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Human rights as a legal concept is a relatively recent notion in Africa. The United Nations System, international law and the African Union have certainly all contributed to the establishment of a human rights system in Africa, which has positively and indispensably influenced the advancement of human rights and of justice. However, some of the promises made about such rights being guaranteed under global, continental, regional and national legal instruments have remained unfulfilled.[1]

The situation of human rights in Africa is generally reported to be poor, and it is seen as an area of concern according to the UN, governmental, and non-governmental observers.

Democratic governments seem to be spreading, though are not yet the majority (National Geographic claims 13 African nations can be considered truly democratic[citation needed]). As well, many nations have at least nominally recognized basic human rights for all citizens, though in practice these are not always recognized, and have created reasonably independent judiciaries.

Extensive human rights abuses still occur in several parts of Africa, often under the oversight of the state. Most of such violations can be attributed to political instability, often as a 'side effect' of civil war. Notable countries with reported major violations include, but are not limited to, the Sudan, and Côte d'Ivoire. Reported violations include extrajudicial execution, mutilation, and rape.

Reproductive rights are limited in many countries by unavailability of family planning resources and restricted access to birth control in Africa.[2][3]

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is an international body which seeks to provide supranational monitoring and rights to citizens of Africa.

By country/entity[edit]

North Africa[edit]

Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bösl, Anton & Diescho, Joseph (Eds), Human Rights in Africa. Legal Perspectives on their Protection and Promotion, Macmillan Education Namibia 2009
  2. ^ "Family planning". World Health Organization. 2012.
  3. ^ Cleland, J. G.; Ndugwa, R. P.; Zulu, E. M. (2011). "Family planning in sub-Saharan Africa: Progress or stagnation?". Bulletin of the World Health Organization 89 (2): 137–143. doi:10.2471/BLT.10.077925. PMC 3040375. PMID 21346925.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Bösl, A and Diescho, J. (eds), Human Rights in Africa. Legal Perspectives on their protection and promotion, Macmillan Education Namibia, 2009 [1]
  • U.S. State Department - Human Rights Annual Reports

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Africa — Please support Wikipedia.
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18 news items

Commentary Magazine
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:07:30 -0700

In fairness, the organization has not been wholly silent on human rights in Africa. For example, the ALA's president, in 2011, wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to act on unspecified human-rights violations in Africa. But that letter was ...


Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:40:37 -0700

“Those responsible for serious human rights violations must face justice, irrespective of their official positions and the adoption of this amendment is a backward step in the long battle for accountability and human rights in Africa.” Last year some ...

The Zimbabwean

The Zimbabwean
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0700

It came as no surprise to the Vigil that the Belgian Ambassador to Harare is quoted as saying 'there is nothing amiss in Zimbabwe'. Maricou Johan was speaking after bidding farewell to Vice-President Mujuru at the end of his posting. He said Belgium is ...
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 02:33:45 -0700

The potential threat that this spells for the protection of human rights in Africa cannot be overstated. Granting immunity offers free rein to senior officials and heads of state to perpetrate such crimes, and is likely to motivate them to cling to ...
Mail & Guardian Online
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:22:30 -0700

More Coverage. Anti-racism is a struggle from below · Protecting human rights in Africa · 'Demeaning, racial material' undermines ANC voters' rights. Topics In This Section. Topics. racism at schools. Companies. South African Human Rights Commission ...
The New Age Online
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:18:45 -0700

Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the future of democracy and human rights in Africa is in danger because of interference by the political arm of the state. “The future of constitutionalism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as good ...

Radio Tamazuj

Radio Tamazuj
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:22:30 -0700

Feldstein is responsible for the Department's support to human rights in Africa. He previously served as counsel to Senator John Kerry and Senator Joe Biden on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He stated, “Too much blood has been spilt and too ...
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 23:22:30 -0700

Fraudulent misinvoicing of trade channeled tens of billions of dollars illegally into or out of the five African countries during a ten year period. The result has been a hampering of economic growth from billions of dollars in lost tax revenue ...

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