African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

in french: Commission Africaine des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples

  • The African States members of the Organisation of African Unity, parties to the present Convention entitled “African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Recalling Decision 115 (XVI) of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its Sixteenth Ordinary Session held in Monrovia, Liberia, from 17 to 20 July 1979 on the preparation of “a preliminary draft on an African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, providing inter alia for the establishment of bodies to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights”;
  • Considering the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity, which stipulates that “freedom, equality, justice and dignity are essential objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples”; … (full long text AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS).

english Homepage and latest News;
Procedure; Guidelines; Decisions; Affiliate Status; About Sessions; Child Charter; Members; Observers; News; Docs /Communiques; Special Rapporteurs;
Address: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, No 31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District, Western Region, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia;
Contact online.

Mandate: In addition to performing any other tasks which may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Commission is officially charged with three major functions: 

  • 1. the protection of human and peoples’ rights
  • 2. the promotion of human and peoples’ rights
  • 3. the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Within the framework of its promotional role, the functions of the Commission are inter alia:

  • To collect documents, undertake studies and researches on African problems in the field of human and peoples’ rights, organize seminars, symposia and conferences, disseminate information, encourage national and local institutions concerned with human and peoples’ rights and should the case arise, give its views or make recommendations to Governments;
  • To formulate and lay down principles and rules aimed at solving legal problems relating to human and peoples’ rights and fundamental freedoms upon which African Governments may base their legislation.
  • To cooperate with other African or, International institutions concerned with the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights.
  • To consider the periodic reports of States on the legislative or other measures adopted to give effect to the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the African Charter.

Within the framework of its protective role, the Commission is charged with ensuring the protection of human and peoples’ rights under the conditions laid down by the Charter and according to the rules provided for in the Rules of Procedure of the Commission.

Within the framework of its role of interpreting the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Commission is charged with interpreting all provisions of the present Charter at the request of a State Party, an institution of the Organization of African Unity or an African Organization recognized by the Organization of African Unity now the African Union.

History: http://www.achpr.org/english/_info/history_en.html

Established by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which came into force on 21 October 1986 after its adoption in Nairobi (Kenya) in 1981 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU.), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights is charged with ensuring the promotion and protection of Human and Peoples’ Rights throughout the African Continent. The Commission has its headquarters in Banjul, The Gambia.

For almost two decades after the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in May 1963, the focus of the Organisation remained almost entirely the decolonisation of the continent and the eradication of apartheid. In spite of tbe Organisation’s endorsement of the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 in the preamble of the OAU Charter, the promotion and protection of human rights within OAU members states was not a major priority. As such, it concentrated its efforts on political and economic independence, non-discrimination and the liberation of Africa through the eradication of colonialism on the continent and apartheid in Southern Africa, at the expense of individual liberty.

In the early days of its existence, different groups which included the Media, the Church, inter-governmental and non-government organisations (NGOs) mounted pressure on the OAU by exposing some of the most gruesome human rights abuses on the continent … (full long text History).

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