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REGIONAL

HUMAN RIGHTS
PROTECTION
MECHANISMS

THE 3 MAJOR REGIONAL


HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEMS
EUROPE AMERICA AFRICA
3

major regional organisations

major regional human rights


instruments and their protocols

major regional implementation


organs

REGIONAL HR
MECHANISMS
INTRODUCTION
Advantage:

Possibility to bring your claim at a


supranational level (above the State)

Problems:
Accessibility
Political interference
Efficiency
of
implementation
(including challenge of relationship
with domestic system)

REGIONAL HR MECHANISMS
Products

of historical,
institutional and political
evolution
Universal human rights
Political organisation
Control mechanism
Subsidiarity
Political will

1. EUROPE

Two major preoccupations in


Europe after the Second World
War :
Restoring

fundamental human

rights
Securing peace in Europe

European
construction
and
integration of the Council of
Europe

1. EUROPE

Council

of Europe Member

States:
Founding
members
(1949):
Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland,
Italy,
Luxembourg,
Norway,
Netherlands, UK, Sweden, Greece,
Turkey
Western
Europe
(1950-1989):
Iceland, Germany, Austria, Cyprus,
Switzerland, Malta, Portugal, Spain,
Liechtenstein, San Marino, Finland

Central

and

Eastern

Europe

(1990s):
Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Rep.,
Slovakia,
Slovenia,
Romania,
Lithuania,
Estonia,
[Andorra],
Albania, Latvia, Moldova, FYR of
Macedonia, Ukraine, Croatia, Russian
Federation, Georgia.
Since

2000:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro,
[Monaco]

1. EUROPE

Council

of Europe Institutions
Committee of Ministers
Parliamentary Assembly
Secretariat
Human rights at the centre:
European Convention on Human
Rights & European Court of
Human Rights (1950) other
human rights instruments
Commissioner

2. AMERICAS

1948: American Declaration of the Rights of Man


and Charter of the Organization of American
States (OAS)
1959: Inter-American Commission on HR (1965:
individual petition)
1969: American Convention on Human Rights
(ACHR)
1970: Revised Charter of the Organization of
American States
1978: Entry into force of the ACHR
1978: Entry in function of the Inter-American
Court of HR

2. AMERICAS

25 American States have ratified or


adopted
the
ACHR:
Argentina,
Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia,
Costa
Rica,
Chile,
Dominica,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada,
Guatemala,
Haiti,
Honduras,
Jamaica,
Mexico,
Nicaragua,
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican
Republic, Suriname, Trinidad and
Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

2. AMERICAS

Trinidad

and Tobago denounced


the ACHR in 1998 (death penalty
cases)
Cuba is not a Member of the OAS
Canada has not signed nor
ratified
USA has signed but never ratified
many small islands and small
territories have not signed the
ACHR.

3. OTHER REGIONS - ASIA


Many

attempts to establish a regional


body in the Asian Region
(Asia-Pacific region)
UN programs (Tehran framework),
Law Asia, Bangkok declaration, Asean
meetings, Asian NGOs and Asian
human rights commission
ASEAN Inter-Governmental
Commission on Human Rights
(AICHR), Terms of Reference (ToR)
adopted 20th July, Phuket, Thailand

3. OTHER REGIONS

League of the Arab States /


Revised Arab Charter on
Human Rights (2004)
Organization of the Islamic
Conference/Cairo Declaration
on Human Rights in Islam
(1990)

4. AFRICA
Organisation of African Unity (1963):
safeguarding
African
sovereignty;
territorial integrity; a commitment to
decolonisation, and liberation struggle
African Union (2002): peace, security, and
stability on the continent; democratic
principles
and
institutions,
popular
participation and good governance; and
promoting and protecting human peoples'
rights in accordance with the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and
other relevant human rights instruments.

4. AFRICA

53 members states:
all African States except
Morocco (Western Sahara
dispute)
African Charter on Human
and Peoples Rights (1981)

4. AFRICA
Main

organs of the AU:

Assembly
Executive

Council

Commission
Permanent

Committee

Representatives'

Peace

and Security Council (PSC)

Pan-African

Parliament

ECOSOCC
The

Court of Justice

+ Specialized Technical Committees,


Financial Institutions
(African Central Bank; African Monetary
Fund; African Investment Bank)
+ NEPAD (New partnership for
African development)

THE RIGHTS PROTECTED

Civil

and Political Rights (all)


Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (African; Inter-American by
special protocol but mentioned in
text of C.)
Collective/peoples Rights (African)
Duties (African Charter; InterAmerican Convention)
Derogations (European and InterAmerican Conventions)

COMPLAINTS MECHANISMS

European Court of Human Rights


(Before: both
Commission
and
Court)

Inter-American
Commission
Court of Human Rights

and

African Commission of Human Rights


and Court of Human Rights (under
establishment)

WHO CAN COMPLAIN?


States

Individuals

persons

/ NGOs / groups of

Admissibility criteria

END RESULT?
Judgment

or decision on violation
Compensation for pecuniary and non
pecuniary damages + costs and
expenses
Indication regarding what the State
should do
Supervision of the implementation of
the
judgment
(by
political
organ/court)

OTHER AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS


INSTRUMENTS
OAU

Refugee Convention 1969/1974


African Charter on the Rights and
Welfare of the Child 1990/1999
Protocol to the African Charter on the
Rights of Women in Africa 2003/2005
Convention on Preventing and
Combating Corruption 2003/2006
African Charter on Democracy and
Governance 2007/

AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS


SUPERVISORY
African Commission on Human and
ORGANS/INSTITUTIONS
Peoples Rights Established under the

African Charter 1987


African Court on Human and Peoples
Rights 1998/2004 merged with the Court
of Justice in 2008, creating an African
Court of Justice and Human Rights
Committee on the Rights and Welfare of
the Child 1999/2001
The African Peer Review Mechanism
(APRM) 2002 adoption -

WORKINGS OF THE AFRICAN


COMMISSION
Mandate to promote and protect
Complaint/Communications
mechanism State and Individual
State reporting system
Special rapporteurs and working
groups
On-site visits
Adoption of resolutions
Human rights education

WORKINGS OF THE AFRICAN


COMMISSION
The

Individual complaint system


not expressly provided Serious and
massive violations (art 58)
Relevance of art 56 - Admissibility
No victim requirement
Interim/provisional measures Rule
111
Challenge of enforcement

AFRICAN COURT ON HUMAN AND


PEOPLES RIGHTS
Inaugurated

in 2007 Statute of
African Court of Justice and Human
Rights Adopted 1 July 2008
Seat of African HR Court in Arusha
Rules of procedures newly adopted
Jurisdiction over African Charter,
Protocol and other relevant instruments
Restricted access for individuals/NGOs

Not

CONCLUSION

a perfect system but it has


come to stay and there is only
room for improvement.
Every body has a part to play.