African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter) is an international human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent.

It emerged under the aegis of the Organisation of African Unity (since replaced by the African Union) which, at its 1979 Assembly of Heads of State and Government, adopted a resolution calling for the creation of a committee of experts to draft a continent-wide human rights instrument, similar to those that already existed in Europe (European Convention on Human Rights) and the Americas (American Convention on Human Rights). This committee was duly set up, and it produced a draft that was unanimously approved at the OAU’s 18th Assembly held in June 1981, in Nairobi, Kenya. Pursuant to its Article 63 (whereby it was to “come into force three months after the reception by the Secretary General of the instruments of ratification or adherence of a simple majority” of the OAU’s member states), the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights came into effect on 21 October 1986– in honour of which 21 October was declared “African Human Rights Day”.

African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Wikipedia article)