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Friday, June 3, 2011

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Developing an Effective Framework

A recent study by the American Journal of Public Health found that an average of 48 women and girls are raped every hour in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  According to the study, within a 12 month period, 400,000 females were raped during the ongoing civil war that has crippled the country.  Without a doubt, the call for human rights enforcement in Africa rings as loudly as ever. The perennial question debated by human rights scholars is whether Africa can effectively answer that call?  I believe that the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights answers the call for standards that will improve human rights conditions in Africa. However, structural defects within the judicial institutions of the African Charter are limiting the Charter’s effectiveness and leaving the legitimacy of its judicial institutions in question.