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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Statement on the Launch of the Study on Conflict and Human Rights: “Addressing Human Rights Issues in Conflict Situations”


During the ongoing 65th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), its Study on Conflict and Human Rights: “Addressing Human Rights Issues in Conflict Situations” (Conflict Study) was launched on 24 October. In presenting the Conflict Study, Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission and the Commission’s Focal Point on Conflict and Human Rights, drew the attention of participants to the long history of the African Commission in engaging with conflict situations, and the role that the Study plays in systematizing the engagement of the ACHPR in addressing human rights violations in conflict and crisis situations.

Explaining on the need for the study, Commissioner Dersso pointed out four reasons – a) to provide effect to Article 23 of the African Charter on the right to peace; b) conflict/crisis situations are the theatre for the occurrence of most serious violations of human and peoples’ rights; c) the need to formulate a framework of the African Commission to shift its approach to human rights in conflict/crisis situations from one characterized by ad hocism and reactiveness to one of systematic, proactive and wholistic; and d) the demand to mainstream the human rights standards and work of the ACHPR in the wider AU peace and security structures and policy processes.

The attention of participants of the 65th ordinary session of the ACHPR was also drawn to the steps taken to implement the recommendations of the Study for the operationalization of the relationship between the African Commission and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC), in the decision that the PSC adopted following the first annual consultative meeting between the PSC and the ACHPR on 8 August 2019. The PSC decision incorporated the recommendations on the mechanisms for the operationalization of the close working relationship as set out in the Conflict Study.

The Conflict Study can be accessed here.