Niger: Trade unionist teacher elected to National Commission on Human Rights
In a significant move, the General Secretary of the Syndicat National des Agents de la Formation et de l'Education du Niger, has been appointed as the workers’ representative on the National Commission on Human Rights in Niger.
Almoustapha Moussa, the General Secretary of the Syndicat National des Agents de la Formation et de l'Education du Niger(SYNAFEN), was proposed for this pivotal position as workers’ representative on the National Commission on Human Rights in Niger (CNDH) by his union. The proposal was accepted by other trade union confederations in the country and Moussa was sworn in on 15 June before the National Assembly of Niger. He will sit on the CNDH for four years along with eight other commissioners who are permanent members.
“As a teacher, I am convinced that the right to education, which is a fundamental right, must be secured,” said Moussa, a human rights activist and member of the Niger’s Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
He deplored the lack of access to school for many children in his country – this necessitates an urgent need "to promote the right to quality free public education for all”.
Freedom of association
He also intends to use his new position on the CNDH to ensure compliance with social, economic and political rights, and to promote and defend these rights, including the freedom of association, because "it is fundamental to democracy".
He also noted that non-governmental organisations are fighting, without much success, for human rights to be taught at school in Niger and insisted that he will focus on education in non-violence and advocate in favour of the inclusion of human rights in Niger’s state schools’ curricula.
The CNDH is included in Niger’s 2010 National Constitution, and was created in 2012. Each year, it reports to the National Assembly on the state of human rights in Niger.