January 29, 2013

The Campaign

WSAF works year-round to raise awareness and push for action on human rights and the referendum in Western Sahara. Each year, much of WSAF’s work focuses on the mandate of MINURSO, the UN mission for the referendum in Western Sahara.

At the end of April each year, the UN Security Council convenes to discuss the MINURSO mandate, and to decide whether to renew the mandate. For several years, the mandate has been renewed without a human rights monitoring mechanism being added. Until a free and fair referendum is carried out in Western Sahara, WSAF will continue to advocate for human rights monitoring to be included in the MINURSO mandate.

Human rights abuses are regularly reported from Western Sahara. This includes violations of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, the right to a fair trial, the right to an education, freedom from torture, and, of course, the right to self-determination.

WSAF does not have a position with regards to the outcome of a referendum, only that the process should be free and fair. This means that independence must be an option for those deemed eligible to vote by the UN.