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AAAJD > Webinar

    TOPIC: Inclusive Development and Rights: challenges and opportunities thrown up by  Covid-19
    DATE: 11th JUNE 2020
    TIME: GMT 10am (WAT: 11am; SA: 12pm; EAT 1pm; IST: 3:30pm)
    Registration: https://aaajd.org/webinar-registration/

    Covid-19 has seen widespread violations of rights, including the right to life as also civic and economic rights. The people on the margins have borne the brunt of the pandemic. The impoverishing of the poor and exacerbation of inequalities has raised questions about welfare provisioning and public service distribution to deal with the pandemic. Struggles for more inclusive development are occurring at various levels. When looking at the different redistributive measures of states, significant variation can be seen in their capacities to reduce inequalities and have inclusive systems. As we move towards opening societies battered from the pandemic and getting the wheel of economic development spinning again, it is important to deliberate on how inclusive systems and processes can be built for development of poor and vulnerable.

    In this context, it is important to discuss how citizens / groups connect to the state and its various entities. While political representation can be a determinant for channeling demands for inclusive systems and creating structures for inclusive development, it is also important to deliberate beyond formal processes and elected representatives, by also looking at pressure-groups and informal community-based, local systems and process. This is important for having inclusive policies for justice and development. It will involve both, an understanding of the systems and processes that exacerbate vulnerabilities, and what can create opportunities for inclusive development.


    1. Discuss the experiences and lessons learnt in welfare provisioning and public service delivery to the vulnerable in the face of the COVID pandemic.
    2. Debate the challenges associated with access and delivery of social security schemes.
    3. Share alternative strategies and mechanisms that have emerged to reach out and include the poor in relief and sustenance measures.
    4. Share the local communities’ efforts to safeguard and evolve survival processes.
    5. Recommendations for people-centered, community-based strategies, built on local understanding and consultations, as a core pillar for inclusive development.

    MODERATOR: Prof Madhushree Sekher, Chairperson International Relations Office and Professor Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (India)


    • India: Dr Shailesh Kumar Darokar, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, TISS
    • Kenya: Ms.Ruth Getobai who is a Regional Coordinator with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
    • South Africa: Amanda Rinquest is a National Education and Training Manager at Black Sash, South Africa. She is also an attorney of the High Court and a human rights activist.
    • Zambia: Dr John Bwalya, Director, Dag Hammarskjold Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Nigeria:Mr. Jake Epelle, Executive Director, Albino Foundation


    TOPIC: Access To Justice For The Poor And The Vulnerable In The Midst Of A Pandemic
    DATE: 4th June 2020
    TIME: GMT: 10am (WAT: 11am; SA: 12pm; EAT 1pm; IST: 3:30pm)
    Registration: https://aaajd.org/webinar-registration/

    ‘’Inequality of outcome among today’s generation is the source of unfair advantage received by the next generation. If we are concerned about inequality of opportunity tomorrow, we need to be concerned about inequality of outcome today’’- Tony Atkinson. The COVID-19 crisis is causing large-scale loss of life and severe human suffering globally. It has also generated a major economic, social and political crisis, which touches every aspect of people’s lives. The pandemic and the measures designed to contain it compound the negative impact on living standards. The pandemic is impoverishing the poor and exacerbating inequality. Informal workers are severely affected by the lockdown measures. Low skill workers are not able to work from home. The poor and the vulnerable, especially those living in extreme poverty are being hit the hardest, not only in terms of lost incomes, but in terms of how their life conditions and future are threatened by this whole situation. As the virus spreads from more affluent areas where it arrived first, it affects populations that live in poorer sanitary conditions, and suffer from multiple deprivations, which are magnified due to lockdown.  In most countries, violence has been used by security forces to contain persons in the designated lockdown areas. The use of force has been disproportionately meted out against the poor and the vulnerable. Most victims do not have the resources to engage the services of an advocate and rely on legal aid institutions.  Further, in light of the pandemic most Judiciaries are not operating at maximum efficiency and have put in place measures to limit people engagement with the court. The pandemic has also brought to the fore the fact that some countries have week National Legal Aid institutions therefore jolting civil society organizations to fill the glaring gap. These are just but a few weaknesses within the criminal justice service that the pandemic has highlighted.

    The pathway for recovery must therefore integrate accessible and people-centred justice systems as a core pillar, as legal and justice services play a major role in restoring economies, social cohesion and confidence in institutions. There is a need for rapid and decisive action by governments in order to ensure that the most vulnerable people and economic agents have the necessary legal support and access to channels to address their legal problems.

    To this end, the AAAJD proposes to hold a webinar to enable an exchange of lessons learned and experiences in delivering legal and justice services to the most vulnerable in the face of a COVID-19 outbreak.


    1. Share and discuss current and potential future impacts of COVID-19 on access to justice and justice systems.
    2. Discuss ongoing and emerging challenges and highlight the needed support for the countries to help overcome them.
    3. Interrogate the criminal justice system response to vulnerable justice seekers needs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    4. Exchange concrete experiences in addressing the implications of the crisis and reflect on the implications for enabling people-centered approaches and maintaining access to justice for all persons particularly those most vulnerable.

    Moderator: Julie Wayua Matheka – Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya)


    1. Ms. Angela Uwandu, is the Head of Office of Avocats Sans Frontières France in Nigeria. She is a criminal justice reform expert who leads a team of pro bono lawyers in providing Human Rights trainings and access to justice for persons facing the death penalty, victims of torture, extra judicial killings and arbitrary detention in Nigeria on the platform of the SAFE project.
    2. Buhle Booi, Political organizer at Ndifuna Ukwazi. Buhle Booi was organizing in poorer communities during the Covid-19 lockdown when the marginalized communities were evicted by the City of Cape Town Metro Municipality.
    3. Professor Irudaya Rajan, Director, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum India .
    4. Abdul Noormohamed– Executive Director, ICJ Kenya

    Click below to Download webinar materials
    Access to Justice for the poor and vulnerable in the midst of a Pandemic – Nigeria


    Topic: Innovative Technologies Deployed For Monitoring The Conduct of Security Agencies During The Pandemic
    Date: 28th May, 2020
    Time: GMT 10am (WAT 11am, SA: 12pm, EAT 1PM, IST 3:30PM)
    Registration: https://aaajd.org/webinar-registration/
    Video Recording from the Webinar: https://aaajd.org/videos/

    The continued highhandedness and abuse of police powers by law enforcement and security agents in attempts to enforce state COVID-19 directives resulting in violations of citizens’ rights and fundamental freedoms remains a serious problem in various countries’ efforts to curtail the spread of the disease the world over.

    Policing and human rights experts have called for strong oversight and accountability institutions to check the continued human rights violations and hold to account law enforcement and security agents that are found culpable of such violations. Civil Society Organizations have also been called to play a critical role in ensuring accountability of law enforcement and security agents as they enforce these COVID -19 directives by ensuring systematic documentation of such rights violations and working closely with the oversight and accountability institutions to ensure they are investigated and appropriate actions taken where necessary.

    As part of efforts to contribute to ensuring accountability and promoting rights-based approach to policing in such emergency situations as the pandemic, Civil Society Organizations have devised innovative strategies using technology to monitor the conduct and activities of law enforcement and security agents on COVID-19 duties.

    The Afro-Asia Alliance invites you to our next discussion on Innovative technologies deployed for monitoring the conduct of security agencies during the Pandemic. We will discuss various technological innovations that are being deployed to monitor conduct and activities of law enforcement and security agencies in selected countries in Africa and Asia during the COVID-19 pandemic, how are information sourced via these channels verified, processed, managed and fed into the activities or responses of oversight institutions for relevant action and lastly in general, what are the pros and cons in using such technological innovations to promote police accountability.

    Moderator: Blessing Abiri-Program Advisor-CLEEN Foundation


    1. Ghalib Galant Deputy National Coordinator Right to Know, South Africa
    2. Moses Okinyi Communications Officer – ICJ Kenya and Liason person- Missing Voices, Kenya
    3. Prof Arvind Tiwari Dean – School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance. Chairperson – Centre for Police Studies and Public Security, School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India.
    4. Gabriel Akinremi Senior Information Technology Officer, CLEEN Foundation, Nigeria
    5. Oluwole OJEWALE Assistant Program Manager (Research & Strategy Development) CLEEN Foundation, Nigeria

    Click below to Download webinar materials

    Innovative Technologies Deployed For Monitoring The Conduct of Security Agencies During The Pandemic – Nigeria

    ICJ Kenya Communique – Police Brutality and State Responses – Quarantine as the New Detention
    Distance Conscious and Human Rights-Based COVID-19 Policing Guidelines
    ICJ Kenya Statement – Poor and Vulnerable – Final
    ICJ Kenya Statement to the GOK on HR Violations


    Topic: Public Participation and Assembly under COVID-19
    Date: 21st May 2020.
    Time: GMT 10am (WAT 11am, SA: 12pm, EAT 1PM, IST 3:30PM )
    Registration: https://aaajd.org/webinar-registration/
    Video Recording from the Webinar: https://aaajd.org/videos/

    The right of peaceful assembly is an essential condition for the exercise of other fundamental human rights. It can be used as a tool to fulfil other rights which, inter alia, include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and provides an essential platform to demand accountability. It also protects the ability of people to exercise individual freedoms in partnership with others. Peaceful assemblies may take many forms, including meetings, protests, rallies and sit-ins and can be exercised through physical gatherings or through the use of digital means. International law, however, does not recognise this right as absolute and allows for its limitation, provided any restrictions imposed are provided for by law and are necessary and proportionate.

    Across the world, laws and regulations that limit public gatherings and freedom of assembly have been passed as part of measures adopted to combat the novel coronavirus (covid-19). In many states, these measures were introduced through executive decisions, to limit freedom of movement and prevent the spread of the covid-19 from person to person, without public participation and consultations. While considerations of public health may permit limitations to be imposed on physical assemblies, it is essential to ensure that the exercise of this right is not unduly impeded. As we have seen with the legality of notice period, these restrictions don’t necessarily trump the right to assemble. Across the world, we have seen assemblies and protests take place against what is seen as arbitrary and repressive imposition of restrictions. Managing these assemblies adds additional layers of complexity to the policing of assembly

    The following issues will be discussed:

    1. How has the right to assemble freely with others been affected by regulations adopted to combat covid-19, and was the public consulted before they were adopted?
    2. To what extent is public health emergency used to supress other fundamental human rights, such as the right to a peaceful assembly?
    3. Do national laws in your country provide enough protection and support for online assembly? How has these changed in a C19 world.
    4. What measures have been introduced to promote widespread accessibility of affordable internet?
    5. Access to information is critical to ensure effective exercise of the right to assembly. What legal and institutional frameworks have been put in place to facilitate access to information?

    Moderator: Abdirahman Gossar, African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum


    1. Rita Ilevbare is a Lawyer with 17 years post call experience in public interest law, gender justice and child development. She is the Executive Director, Gender Relevance Initiative Promotion (GRIP), a leading NGO responding to GBV in Nigeria.
    2. Abdul Shabanis is a professor at the School of Development Studies, in Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
    3. Dr Duncan Ojwang is the Dean of school at the Africa Nazarene University in Kenya. He has a doctorate in law and policy from the University of Arizona.
    4. Mr Stanley Malematja is an attorney at Right2Protest. Right2Protest(R2P) is a coalition of organisations that aim to advance and support the realisation of the constitutional right to protest as entrenched in section 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, by providing legal assistance and support to all protesters

    Download Webinar Resource

    Public Participation and Assembly Under Covid-19: The Nigeria Experience

    COVID-19 and Violations of Democratic and Human Rights: The India Experience

    Public Participation and Assembly Under Covid-19: South Africa Experience


    TOPIC: Governance for Access to Justice in Covid-19: Issues for Policing
    DATE: 14th May,2020
    TIME: GMT 10am (WAT 11am, SA: 12pm, EAT 1PM, IST 3:30PM)
    REGISTRATION: https://aaajd.org/webinar-registration/
    Video Recording from the Webinar: https://aaajd.org/videos/

    The covid-19 emergency of a historical scale has made the police a core arm to the management of the unprecedented crisis.  Police is tasked to contain the lockdowns, ensure social distancing, undertake contact tracing and  is part of quarantine control; safeguard health workers; facilitate the flow of goods, prioritising the essentials; check black marketing; control the movement of  labour besides performing the traditional role of crime control with new sites of crime emerging. In many countries special powers have been invoked or police is under the  direction of a select decision-making leadership, and with the lockdown in place  many accountability mechanisms are unviable.

     At this crucial juncture the legitimacy of the state is vital, with the police a visible barometer of that performance. Initial insights for the access to justice point to the amplifying of existing positionings – be it of the vulnerable groups, of trust levels in police and criminal justice agencies or  standing of leaders. There is recognition that a multilateral, multi-agency, multiple action response re-designed and tailored to the crisis is more effective. Civil society and media remain powerful justice actors. The market continues to  assert.  Social solidarity is emerging as critical in responding to emergencies. While none of these learnings are new they offer some pointers for democratic citizen centric policing in times of covid-19. The AAAJD forum engages with these issues in context to the police in this webinar. The discussions will be led by a mix of academics, legal fraternity, civil society, state representatives and other stakeholders.

     The webinar will discuss in specific:

    1. What are the institutional mechanisms -legislative, Supreme Court directives, state policies, international guidelines or others have been put in place so that police overreach does not undermine democratic rights and state institutions?
    2. How are the historical tensions among different religious and ethnic communities playing out and how are these being managed to maintain the rule of law?
    3. What is the commentary on ‘surveillance’ mechanisms and the relationship to privacy and citizen rights?
    4. What are the innovations and good practices of civil society and local communities engagement and collaborate with the police to maintain the new rules of the lockdown, safeguard health workers or protect rights of daily wagers, particularly if they contrast with the needs of the market?
    5. What are the recommendations for policy and civil society to strengthen democratic citizen centric policing?

    Moderator: Prof Rainuka Dagar, AAAJD


    1. Prof Aseem, Chairperson School of Public Policy, Tata Institute of social sciences (TISS), India
    2. Kelly Gillespie, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
    3. Evans Oganda, Lecturer Public Law specializing in Public International Law, International Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law at the University of Nairobi, Kenya
    4. CP Emmanuel Ojukwu rtd. For over 30 years involved in active law enforcement duties in Nigeria. Played key roles in criminal justice sector reforms in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently consulting on security, public relations and psychological services, and is the Provost of the Police Public Relations School, Lafia, Nigeria


    DATE: 7TH MAY, 2020
    TIME: GMT 10am (WAT 11am, SA: 12pm, EAT 1PM, IST 3:30 PM)
    REGISTRATION: https://aaajd.org/webinar-registration/
    Video Recording from the Webinar:https://aaajd.org/videos/


    Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments at all levels across countries and within the African and Asian regions, have deployed a number of measures to curtail the spread of the disease including empowering police and law enforcement institutions with additional responsibilities to enforce COVID-19 directives. In some countries, these added police responsibilities have come with extra powers which have in some cases resulted in the misuse of such powers leading to human rights violations and sometimes through the excessive use of force in enforcing COVID-19 directives.

    To discuss and understand the context of policing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Afro-Asia Alliance invites you to our next conversation on Rights Based Approach to Pandemic Policing. We will discuss the emerging trends and approaches of policing by Police institutions in selected countries in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum will also share insights on the effectiveness of police accountability measures for controlling police powers during the pandemic.  The role of  governments, policy makers and civil society in promoting a rights based approach to pandemic policing will also be critically examined.

    The webinar will specifically address the following questions:

    1. How are law enforcement institutions policing the pandemic and what trends in policing practices have emerged since COVID-19 lockdown restrictions imposed by governments (Experience sharing-Reactive, Proactive policing etc)
    2. What is the level of preparedness in the area of trainings and/or provisions of code of conduct for law enforcement institutions for policing such emergency situations as the pandemic?
    3. Have there been any forms of inter-agency collaboration in policing the pandemic and what has been the success rate of such collaboration?
    4. Have there been cases of human rights violations by law enforcement officials and what has been the institutional response to address such cases?
    5. What are the accountability measures in place to control police powers during the pandemic and how effective are these measures in holding erring police officers to account?
    6. How should governments prepare for emergency situations as pandemics in terms of law enforcement and policing in general?
    7. What should be the roles of critical stakeholders such as the media and civil society organizations in holding police institutions to account?

    Time slot/Speaker: 10 minutes


    Blessing Abiri-Program Advisor-CLEEN Foundation

    Ruth E. Olofin –Programme Manager, CLEEN Foundation

    Welcome Remarks

    Prof Rainuka Dagar, Program Director, Afro-Asian Association for Justice Development (AAAJD) and Co-Convener of the AAAJD Webinar Series on Safeguarding Rights during COVID-19


    Dr KM Parivelan, Chairperson, Centre for Statelessness and Refugee Studies, School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences

    Julie Matheka, Senior Programme Officer, Criminal Justice and Security Sector Reforms, Human Rights and Justice Programme of the International Commission of Jurists, Kenya. ICJ Kenya is part of the Police Reforms Working Group in Kenya

    Barr Rommy Mom, Honorable Commissioner for Human Rights at the Police Service Commission and President, Lawyers Alert.

    South Africa
    Annelize Van Wyk-Trustee of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum and Past Chairperson of the South African National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Police


    30TH APRIL 2020
    GMT: 10am (WAT: 11am; SA: 12pm; EAT 1pm; IST: 3:30pm)

    The Afro-Asian alliance invites you to our next discussion on impact of GBV during a Pandemic. We will discuss the emerging trends and forms of GBV in different sites and population groups. Gain and share insights on practical measures to responding to in emergency situations when relief and in person outreach is restricted, at best. The forum will exchange views on the role of policy planners, civil society and state agencies in creating pathways of protection and prevention of GBV.

    The webinar will specifically address the following questions:

    1. How governments are addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices during the pandemic?
    2. What inter-agency advocacy can be done during this period to impact gender equality and GBV?
    3. How  to empower community-based protection systems in the wake of lockdowns and curfews to ensure they are still effective to protect women and girls from GBV and girls at risk of female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage?
    4. What measures have governments put in place as sufficient response mechanisms? National hotlines; increasing remote access to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS).
    5. What measures have government put in place to strengthen the clinical management of GBV such as forensic kits, sutural of cervical and vaginal tears kit, post-rape treatment kits and dignity kits availability?
    6. Which measures have been taken to ensure women and girls including those from indigenous communities, disabled, key populations, displaced persons, migrants, refugees, and others have equal access to GBV prevention and response during the outbreak?


    Julie Wayua Matheka – Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya)



    1. Dr. Trupti Panchal, Chairperson, Women Centred social work and Lead for special cell for women TISS
    2. Gurpreet Deo, Additional Director General of Police, Community Affairs division with additional charge of Women and child Affairs, Punjab Police


    • Lydia Muthiani, International Human Rights Law Consultant, Expert on Women’s and Girls’ Human Rights and ICJ Kenya Member.


    • Yona Wanjala, Program Director at Defenders Protection Initiative

    South Africa

    • Bronwyn Pithey, Head of Right to be Free from Violence Programme, Women’s Legal Centre


    • Bose Ironsi, Executive Director, Women’s Rights and Health Project, WRAHP.
    • Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Police Service.

    To participate please see e-banner and registration information below:


    Click below to Download webinar materials on Gender Based Violence #GBV During a Public Health Pandemic.

    Gender Based Violence During COVID-19 Lockdown

    COVID-19 and ending violence against women and girls

    PRESS RELEASE: The Secretary-General’s Statement on Gender-Based Violence and COVID19

    Violence against women and girls: the shadow pandemic

    Joint Leaders’ statement – Violence against children: A hidden crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Statement on justice sector operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Detention and Human Rights During COVID-19 Restrictions

    The Afro-Asian Association for Justice Development, CLEEN Foundation, APCOF, TATA Institute of Social Sciences-India and the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) are hosting a webinar series focused on Safeguarding Human Rights during the COVID 19 pandemic. Our first session begins tomorrow with the topic ‘Detention and Human Rights during COVID-19 Restrictions’ We look forward to your participation in this series. Registration is free. To participate in tomorrow’s session please see e-banner shared above and registration information below:


    Presentation on Detention Safeguards during Covid-19
    By Louise Edwards
    Director of Research and Programmes
    African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum

    Click below to Download webinar materials for Detention and Human Rights During COVID-19 Restrictions

    ACHPR Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa. (Luanda Guidelines)

    Principles on the Decriminalisation of Petty Offences in Africa

    African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) press statement on human rights based effective response to Covid-19

    CPT statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of Covid-19

    African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) press statement on human rights based effective response to Covid-19

    CPT statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of Covid-19

    UNICEF Technical note on Covid-19 and Children Deprived of Their Liberty

    Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture Advice to States and National Preventive

    Ouagadougou Declaration and Plan of Action on Accelerating

    OHCHR & WHO Covid-19 Focus on Persons Deprived of Their Liberty