African States at the UN Human Rights Council in 2017

This report examines the actions of African countries on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) during 2017. The African Group occupies 13 seats on the HRC. Using Freedom House’s measure, only four of the African members of the HRC in 2017 were ‘free’ during their tenure: Botswana, Ghana South Africa and Tunisia. Another four – Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and Togo – were ‘partly free’ and five – Burundi, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia and Rwanda – were ‘not free’. The African Group’s Polity IV scores were more flattering: six HRC members were democratic (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia), while the remaining seven were ‘anacrocies’, regimes that combine democratic and authoritarian elements. This report assesses the commitment of African countries to international human rights based on their actions in two domains of the HRC’s work: country-specific human rights problems and civil and political rights. . This report discusses the records of 14 African countries at the HRC during 2017. Of these, 11 were members of the HRC in 2017. The report addresses each country’s response to country-specific human rights situations and civil and political rights issues. The key indicator of a country’s commitment to international human rights is its voting record, whether on resolutions or amendments. In addition to voting information, the country studies in this report take into account statements before the HRC and sponsorship of resolutions and amendments.