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African Commission on
Human and Peoples' Rights

Call for contributions on the Draft Guidelines on adhering to human and peoples’ rights under the African Charter in the context of states of emergency or disaster


Since 2016, and Resolution ACHPR/Res. 332 (EXT.OS/XIX) 2016 on Human Rights in Conflict Situations, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) has sought to play a more active role in promoting human rights practices in the context of conflict, state of emergency or disaster, and other extraordinary circumstances, in line with its mandate under Article 45(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.  During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Commission further observed with concern, the impact across Africa of declarations of states of emergency and disaster on the free exercise of fundamental human rights and freedoms, and the absence of a rights-oriented approach in the development and implementation of measures adopted to address issues of public health and safety.  
 
In response to these concerns and during its 66th Ordinary Session, the African Commission adopted Resolution ACHPR/Res. 447 (LXVI) 2020 on upholding human rights during situations of emergency and in other exceptional circumstances (Resolution 447) (available at https://www.achpr.org/sessions/resolutions?id=478), mandating Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, as Focal Point on Human Rights in Conflict Situations in Africa, among other things, to develop a set of guidelines on adhering to fundamental human rights when declaring states of emergency or disaster.  These Guidelines will seek to assist State Parties to the African Charter to meet their obligations under the Charter, and in doing so, provide an invaluable input into the continent’s efforts to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
In furtherance of the above-stated Resolution and mandate, and with technical support provided by African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), Commissioner Dersso has since convened four (4) expert consultative meetings, following which a draft of the
Guidelines on adhering to human and peoples’ rights under the African Charter in the context of states of emergency or disaster (the Draft Guidelines) were developed.
 
As part of the consultative process and in line with the applicable best practices of the African Commission, the Focal Point hereby publishes the draft Guidelines (available on the link below) and invites all stakeholders to provide their inputs on the Draft Guidelines to the African Commission.  
 
Contributions should be sent to the Secretariat of the African Commission by email to au-banjul@africa-union.org, idowu-Ojoa@africa-union.org and xabaz@africa-union.org by 20 October 2022