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Regional human rights mechanisms

©Chryssa Panoussiadou/Impact/ActionAid
©Chryssa Panoussiadou/Impact/ActionAid
When domestic institutions fail to uphold the law, or when they themselves are the violators of the law, it may be possible or necessary to seek redress beyond national boundaries. Regional legal frameworks give violated rights-holders the possibility of bringing their case in front of a regional body, providing that the country in question is part of this framework, and providing that all national remedies have either been exhausted or deemed inefficient. Regional systems of promotion and protection can further help strengthen the protection and enjoyment of human rights.

The following pages introduce the existing regional frameworks: African, American, Arab and European. Asia and the Pacific are the major regions that are still lacking regional human rights mechanisms.

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights

European Social Charter

African Charter on Human and People's Rights

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

American Convention on Human Rights

Arab Charter

Asia and the Pacific