Africa and international human rights

Assessing national human rights institutions

Authored by: Liza Sekaggya

Handbook of Africa’s International Relations

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436334
eBook ISBN: 9780203803929
Adobe ISBN:


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National human rights institutions (NHRIs) are now, beyond a doubt, valued as essential partners in the task of protecting and promoting human rights at the national and regional levels. This is reflected, not least, in the resolution adopted in 2005 by the United Nations (UN) Commission for Human Rights, which was endorsed in 2008 by the Human Rights Council 1 (which replaced the Commission), inviting NHRIs to participate in all agenda items of the Council. 2 Furthermore, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights grants affiliate status 3 to NHRIs. There has been a significant increase in the demands made on NHRIs to act as key actors in the protection and promotion of human rights. In Africa, none the less, NHRIs have been at the forefront specifically in areas of torture prevention, civic education, monitoring and reporting on human rights situations, advocating for the rights of women and vulnerable groups among many other thematic areas.

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