African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights is Africa’s main human rights body, holding public sessions twice a year at which States’ compliance under the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights is reviewed.

Preceding these sessions, human rights defenders gather at the NGO Forum to discuss human rights concerns and urge the Commission to take action. Such engagement is key to strengthening the African human rights system.

For over a decade ISHR has engaged actively with the Commission. Through lobbying, support to Special Rapporteurs, membership of Commission working groups and the NGO Forum Steering Committee, and by the publication of biannual reports and periodic monitors on the NGO Forum and Commission sessions, ISHR contributes to building this human rights system.

Latest Updates

Outcome of the 71st session of the African Commission

The 71st online session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights was held between 21 April and 13 May 2022. This session addressed the impact of crises on the achievement of human rights on the continent and post-Covid-19 reconstruction.

Defenders protection mechanisms must include defenders

On 30 April, ISHR delivered a statement following the presentation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on defenders in Africa. The statement focused on the need to include civil society in the newly established protection mechanisms and the need for the Special Rapporteur to publish their first report on reprisals against those who engage with African human rights mechanisms.

Kenya should strengthen its legal framework protecting defenders

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) examined the combined report of the 12th and 13th periodic reports of the Republic of Kenya during the virtual session held from 21 April to 13 May 2022. The report presents the progress made by the country regarding the state of human rights in Kenya.

ACHPR 71: More transparency in Congolese extractive activities is needed

ISHR and Rencontre pour la paix et les droits de l’homme (RPDH) called upon the African Commission to urge the Republic of Congo to comply with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) rules on transparency for extractive industries and to protect defenders working on connected issues.

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New manual aims to make violations against women human rights defenders and their activism visible

A landmark new manual for and about women human rights defenders has just been launched by the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition. Providing women human rights defenders with the tools to document their experience and that of colleagues, the manual aims at generating awareness about violations and abuses against defenders and supporting demands for human rights change.

Road map to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The Road map for civil society engagement: State reporting procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights outlines a programme through which civil society organisations (CSOs) can maximise their impact while engaging with the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR).