By MUHAMMED .S. BAH
In commemorating the 10th year anniversary of the adoption of the African Youth Charter, 52 young people from different African countries converged to dialogue at a local hotel during the weekend.
The event was organised by the Human Right Institute of South Africa (HURISA), a coalition of African civil society organisations, in collaboration with the African Youth Panel, National Youth Council of The Gambia, Youth Alliance in The Gambia, African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) and UN.
Addressing the participants, Mr Dalitoo Magalegele, Programme Officer, Eye for development (EFD), said states parties of the African Union are obliged to recognize the rights, freedoms and duties enshrined in the Charter.
He said the State parties shall undertake the necessary steps in accordance with their constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Charter to adopt such legislative or other measures that may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the charter. “Every young person shall be entitled to the enjoyments of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in this Charter, irrespective of their race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status,” said Mr. Magalegele.
The EFD Programme Officer noted that the States parties are also obliged to take appropriate measures to ensure that young people in their respective countries are protected against all forms of discrimination on the basis of status, activities, expressed opinions or beliefs.
“Every young person shall be assured the right to express his or her ideas and opinions subject to the restrictions prescribed by laws. Every young person shall have the right to free association and freedom of peaceful assembly in conformity with the law. Young people should not be compelled to belong to an association,” said Mr. Magalegele.
He added that every young person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.