Conscience International and the Inspection Panel Co-host CSO Outreach Workshop on Accountability in Banjul, The Gambia
Conscience International (CI) * and theInspection Panel organized a CSO outreach workshop in Banjul, The Gambia on 19 April, 2015 for CSO delegates attending the 56th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. Over 40 CSO representatives from over a dozen African and European countries participated in the workshop, which was held within the concomitant NGO Forum.
Serge Selwan of the Inspection Panel made apresentation about the Panel’s origins, compliance role, and investigative process. He also shared lessons learned from several recent cases which hadhuman rights dimensions. This was followed by a general discussion led by Shaka Ceesay, CI Director, in which participants asked questions about various aspects of the Panel’s work. Topics raised ranged from the enforceability of the Panel’s recommendations and World Bank’s acceptance of the Panel’s role, to eligibility criteria CSOs should follow when making a request for an investigation.
A number of key points were made during the discussion. First that CI and other CSOS consider the Panel’s role to be quite important to CSOs in Africa as it protects human rights embedded in Bank’s policies and procedures. Second, while many African countries benefit from Bank financed-projects, most citizens are unaware of how they can participate in these projects. Third, many CSOs and communities in Africa have little or no knowledge about the Inspection Panel as a venue to seek recourse when problems arise within Bank-financed projects.
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* CI has observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights