Residents of Southern Africa need a tribunal to report human rights violations. This is according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) in the region.

It is calling on regional bloc Southern African Development Community (SADC) to re-institute the Human Rights Tribunal which was disbanded in 2014. The global watchdog released its annual report on violations.

Twenty-two African countries are featured in the report.

South Africa was found to have failed to deal with xenophobia, femicide and violence against children.

HRW regional director, Dewa Mavhinga, says there’s a need for a mechanism that will enforce accountability.

“The issue of the SADC tribunal is one that we really care about in terms of the importance of the restoration of its powers particularly for citizens and individuals to have the right to approach the court to have their concerns addressed and for a remedy and something we would be keen to engage with together with those in the media.”