Advocacy in the Sahel region6 December 2021
To address the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel, the team of the Mali Regional Desk worked with the national human rights commissions of Burkina Faso and Niger to increase their understanding of international humanitarian law (IHL).
As part of the Desk’s advocacy work to contribute to improved protection environment in Burkina Faso and Niger, the Mali Regional Desk held bilateral meetings with the human rights commissions of Burkina Faso and Niger to advocate for more comprehensive mainstreaming of international legal norms in relation to the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region in general and to the Mali conflict in particular.
In an effort to further provide legal support needed to increase the quality of the human rights commissions’ protection work in highly fragile human rights environment in the Sahel region, the Mali Desk scaled up its advocacy building activities on IHL/IHRL in the Sahel region, with particular emphasis on Niger and Burkina Faso whose security-related humanitarian challenges and recurrent human rights violations during counter-terrorism operations have direct adverse humanitarian consequences in Mali.
Advocacy to strengthening knowledge of IHL and human rights
Our engagements with the human rights commissions in Burkina Faso and Niger centered predominantly on strengthening their knowledge of IHL and human rights to ensure that fundamental international legal norms are integrated into their respective advocacy and operational work in crisis-affected zones.
The Burkina Faso Human Rights Commission strongly commended the continued support from the Mali Regional Desk towards strengthening their knowledge of IHL and international human rights law, particularly during this time as the country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
The trip of our team in the Sahel region was also an opportunity to map the current core legal and protection issues in Burkina Faso and Niger, as well as on networking and building trust with key stakeholders. In this regard, the Mali Regional Desk also held bilateral meetings with International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to build trust and identify areas of possible collaboration.