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Heads of Human Rights Commissions Recommend Draft EAC Bill of Rights to Council of Ministers

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 3 June 2010: The meeting of Heads of the East African Community (EAC) National Human Rights Commissions has recommended to the EAC Council of Ministers the draft EAC Bill of Rights for consideration.  The draft EAC Bill of Rights is envisaged to set a common standard for harmonisation of the bills of rights in the respective Partner States.

The meeting, which was attended by Chairpersons, Commissioners and legal officials from the Human Rights Commissions from all the five Partner States, further recommended that the EAC Secretariat facilitates wider consultation at national levels on the draft Bill.

The delegates were informed by the Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation) Hon. Beatrice Kiraso that that the draft Bill would support the development of the EAC Good Governance Protocol and its four pillars, namely Democracy and Democratisation processes; Human Rights and Equal Opportunities; Anti-Corruption, Ethics and Integrity; and Rule of Law and Access to Justice.

The draft Bill which will also be discussed during the forthcoming EAC Conference on Good Governance in Nairobi, Kenya, in August, proposes the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) extend its jurisdiction to include adjudication on Bill of Rights.
The draft Bill was initiated by the National Human Rights Commissions and facilitated by Kituo cha Katiba (Centre for Constitutional Development), a regional organisation that has observer status with the EAC.

This was the third meeting of Heads of Human Rights Commissions and was chaired by Mr Amiri Manento, Chairman of Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance from Tanzania.

For clarification/enquiries, please contact:
Owora Richard Othieno
Ag. Head of Department
Phone: +255 784 835021
Email: othieno@eachq.org

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