African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights
Adopted in Nairobi June 27, 1981
Entered into Force October 21, 1986
The African States members of the Organization of African Unity, parties to the present Convention entitled »African Charter
on Human and Peoples' Rights »;
Recalling Decision 115 (XVI) of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government
at its Sixteenth Ordinary Session held in
Monrovia, Liberia, from 17 to 20 July 1979
on the preparation of a »preliminary draft on
an African Charter on Human and Peoples'
Rights providing inter alia for the establishment of bodies to promote and protect human and peoples' rights»;
Considering the Charter of the Organization
of African Unity, which stipulates that »freedom, equality, justice and dignity are essential objectives for the achievement of the
legitimate aspirations of the African peoples';
Reaffirming the pledge they solemnly made
in Artide 2 of the said Charter to eradicate
all forms of colonialism from Africa, to coordinate and intensify their cooperation and
efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa and to promote International
cooperation having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights;
Taking into consideration the virtues of their
historical tradition and the values of African
civilization which should inspire and characterize their reflection on the concept of human and peoples rights;
Recognizing on the one hand, that fundamental human rights stem from the attributes of human beings, which justifies their
national and international protection and on
the other hand that the reality and respect of
peoples rights should necessarily guarantee
human rights;
Considering that the enjoyment of rights and
freedom also implies the performance of
duties on the part of everyone;
Convinced that it is henceforth essential to

pay a particular attention to the right to development and that civil and political rights
cannot be dissociated from economic, social
and cultural rights in their conception as well
as universality and that the satisfaction of
economic, social and cultural rights is a
guarantee for the enjoyment of civil and
political rights;
Conscious of their duty to achieve the total
liberation of Africa, the peoples of which are
still struggling for their dignity and genuine
independence and undertaking to eliminate
colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, zionism and to dismantle aggressive foreign
military bases and all forms of discrimination, particularly those based on race, ethnic
group, colour, sex, language, religion or political opinions;
Reaffirming their adherence to the principle
of human and peoples' rights and freedoms
contained in the declarations, conventions
and other instruments adopted by the Organization of African Unity, the Movement
of Non-Aligned Countries and the United
Firmly convinced of their duty to promote
and protect human and peoples' rights and
freedoms taking into account the importance traditionally attached to these rights
and freedom in Africa;
Have agreed as follows:
Part I. Rights and Duties
Chapter I. Human and Peoples' Rights
Article 1
The Member States of the Organization of
African Unity parties to the present Charter
shall recognize the rights, duties and freedoms enshrined in this Charter and shall
undertake to adopt legislative or other
measures to give effect to them.


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