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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Statement on ACHPR Letter submitted to the African Union Chairperson H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa on making human rights key pillar of the continental response to COVID19


As part of its mandate for the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights under Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and in pursuit of its affirmation of the central importance of human and peoples’ rights for the success of the continental and national efforts to end the novel coronavirus (COVID19), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) submitted a letter to the African Union (AU) Chairperson H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa on COVID19 and Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

In its letter to the AU Chairperson affirming COVID19 as major human rights concern, the Commission expressed its appreciation for President Ramaphosa’s leadership in the mobilization and sustained coordination of the continental response against the pandemic, including the call for global solidarity and action to limit its adverse socio-economic impacts.

It is to be recalled that on 24 March 2020 the African Commission issued a statement on Human Rights Based Effective Response to the Novel COVID-19 Virus in Africa offering guidance to States Parties to the African Charter regarding the human rights standards and principles whose observance is a legal necessity and a prerequisite for success in the development and implementation of their COVID19 response measures. In the letter, the Commission underscored the importance of integrating this statement in the continental strategy against COVID19 and having the Commission to provide its expert guidance for the high-level AU response structures to ensure that human rights issues are adequately addressed in continental response processes.

Commissioner Solomon Dersso (PhD)

Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights