The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) has been established through Article 30 (and subsequent Articles) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. It consists of 11 members elected by the contracting states of the Charter and is assigned “to promote human and peoples’ rights and ensure their protection in Africa”. It interprets the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and considers individual complaints of Charter violations. The Commission is based in Banjul, Gambia. It meets twice a year, usually in March or April and in October or November.
The Commission has three human rights monitoring procedures:
State parties to the African Charter are required to submit periodic reports to the ACPHR for consideration every two years. State reporting has provided a forum for state parties to account for the human rights situation, standards and advances in their countries. More or less half of the state parties regularly submit their state reports on time. In the database of African countries contained on this webste, there are references to the most recently submitted state reports.
A state that considers another state party to have violated the provisions of the Charter is allowed to inform the secretary-general of the AU and the Chairman of the Commission by written communication of this matter; if the other party is informed as well. The accused state then has the opportunity to provide written explanation. If no settlement is reached within three months among the state parties, they can refer the matter to the Commission. The “inter-state complaints procedure” may be seen as an indirect means of appeal for individuals and NGOs, through other state parties.
Anyone can bring a complaint to the attention of the Commission alleging that a State party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights has violated one or more of the rights contained therein.