International Human Rights Law Content
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’Rights, 1981
- It entered into force on 21 October 1986
- The Charter contains a long list of rights, (Human and peoples’ rights) covering a wide spectrum not only of civil and political rights, but also of economic, social and cultural rights.
- Duty towards groups and individual.
- fundamental human rights stem from the attributes of human beings, which justifies their national and international protection”. (fifth preambular paragraph)
- Article 27 states: “every individual shall have duties towards his family and society, the State and other legally recognized communities and the international community”.
- Next, article 28 concerns the individual’s duty towards other individuals.
- The African Charter further created the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, “to promote human and peoples’ rights and ensure their protection in Africa” (art. 30).
- In 1998, the Protocol to the Charter on the Establishment of an African Court of Human Rights was also adopted.
It has the twofold function,
- first, of promoting human and peoples’ rights, and, (reporting every after two years by state parties)
- second, of protecting these rights (art. 30), including the right to receive communications both from States and from other sources.
AU Instruments: African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Pioneered HR protection in Africa (EIF in 1986); 53 State members today (2d largest!)
- Lists rights & duties of individuals and groups
–Integrates full range of C,P,E,S,C rights in 1 doc.
–African-oriented; promotes and protects traditional community values
- Lack clear definitions; harder to enforce
- States may not derogate during emergency
–But limitations exist (e.g., right to leave country)