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Conceivable Actions

Investigations may be initiated on the basis of the Committee of Experts having received a communication. These can be submitted by state parties to the charter or by individuals, groups and NGOs which are recognized by a member state, the African Union or the United Nations. Any violation of child rights may be considered if the country where the violation has occurred is a signatory of the Children’s Charter.

A communication must meet the following criteria:

  • It cannot be anonymous;
  • It must be in written form;
  • It must be submitted within a reasonable deadline or timeframe, depending on the nature of the complaint;
  • It must be written in a reasonable and non-defamatory tone;
  • It must be compatible with the AU rules and laws or the Children’s Charter;
  • It must not be exclusively based on information in the media;
  • Issues must not have been already decided by another investigation, procedure or international regulation;
  • It must only be submitted when all local / domestic remedies have been exhausted or when the author of the communication is not satisfied with the solution provided at the local / domestic level;
  • The Committee of Experts can also review its own decision in a communication where the complainant can provide additional information to support his/her case;

You can send your communications here:

The Director
Department of Social Affairs
Commission of the African Union
African Union Headquarters
P.O.Box 3243
Roosvelt Street (Old Airport Area)
W21K19 Addis Ababa
Fax: +251 1 53 57 16
E-mail: dsocial(at)


Investigation typically is carried out by means of investigation missions. To ensure that the investigative mission team has background knowledge of the situation, a preliminary report according to certain guidelines and based on available information is prepared before each investigation. The mission will meet with available state and non-state organizations and people in the country where they will be investigating.

After finalizing its investigation, the committee has to release a preliminary result to the government and the media in the country of investigation. A final report will be prepared which incorporates the mission’s recommendations. This mission report must be attached to the progress report of the Committee to the African heads of state and government.

The country that has been investigated must submit a written reply up to six months after the adoption of a decision by the Committee of Experts on what has been done regarding the requirements or measures in the mission report.

Last change: 17.12.09 - 19:11