School of Law Holds the Fifth Annual Thematic Conference

Addis Ababa University (AAU) School of Law and FRIEDRICH EBERT STIFTUNG collaboratively organized the 5th Annual Thematic Conference for the Human Rights Law Series with the theme “Enforcement of Human Rights in Ethiopia: Old and New Challenges” at Hilton Hotel on April 8, 2022.

Getachew Assefa (PhD), Dean at the College of Law and Governance Studies, said that the conference created a platform for researches on the various human rights enshrined in the constitution to discuss whether those and other rights are being properly implemented in various public and private institutions, and the problems encountered in the process.

 “The aim of this thematic conference is to identify the human rights problems in general and to indicate possible solutions to such problems through research findings and make the public aware and put its own positive contribution,” Dr. Getachew noted.

He also explained that the AAU School of Law has organized and published forum discussions and conferences on various topics in the form of a book and presented them to various sections of the society for reading and in-depth research processes.

Wondemagegn Tadesse (PhD), from School of Law, in his presentation said that reform is often accompanied with positive developments for human rights; condemning past violations, protecting more rights and so on. “The reform recognizes the past regime as violator of rights, restrictive laws against civil societies and political parties, weak democratic institutions and mass media,” he added.

Yohannes Eneyew (PhD), Candidate in the Faculty of Law at Monash University in Australia, in his online demonstration, said that without engaging with the elephant in the room that is ethnification of media as well as enforcement and implementation gaps, will be naive and hard to expect the Media Proclamation alone sets the press free in Ethiopia.

According to Dr. Yohannes, in light of the income of journalists, the inflation rate, the economy of criminal sanctions and international human rights law, the Media Proclamation suggests the blind spots of the law such as hefty fines for civil defamation and vague terms such as ‘illegal matter’ under article 85(1) should be reconsidered and re-drafted.

Ayalew Getachew, from AU’s African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child, in his perspective on Ethiopia’s obligations under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: Towards a legislative measure suggested that Ethiopia’s obligations in protection and ensuring participation can only be effectively discharged by installing appropriate legislative framework.

According to Ayalew, a Federal system may result in a systematic discrimination where child protection is stronger in some jurisdictions but weaker in others. “Through legislative measures, Ethiopia needs to address the uneven and fragmented protection that results in an adverse and discriminatory effect in children across the country,” he added.

Reporter: Theodros Shewangizaw

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene

Editor: Abraham Girmay