The Committee has considered an Amicable Settlement on the Communication No. 004/Com/001/2014 submitted by IHRDA (the Complainant) and the Republic of Malawi (the Responding State).

The Communication is submitted by IHRDA against the Republic of Malawi. The Complainant submitted that contrary to what is provided in Article 2 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which defines a child as a person below the age of 18 years of age, Section 23 (5) of the Constitution of Malawi excludes children in Malawi between the ages of 16 and 18 years from the protections accorded to them under the Charter.

According to Section IX of the Revised Guidelines, the Committee considered the admissibility of the Communication and set to hear the arguments of both parties on the merit of the matter. While the Committee remains seized on the matter, the Parties submitted a request for an amicable settlement of the Communication. In considering the amicable settlement, the Committee is guided, among others by the provisions of the Charter and the best interest of the child principle in particular, and notes that the terms and conditions in the agreement are in line with the requirements as outlined in the Revised Communication Guidelines, and that both Parties, duly represented, have clearly consented before the Committee to be bound by the contents of the agreement. After having deliberated on the details of the terms and conditions of the amicable settlement agreement, the Committee decided to adopt the amicable settlement.

The amicable settlement will remain in force provided that the elements of the agreement are upheld, and in particular that:

Both Parties to the agreement remain willing to continue with the amicable settlement;

  • The Committee is convinced that the Respondent State takes all possible measures in the interim with a view to ensure the enjoyment of the provisions of the Charter for all children up to the age of 18 years of age;
  • The Committee remains convinced that the Respondent State undertakes to do everything within its power to amend its Constitution and all other relevant laws to be in compliance with article 2 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child by 31 December 2018;
  • And the Respondent State complies with its reporting obligation as prescribed in the attached agreement.

The decision of the Committee is annexed to this Press Release.

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