Africa's Evolving Human Rights Architecture
The African continent has yet to witness a paradigm shift towards privileging the human rights of its 800 million citizens. Africa’s human rights regime is still relatively weak, despite the growing body of declarations, conventions and protocols. The lack of political will to act on human rights abuses in compliance with national laws and international protocols remains a challenge to ensuring protection against gross human rights violations in Africa. While enforcement mechanisms are often weak, there are, nonetheless, instruments, both internationally and on the continent, to support the protection of human rights. Significant steps have been taken by the AU to renew, strengthen and improve its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent. Respect for human rights is critical to ensuring peace, security and development in Africa. The development and emergence of new continental, sub regional and national institutions suggest a deeper commitment to human rights by African governments. This report addresses the effectiveness of the continent’s new human rights institutions and recommends ways to strengthen them in instances where these institutions may be found wanting.