015
- Reviewed the recommendations that Malawi received in the 2015 UPR
- Wrote an implementation plan to propose solutions for how the recommendations should be implemented
- Outlined an action strategy to identify advocacy activities to ensure UPR implementation
- Adopted an outcome charter in which CSOs defined and agreed on priorities for the implementation of the recommendations.
The representative of the OHCHR office in Malawi was present and gave the opening remarks on the first day of the workshop, together with UPR Info and director of CEDEP. To allow more activists to participate in the workshop, also the ones coming from remote areas outside Lilongwe (from Blantyre, Mzuzu, and Zomba), the organisers partnered up with CIVICUS. Thanks to their support, more activists were able to attend the workshop.
Worth mentionning as well that the National Human Rights Commission of Malawi (MHRC) participated in the workshop. The MHRC is an active stakeholder in the human rights field in Malawi, its support and cooperation with CSOs will be instrumental for the continuation of the UPR activities on the ground with all the stakeholders.
After the workshop and until the official adoption of the UPR Report of Malawi in September, CSOs will have the possibility to lobby the government for accepting the recommendations that the Malawi delegation left pending in Geneva.
The Government of Malawi mentioned that some of the recommendations they received had already been implemented right before their second UPR process, a sign that the UPR really is a mechanism that pushes states to be more active in the human rights field and try to ameliorate the situation on the ground.
Overall, over the course of three days approximately 40 representatives from civil society participated in the workshop from various organisations that represent all issues that were raised during the UPR of Malawi. It was a unique opportunity for CSOs to further discuss how cooperation among the different stakeholders can improve the human rights situation in Malawi.
“CSO strategy workshop on implementation of UPR recommendations” is the first step of UPR Info’s follow-up activities in Malawi. A similar workshop was held in Armenia and Kenya in February 2015, in Mongolia in May 2015, and more such workshops will be organised in other countries in the course of 2015.
Important to note that a core group of CSOs will meet with the Government and the Human Rights Commission in early July to start discussing the implementation of UPR recommendations.
We also look forward to organising the "dialogue day" among representatives from the Government, CSOs and UN agencies, which will take place in October 2015 after the official adoption of the UPR working group of Malawi.