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The Banjul Charter

The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter) promotes and protects human rights and basic freedoms on the African continent. It emerged under the aegis of the OAU (since 2002 replaced by the African Union) which, at its 1979 Assembly of Heads of State and Government, called for the creation of a committee of experts to draft a continent-wide human rights instrument. This committee produced a draft that was unanimously approved at the OAU's 1981 Assembly. The Charter entered into force on 21 October 1986.

Oversight and interpretation of the Charter is the task of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, set up in 1987 and headquartered in Banjul, Gambia. A protocol to the Charter was subsequently adopted in 1998 whereby an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was to be created. The protocol came into effect on 25 January 2005.

Protected main rights

Discussion of the Banjul Charter

Protocol on the Rights of Women



African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Adopted by the 18th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity on 27 June 1981 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Entered into force on 21 October 1986 after the ratification of the Charter by 25 States.

Link to the full text:

As of 1 December 2009, all 53 members of the African Union (out of 54 African States; Morocco withdrew in 1985 following the admittance of the disputed state of Western Sahara as a member in 1984) have ratified the Charter:

Last change: 14.12.09 - 16:56