25 January 2004: A Turning Point in the History of the African System for the Protection of Human and People's Rights

    The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights establishing an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was adopted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 1998 by the Conference of the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, currently African Union, has just received a new impetus.

    On 26th December 2003, Comoros Islands deposited their instrument of ratification of this Protocol. Pursuant to the provisions of its Article 34.3, the Protocol shall enter into force 30 days following the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification.

    Thus, 25th January 2004 will mark the coming into force of the aforementioned Protocol.

    There is no doubt that the long awaited establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will strengthen the existing mechanism for the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.

    The African Commission is pleased with this memorable advent and hails the significant contribution it has received from the States Parties and the community of the defenders of human rights, who spared no efforts to move forward the process of formulation, adoption and ratification of this invaluable instrument.

    The African Commission urges Member States of the African Union and all its partners to take necessary steps to facilitate the setting up and effective functioning of the Court.

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights makes an urgent appeal to the States Parties that have not yet ratified the said Protocol to do so as expeditiously as possible in order to give this important human rights protection instrument a really pan African scope.

    Banjul, 23rd January 2004

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      Date: 23 January 2004

      States: Cote d'Ivoire

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