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 NGO Forum

For the first time since 2019, the NGO Forum ahead of the ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), was held in person in Banjul on 17 and 18 October. This session’s discussions focused on human rights and governance in Africa: a multi-dimensional approach in addressing conflict, crisis and inequality.

Outcomes of the 73rd session of the African Commission

After three years of online sessions, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission) resumed in person sessions. The 73rd session was held from 20 October to 9 November 2022 in Banjul, The Gambia. This session was marked by the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Commission.

ACHPR73: How to protect civic space in Africa?

On 22 October the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), Agir Ensemble pour les Droits Humains (AEDH), Tournons la Page, Synergie Ukingo Wetu (SUWE) and SOS Information Juridique Multi Sectorielle (SOS-IJM) organised a side event on the state of civic space in Africa and how to better protect it.

ACHPR73: The Esperanza Protocol, a roadmap towards addressing threats against human rights defenders

On 24 October, the Centre for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Redress, Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Defend Defenders, Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) and RFK Human Rights officially launched the Esperanza Protocol on the margins of the ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Explore our resources

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).