Human Rights in Africa

Legal Perspectives on their Protection and Promotion

Also available in Deutsch

The publication on human rights in Africa captures the current status, development and transformation of the African human rights protection system. It elaborates on the various legal instruments, institutions and mechanisms at its disposal. The 12 articles summarise the achievements gained and challenges faced when it comes to respecting human rights in Arica, including all aspects of the effectiveness of the protection system and its implementation.

To protect the inviolability of human dignity worldwide is the ultimate objective of the concept of human rights. Human rights are considered and officially accepted as universal – regardless of their genesis or cultural manifestation. History and experience show, however, that respect for the dignity and rights of human beings cannot be taken for granted: they must be constantly nurtured and vigorously guarded. It is against this background that this publication evolved. Its contents stem from the conviction that, amongst several means, legal instruments and institutions can contribute to the advancement of human rights.

Human rights as a legal concept arrived in Africa relatively late. The United Nations System, international law and the African Union have certainly all contributed to the establishment of a human rights system in Africa, which has positively and indispensably impacted on the advancement of human rights and of justice. Yet some of the promises made about such rights being guaranteed under global, continental, regional and national legal instruments have remained unfulfilled.

Therefore, this publication on human rights on the continent tries to capture the current status, development and transformation of the African human rights protection system. It elaborates on the various legal instruments, institutions and mechanisms at its disposal. The 12 articles summarise the achievements gained and challenges faced when it comes to respecting human rights in Africa, including all aspects of the effectiveness of the protection system and its implementation.

The publication is also a tribute to the increasing significance of human rights as a policy issue in Africa, and as a primary component of global regulatory policy and global governance.

Foreword
Desmond Tutu
v
Introduction
Anton Bösl and Joseph Diescho
vii
List of contributorsxiii
List of abbreviationsxxi
 
Section I
The Paradigm of Human Rights and its Relevance for Africa
Human rights between universalism and cultural relativism?
The need for anthropological jurisprudence in the globalising world

Manfred O Hinz
3
The universal in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 3
Human rights in legal anthropological perspective and the need for anthropological jurisprudence 7
Conclusion 26
 
Transitional justice and human rights in Africa
Charles Villa-Vicencio
33
Introduction 33
Transitional justice 35
African traditional justice systems 37
Transitional justice in Africa 46
 
Human rights education in Africa
Nico Horn
53
Introduction: Human rights education in the context of the United Nations 53
Africa and the UN system 57
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 59
The road to the Decade for Human Rights Education 61
The UN Decade for Human Rights Education justice in Africa 62
Human rights after the UN Decade for Human Rights Education 71
World Programme for Human Rights Education 74
Final comments 75
 
Section II
The International Justice System and Human Rights in Africa
The United Nations and the advancement of human rights in Africa
Wilfred Nderitu
81
Abstract 81
Introduction 81
Defining poverty as a human rights issue 83
Synergy between the efforts of different international institutions and other actors in the fight against poverty 91
Responsibility of the State in poverty alleviation from a juristic perspective 98
Conclusion 101
 
International criminal justice and the protection of human rights in Africa
Francois-Xavier Bangamwabo
105
Introduction 105
The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – ICTR 106
The Special Court for Sierra Leone – SCSL 112
The International Criminal Court – ICC 117
Conclusion 128
 
Section III
The African Union and the Regional Protection of Human Rights
The African Union: Concepts and implementation mechanisms relating to human rights
Bience Gawanas
135
Introduction 135
OAU to AU: A brief overview 136
Key issues 140
Strategies for enhancing human rights protection and promotion 155
Conclusion 160
 
Major African legal instruments and human rights
Sheila B Keetharuth
163
Introduction 163
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 166
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa 180
Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa 188
Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa 194
The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 201
The OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa 208
The Draft African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance for Internally Displaced Persons in Africa 209
The African Charter and the protection of refugees through communications before the African Commission 215
The AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption 217
Conclusion 224
 
African courts on human rights and the African Commission
Michelo Hansungule
233
Introduction 233
Evolution of the justice architecture in the AU 234
The African Court of Justice and Human Rights 237
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 248
Conclusion 269
 
Section IV
Subregional Human-Rights-Related Institutions in Africa
Regional economic communities and human rights in East and southern Africa
Oliver C Ruppel
275
Introduction 275
Regional economic communities in East and southern Africa 284
Concluding remarks 314
 
Regional economic communities and human rights in West Africa and the African Arabic countries
Enyinna S Nwauche
319
Introduction 319
West African countries 320
African Arabic countries 338
Concluding remarks 346
 
Section V
National Human Rights Institutions in Africa
Human Rights Commissions in Africa – Lessons and challenges
Chris Maina Peter
351
Introduction – Implementing human rights 351
National human rights institutions in Africa 352
A sample of NHRIs on the continent 353
Lessons and opportunities from human rights institutions in Africa 369
Challenges faced by human rights institutions in Africa 369
Conclusion 370
 
Can Truth Commissions in Africa deliver justice?
Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza
375
Introduction 375
Why a Truth Commission? 378
The notion of justice 379
Truth Commissions in Africa: Will they deliver justice – any justice? 382
Ubuntu 383
Case study – Sudan 385
Findings of the Commission 385
Conclusion 386
 
Appendix
African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 389

Authors

Dr. Dr. Anton Bösl, Dr. Joseph Diescho

published

Namibia, July 31, 2009

ISBN

978-99916-0-956-0