Human Rights Mechanisms
The African Charter established the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Commission was inaugurated on 2 November 1987 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Commission’s Secretariat has subsequently been located in Banjul, The Gambia.
In addition to performing any other tasks, which may be Skin 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.
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child draws its mandate from articles 32-46 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the OAU on 11th July 1990 and came into force on 29th November 1999.
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Court) is a continental court established by African countries to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa. It complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
The Court was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the Protocol) which was adopted by Member States of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998. The Protocol came into force on 25 January 2004.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established by Article 1 of the Lagos Treaty of 28th May, 1975 to promote the socio- economic integration of Member States of the Community. The Community Court of Justice was created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty as the principal legal organ of the Community. Paragraph 2 of Article 15 indicated that the status, composition, powers, procedure and other issues concerning the Court shall be set out in a Protocol relating thereto.
Its mission is to discharge and promote its judicial function of interpreting and applying Community texts as well as to ensure the protection of human rights in an efficient, timely and cost effective manner with the support of well-trained and motivated staff.
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.
Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.
The APRM is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by AU member States as an African self-monitoring mechanism. The APRM is often described as “Africa’s unique and innovative approach to governance” with the objective of improving governance dynamics at the local, national and continental levels.
The APRM was adopted by African Heads of State and Government as a systematic peer learning and self-assessment mechanism originating from the NEPAD foundational document, the “Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance” adopted in Durban, South Africa in July 2002.