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African Charter on Human and People's Rights

 The African Charter on Human and People's Rights (‘the Charter’) was adopted in 1981 by the Organisation of African Unity, the forerunner of the African Union. It entered into force on 21 October 1986. The Charter contains a brief right to education provision, together with an over-arching prohibition on discrimination based on race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, or political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status. The instrument is strongly African in focus, aiming to forward African values and the virtues of African historical traditions, while alleviating human rights violations. The Charter promotes gender equality and commitments to implement it, and obliges states parties to take concrete steps to give greater attention to the human rights of women in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination and of gender-based violence against women.

Article 2
“Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.”

Article 17

“1. Every individual shall have the right to education.”

 

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights in the Rights of Women in Africa

The States Parties to this Protocol are obligated to: eliminate discrimination against women; ensure the protection of the rights of women as stipulated in international declarations and conventions; promote equality between women and men; and eliminate any practice that affects the physical and psychological development of women and girls.

Articles 1(g), 2(2), 4(d), 5(a), 12(1a, c, e) and (2b); and 14 (g)

These articles of the Protocol obligate States to: ensure equal opportunity to education; promote peace education to eradicate cultural belief, practices and stereotypes; raise awareness to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women; and promote education and training for women and the right to family planning education.

 

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990)

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child  (1990) more specifically tackles discrimination against the girl child. It particularly obliges states and parties in articles 11 and 16 to take special measures in respect of female, gifted and disadvantaged children to ensure access to education for all sections of the community.

For further relevant information, please see the following link: (Internal Link to Int. Law theme).