July 01, 2015

Sudanese Lawyers Participate in Human Rights Training and Meetings


July 2015

In April, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) conducted a training-of-trainers workshop in Banjul, the Gambia, for eight Sudanese human rights lawyers. The workshop focused on Africa’s human rights system and strategies for engagement with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission).

The April 18—21 workshop was part of ABA ROLI’s ongoing partnership with two independent Sudanese bar associations to strengthen the capacity of Sudanese advocates to engage in formal legal processes, including by filing communications on human rights abuses with the African Commission and engaging in parallel public advocacy.  It also included a session on personal and digital security, providing the lawyers guidance on staying safe while advocating for human rights in a challenging security climate. The training was planned to coincide with the African Commission’s 56th Ordinary Session and the accompanying non-governmental organizations’ forum, which allowed the advocates to apply their newly acquired skills as they participated in the regional meetings.

The Sudanese lawyers took part in several side events that addressed the human rights situation in Sudan. On April 18, three female lawyers participated in a panel discussion on the situation of women human rights defenders in Africa. At this session, smaller discussion groups were organized to accommodate speakers of different languages, increasing participation including by the Arabic-speaking Sudanese lawyers. At an April 22 side event, the spokesperson of one of the Sudanese bar associations gave a 10-minute presentation on government attacks on civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Abdelrahman Gasim, spokesperson for the Darfur Bar Association, said that the increased attention paid to the human rights situation in Sudan at the 56th Ordinary Session was highly encouraging and directly linked to the increased advocacy of Sudanese lawyers.

ABA ROLI’s work with independent Sudanese bar associations is currently supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.

To learn more about our work in Sudan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.