On Saturday – which was International Human Rights Day – the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States discussed how it can improve the human rights records of its 79 member states.
In its 2022 report, for instance, Human Rights Watch said that the security forces of the host state Angola continued to be implicated in “serious human rights abuses, including summary executions.”
It went on: “On January 30, police killed at least 10 protesters, when they indiscriminately fired at people who had peacefully gathered to demand better public services, such as water and electricity supply, in the diamond-rich town of Cafunfu, in Lunda Norte province.”
And in the streets near the OACPS summit, students told Euronews what they thought the problems are, and what they thought needs to be done to solve them.
“We see that despite our government’s efforts, the efforts are not significant. The poor keep getting poorer and poorer, and we see children on the street, in a terrible situation,” one Angolan student, Maria Oliveira, told Euronews.
“What should be done is for our government to improve the living situation so that we Africans don’t have to leave our country of origin,” she added.
Another Angolan student echoed her.
“The African leaders are to blame because if they create the conditions, in each country, I believe that many people will not need to leave the continent. What needs to be done is to invest more in education; people have to be able to live, even if it’s only the basics, and here that doesn’t exist,” Joselino Sousa, said.
“The State, in the various countries, has to invest in education, nutrition, and security; these factors can reduce the increase in migration from Africa to the other continents,” he added.
But despite the serious and human rights shortcomings of many of its members, the OACP has previously said that by 2030 it expects many rights issues, and even poverty itself, will have been better addressed.
The 79 members of the OACPS are expected to sign a declaration at the end of the summit which may outline how it intends to address them.