Times of emergencies or disaster present the most challenging circumstances as far as respect for and the protection and promotion of human rights are concerned. On the one hand, these are circumstances that demand the State within the framework of Article 1 and 27 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) take the requisite emergency measures including, as necessary, those that temporarily limit or suspend rights. On the other hand, if care is not taken, the emergency measures that States adopt for safeguarding the society from the threat posed by the emergency or disaster may themselves lead to violations of human rights.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), as the body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the African Charter, has put together guidelines to clarify the parameters for the regulation and application of states of emergency and disaster on the continent. Download the the Guidelines via ACHPR here.