Togo has for several years been engaged in a fierce struggle for the protection of human rights and thus “guarantee the physical and mental integrity, life and security of everyone living on the national territory” as indicated in article 13 of the constitution of the Fifth Republic.
With a view to strengthening the mechanism for the defense of the rights of Togolese in general and those supposed to militate for the defense of human rights in particular, the Togolese government has undertaken to equip itself with a consolidation tool. and protection of the rights of human rights defenders by seeking the expertise of a consultant for the development of a guide on the rights of human rights defenders.
To this end, several actors and stakeholders in the defense of human rights met on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 in Lomé, with the said consultant in order to discuss the draft of the preliminary bill on recognition and the protection of human rights defenders in Togo that he developed.
At the end of this meeting, it will be a question of observing, professionalizing and improving the draft prepared by the consultant with regard to international standards relating to human rights, comparative law and the national context in order to create a safe and favorable framework. defense of human rights as well as stronger and more effective protection of human rights defenders in Togo.
Constructive proposals, pragmatic approaches and amendments are expected to make this document a model for defending the rights of human rights defenders.
At the opening of the proceedings, the representative of the Minister of Human Rights, Citizenship Training and Institutions of the Republic, Djeri Adjawè reiterated the government’s gratitude to all bilateral and multilateral partners, in particular the UNDP and OHCHR, which provide technical and financial assistance to the Ministry of Human Rights, to support it in its mission of protecting human rights and consolidating peace in Togo.
On the occasion, Ms. Pauline Dokou, Director of Conflict Prevention at the Ministry of Human Rights underlined that the establishment of legal data that protect and promote the defense of the rights of human rights defenders. is essential for the rule of law.
Tontasse Essohana, the consultant recruited for the task, for his part, abounded in the main axes of his work obtained after several interviews with the various actors involved which can be summed up in three parts. This is the question of the definition of human rights defenders, their roles and duties and the role of the state in protecting the rights of human rights defenders.