Strengthening training of judicial operators from Portuguese-speaking African countries

As part of the activities of the 41st Session of UNESCO’s General Conference, the Director-General, Audrey Azoulay and Minister Og Fernandes, Director-General of the Brazilian National School of Judges (ENFAM), announced a new cooperation that will develop a set of activities to strengthen the training of judges, female judges and other judicial actors from Portuguese-speaking African countries in the areas of freedom of expression, access to public information and safety of journalists.

The alliance will be implemented in the framework of UNESCO's Judges’ Initiative, which has already engaged over 23,000 judicial actors from 150 countries through agreements with regional human rights courts, national high courts, and regional and global associations of judges and prosecutors.

The Judges’ Initiative was launched in Latin America through a framework agreement with the Ibero-American Judicial Summit and the Ibero-American Network of Judicial Schools, of which the Superior Court of Justice of Brazil (STJ) and ENFAM are members. 

The tools and knowledge developed over these years, also with the support of ENFAM, will now be enhanced and made available to the judicial branches and public ministries of Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, in a direct process of South-South triangular cooperation.

An international training of trainers activity organised at the ENFAM headquarters in Brasília, and national training activities for judicial actors in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa are planned for the first half of 2022.

Since 2013, UNESCO’s Judges’ Initiative has raised the capacities of judicial actors in relation to international and regional standards on freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists in various regions around the world. More than 23,000 legal professionals, including judges, prosecutors and lawyers have been trained on these issues, mainly through a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs), on-the-ground trainings, workshops and the publication of several practical guides and guidelines.