ACHPR Checklists for Law Reform Advocates

Resources to Support Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa

Published: June 2021

ICNL is pleased to share two checklists developed to help people use the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa. The ACHPR adopted the Guidelines in 2017 to deepen understanding and compliance by States and other stakeholders with their obligations to promote and protect the freedoms of association and peaceful assembly.

WHAT TOPICS DO THE CHECKLISTS COVER?

  • One checklist focuses on the freedom of association and the other on freedom of peaceful assembly.
  • They highlight key issues to help confirm that national laws and provisions meet the Guidelines’ standards and identify provisions that may not fully protect the rights to association and assembly.

WHY ARE THE CHECKLISTS USEFUL?

  • The checklists help standardize how stakeholders monitor a State’s compliance with its obligations to protect and promote association and peaceful assembly.
  • They provide a simple way to identify where issues might arise and how proposed legislation may not comply with the FoAA Guidelines.
  • They offer suggestions to bring a country’s laws, policies, or practices in line with continental and global standards.
  • Users can highlight action taken to improve legislation, which helps in assessing implementation progress:
    • States can include action taken as part of State Party reports to show compliance with the Guidelines
    • Civil society can use the lists to guide their shadow reporting and advocacy.

WHO CAN USE THE CHECKLISTS?

  • Policymakers
  • Those who draft legislation that impacts the rights to association (for example, NGO laws and regulations) and peaceful assembly (for example, public order laws)
  • Legislators who scrutinize proposed laws to ensure compliance with constitutional and international legal norms and best practice
  • National human rights institutions
  • The media
  • Legal reform advocates, including civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and other citizens
  • Academics and legal researchers
  • ACHPR Commissioners and special procedures to assess compliance of proposed national legislation with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • International community and development partners seeking to support legal reform initiatives around freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
ICNL provides technical support to the ACHPR in promoting and effectively implementing the FoAA Guidelines, primarily as a member of the Support Group to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders on Reprisals and the Implementation of the FoAA Guidelines. Click here to learn more about the mandate of the Support Group, and click here to learn more about ICNL’s work in Africa.