Assessing the Impact and Implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Protocol thereto on the Rights of Women in Africa
The proposed project will be executed by alumni and the Alumni Association but will be overseen by the Centre for Human Rights.
21 October 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the cornerstone of the African human rights system. The celebration of this event provides an opportunity for reflection on the achievements recorded over the past years towards the realisation of the Charter’s rights. Institutional developments that led to the African Union and the adoption of a range of human rights and governance instruments raised strong hopes among Africans. Despite encouraging developments, the benefits of integration and the African Union’s action have not been sufficiently assessed against full citizenship participation across the continent.
The main obligation of states under the African Charter is to give effects to human and peoples’ rights therein entrenched (article 1 of the African Charter). As duty bearers, African states and AU institutions can hardly pledge to fulfil their obligations without an effective participation of rights holders. Policy standards and instruments developed towards democratic governance, economic and social rights and civil and political rights have not proved to have met their full objectives on the continent. There is little systematic information available on the domestic effects of the African Charter. The present proposal seeks to contribute to fill such a gap. Such an assessment of the impact of the African Charter at the domestic level will then be available as a tool for further pressure on governments to live up to their treaty obligations, and mobilisation to achieve the result of improved domestic impact of the African Charter.
This proposal relies on an Africa-wide network of Alumni of the LLM Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa Programme run by the Centre for Human Rights since 2000. The scope of the proposal involves alumni undertaking research in 25 African member states to make a country-based impact assessment of the African Charter. These countries are chosen because of the presence of alumni in these countries.
The Centre’s research network provides a unique experts’ database of alumni all qualified from the LLM HRDA, thus specialised in human rights and democratisation with a focus on the African context. Their enriched and diverse profiles ally strong theoretical knowledge with insightful experience. Moreover, alumni’s idea of setting up an organisation has now materialised in the creation of an Alumni Association with a Centre based Coordinator who, over the past months, has built up a helpful sub-region and country focal persons throughout Africa in all areas of human rights expertise. The Alumni Association therefore provides a valuable editorial and coordinating mechanism for the realisation of this project.
For the sake of effectiveness, contributors are sourced from both their countries of origins but also according to their areas of expertise. All African countries are targeted although a selection will be preferred depending on availability of resources and information and particular interest in countries that provide more relevant interest.
List of prospective study countries (25)
Alumni are from or currently working in the following countries, which will be included in the research: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Swaziland, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The following working plan and timetable is adopted:
- Identification of country correspondents/researchers, Identification of working methodology, contributors’ meeting (e-consultation), by mid July 2011
- Research undertaken, by end August 2011
- Research reviewed, by September 2011
- Overview report, by September 2011
- Publication (e-publication and hard copy), by October 2011
Current LLM students and partner faculties of the LLM programme will also be involved in this research project.
Download the questionnaire for this study
Implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Protocol thereto on the Rights of Women in Africa in selected African States
Country Reports (October 2011) for:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa & Zimbabwe
Download the report