London 16 June 2022 - The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) will participate in events planned around the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled for 21 - 25 June in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of CHOGM 2022 is ‘‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”.

CHOGM is typically held every two years, however the 26th session was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHOGM brings together delegations from 54 nations from Africa, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific with the aims of reinforcing multilateral cooperation, exploring new opportunities, and tackling common challenges for a sustainable future. It brings together Commonwealth Heads of Government, as well as other stakeholders, offering spaces for young people, women, civil society organisations and businesses from around the Commonwealth to discuss and advocate for key areas of change.

There are four Forums taking place ahead of CHOGM - the Youth Forum, the Women Forum, the People's Forum, and the Business Forum.

For civil society actors, CHOGM is an opportunity to connect with Commonwealth leaders on critical development challenges.

‘The civil society voice is critical and essential for a “people centred Commonwealth”. This is our motivation for participating at CHOGM and we intend to make our voice heard. The Commonwealth has long recognised the importance of human rights to its mission. Now is the time to act.’ said Alison Duxbury, International Board Chair, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

As a Commonwealth Accredited Organisation, CHRI will actively engage in the CHOGM Forums and other side events:

  • We are moderating a discussion on Violence Against Women and Girls at the Women’s Forum on 20 June.
  • We are leading two delegate-led sessions at the Commonwealth People’s Forum on the issues of Climate Crisis and Modern Slavery: Impacts, Good Practices and Partnerships as well as on People Centered Approaches to Criminal Justice Systems in the Commonwealth on 21 June.
  • CHRI will launch its CHOGM 2022 report ‘Guilty Till Proven Innocent - Safeguarding the Rights of Pre- Trial Detainees across the Commonwealth’ on 21 June.
  • We are contributing to a side event on the "Shrinking of Civic Space in Commonwealth States: A focus on freedom of expression" on 22 June.
  • And of course, we look forward to engaging with Commonwealth Foreign Ministers at the civil society roundtable on 25 June.

In the past, CHRI has submitted reports on key human rights issues to every CHOGM. Please click here to access our prior CHOGM reports.

‘We believe that a vibrant CHOGM needs the energy, capacity and diversity that civil society brings. CHRI expects Commonwealth leaders at CHOGM 2022 to make concrete commitments to human rights promotion and protection including addressing previous commitments made at CHOGM 2018 . We look forward to fruitful engagements with Commonwealth leaders.’ Salil Tripathi, Trustee of the Executive Committee, CHRI UK

For more information, please contact:

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative