Sub-Saharan Africa

African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

1981, in force since 1986
Nairobi, Kenya
53 Signatories
The African Charter on Human and People's Rights followed the footsteps of the European and Inter-American systems by creating a regional human rights system for Africa. The Charter shares many features with other regional instruments, but also has notable unique characteristics concerning the norms it recognizes and also its supervisory mechanism. The preamble commits to the elimination of Zionism, which it compares with colonialism and apartheid.

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

1990, in force since 1999
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
45 Signatories
The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child is a comprehensive instrument that sets out rights and defines universal principles and norms for the status of children. The ACRWC covers the whole spectrum of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol)

1995, in force since 2005
Lome, Togo
46 Signatories (28 ratified)
The Maputo Protocol guarantees comprehensive rights to women including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, to control of their reproductive health, and an end to female genital mutilation. As the name suggests, it was adopted by the African Union in the form of a protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

African Youth Charter

2006, in force since 2009
Banjul, The Gambia
38 Signatories (22 ratified)
The Youth Charter creates a legally binding framework for governments to develop supportive policies and programmes for young people, and serves to fast-track the implementation of such policies and programmes. It also provides a platform for youth to assert their rights and fulfil their responsibility of contributing to the continent’s development. The charter advocates for equal access to all levels of high quality education.

African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)

2009, not in force yet (must be ratified by 15 to be)
Kampala, Uganda
31 Signatories, 5 ratified
This convention defines and emphasizes the responsibilities that states, and even armed groups, have to protect and assist their own uprooted citizens. Beyond armed conflict, the convention covers major causes of displacement, including obligations that governments have toward their citizens fleeing natural and man-made disasters and people removed from their land when development projects take over. People forced to flee will find in the convention the full range of rights they should be entitled to – before, during and after displacement.

Cairo Declaration on the Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI)

Cairo, Egypt
57 Signatories
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo in 1990, which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic Shari'ah as its sole source. CDHRI declares its purpose to be "general guidance for Member States [of the OIC] in the Field of human rights". This declaration is usually seen as an Islamic response to the post-World War II United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948.