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African Union calls for papers for publication on the theme “Year of Human Rights with Special Focus on Rights of Women”

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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The African Union Commission has today sent out a call for papers from organs and employees of the African Union, member states, human rights commissions, academic institutions, think tanks, civil society organizations, women's organizations and the wider public. The papers, once selected will be published in the Commission's newsletter, the AU ECHO in its January 2016 edition.

The aim of the newsletter is to feature evidence based and solution-oriented articles on the progress that has been achieved as well as innovative initiatives that are being undertaken with regard to promoting and upholding human rights, with a particular emphasis on the rights of women, guided by AU Human Rights Frameworks. The topic was selected based on the theme of the AU summits for 2016 i.e. “Year of Human Rights with Special Focus on Rights of Women”. The newsletter will be distributed first to Heads of State and other high level delegates at the January 2016 summit of the African Union. Soft copies will be posted on the AU website www.au.int. Copies will also be distributed to partners, academic institutions, media and civil society organisations.

The crucial role that human rights in general, and women's rights in particular play in the African Union's vision towards an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena cannot be over emphasized. Over the past few decades, numerous Afro-centric human rights normative frameworks have come into play — including the African Charter on Human and People's Rights; the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights — which have become indispensable to the wider global Human Rights and Development Architectures and set the stage for the realization of human rights.

“The AU ECHO has, over the years, become the reference point for promoting the AU's role in our society. Through evidence based narratives, it provides the continent with an idea of how decisions reached by our Heads of State and Government are benefitting the African people. By calling on different sectors of the African public to provide their inputs, the AU ECHO is thus contributing to the building of a people centered African Union. While we acknowledge that there is much work to be done as the continent seeks to attain its vision under Agenda 2063, there is a lot that has already been achieved and the AU ECHO offers citizens the chance the share those good news stories”, said the Commission's Director of Information and Communication (DIC) Mrs Habiba Mejri Cheikh, who is the newsletter's Publishing Editor.

“The DIC is grateful for the cooperation lent by Departments of the AUC in this effort to tell Africa's success story, through an African perspective and contribute to changing the African narrative. This year, we are collaborating closely with the Department of Political Affairs”, added the DIC Director.

On his part, the Commission's Director of Political Affairs Dr Khabele Matlosa said “As the Department of Political Affairs, we welcome this initiative by the Directorate of Information and Communication because it helps the Commission to share what we are doing, as well as to hear from the people we are working for i.e. the African people. Indeed we are cooperating closely to ensure that our leadership and all our stakeholders get a feel of the impact our continental organization is having on the ground”.

“Previous editions of the AU ECHO have featured topics such as “The Africa we want” in 2013, “Year of Agriculture and Food Security” in 2014 and “Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Agenda 2063” in 2015. We are continuously working to ensure the publication is relevant to the continent and are looking forward to a good response from all stakeholders”, said Mrs Wynne Musabayana, the Commission's Deputy Head of the Communication and Information Division, who is also the newsletter's Chief Editor.

The AU ECHO focuses on the successes achieved by member states and African society in the implementation of decisions and programs of the AU. It is published in both print and online versions. Its topics are guided by the themes of the summits of the AU.

Submissions for the January 2016 edition will be open on September 23, 2015 and will close on November 20 2015. Articles for publication should be submitted in any of the AU languages i.e. English, French, Portuguese and Arabic. Articles should not be more than 1200 words long. Photographs and other illustrations that enhance the article are welcome, although these must be original to the author and/or under a creative commons license. All submissions must contain the full name and contact details of the sender, his/her organization and job title (if applicable) and should be sent to the Chief Editor at [email protected] with a copy to the Publishing Editor at [email protected] Publication of articles will be at the discretion of the Publishing Editor.