October 20, 2021, Moroni, Union of the Comoros. Workshop on human rights and democracy for youth, women's and civil society organizations.

In order to strengthen its capacities as well as those of youth and women's organisations, civil society and Comorian institutions in the field of democracy, human rights and gender, the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms of the Union of the Comoros - (CNDHL) requested the support of the Indian Ocean Regional Representation of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie  to carry out a series of training sessions on the state of human rights, gender and democracy in the Union of the Comoros.

The main purpose of these trainings is to support the consolidation of the democratic process with an integrated and inclusive approach with civil society organisations, youth, women, and state institutions. During this first workshop held on 21 October 2021, 25 leaders of the main civil society organisations, youth and women from 3 islands of the Union of Comoros were trained on human rights and democracy.

The training courses were structured around six modules:

1.         International human rights conventions in force in the Union of the Comoros, mechanisms and procedures for their implementation; international human rights conventions in force within the African Union, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

2.         Fundamental freedoms and rights to participate in public and political life.

3.         Right to work, fair and favourable working conditions.

4.         Migrants and internally displaced persons.

5.         Right to Work and Covid 19.

6.         Administration of justice including impunity and the rule of law.

Experienced speakers in Human Rights and Democracy, in the person of the former Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Union of the Comoros, member of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, and the current Attorney General of the Republic of the Union of the Comoros, led this workshop.

It should be noted that as a follow-up to this workshop, a report will be produced with civil society and the institutions of the Union of the Comoros, with a view to formulate recommendations that will be discussed during a workshop scheduled for 23 November 2021.

In her opening speech, the President of the CNDHL, Mrs. Sittou Raghadat Mohamed, expressed "her thanks and gratitude to His Excellency the Ambassador and Representative of the OIF for having agreed to their request for support in strengthening the capacities of the CNDHL, civil society and Comorian institutions through this project". Stressing that "respect for human rights should not be synonymous with confrontation or anarchy" and that "it is a matter of raising awareness, persuading and above all making people understand that Rights without Duties becomes a meaningless concept", she expressed the hope that "this training will contribute concretely to capacity building in Democracy, Human Rights and Gender".

This workshop is part of the project to support the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law in the Union of the Comoros, financed by the Regional Office of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and implemented by the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) with its partner Earth Echo Communications.