Guide to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Published on AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, AI Index: AFR 01/004/2007 (Public), by News Service No: 211, Nov. 2, 2007.

Amnesty International launches guide to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on occasion of 20th anniversary

Excerpt: … The Guide to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights aims to fill the gap and to foster greater participation by NGOs and human rights defenders in the work of the African Commission. The Guide offers a step-by-step explanation on how the African Commission operates and how NGOs and activists can access and use the Commission to advance their human rights work. The Guide is a companion to the Guide to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AI Index: IOR 63/005/2006), which explains in simple terms the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the African Charter.

Amnesty International believes that the unrivalled experience of NGOs working in Africa, with their regular contacts and direct knowledge of the situation on the ground, make them indispensable partners in providing information to the African Commission. Similarly, the African Commission’s decisions, recommendations and resolutions can lend authority to NGOs’ campaigning and advocacy work.


Amnesty International hopes that the Guide will serve the purpose of raising awareness about the mandates of the African Commission, and assist many NGOs to approach the Commission on behalf of victims of human rights violations for a remedy. However, for the African Commission to efficiently and effectively respond to any increase in its workload, and to better support the newly established African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, it is important for the African Union (AU) and its member states to strengthen the Commission’s human, material and financial resources. It is also important for the AU member states to show sufficient political will to submit timely and detailed reports on how they are implementing the African Charter in their countries to the African Commission, and to implement the Commission’s decisions.

Background: … (full text).

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