African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

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Adopted by the 18th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on 27 June 191. Entered into force on 21 October 1986.

Relevant Provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

Article 1

State Parties to the Charter shall undertake to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to them.

Article 2

Prohibition of discrimination in the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms provided for in the Charter, without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status.

Article 3

Equality before the law and equal protection of the law.

Article 4

Inviolability of the human being, in his life and in the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.

Article 5

Right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. Prohibition of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment.

Article 6

Every individual shall have the right to liberty and to security of his person. No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law. No one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.

Article 7

1. Everyone shall have the right to have his cause heard. This comprises: a) Right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts of violating his fundamental rights as recognized and guaranteed by conventions, laws, regulations and customs in force; b) Right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court or tribunal; c) Right to defense, including the right to be defended by counsel of his choice; d) Right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal.

2. Legality principle.

Punishment is personal and can be imposed only on the offender.

Article 8

Freedom of conscience, guarantee of the profession and free practice of religion. No one may, subject to law and order, be submitted to measures restricting the exercise of these freedoms.

Article 10

Every individual shall have the right to free association provided that he abides by the law.

Article 11

Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others. The exercise of this right shall be subject only to necessary restrictions provided for by law, in particular those enacted in the interest of national security, the safety, health, ethics and rights and freedoms of others.

Article 13

2. Every citizen shall have the right of equal access to the public service of the country. 3. Every individual shall have the right of access to public property and services in strict equality of all persons before the law.

Article 14

Right to property, which may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws.

Article 19

All peoples shall be equal.


Article 26

State Parties have the duty to guarantee the independence of the Courts and shall allow the establishment and improvement of appropriate national institutions entrusted with the promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the present Charter.

Status of Signature, Ratification, Adhesion