Workers maintain the thermal power station at Takoradi, Ghana, June 21, 2006. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst)Photo: World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) established the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in 1987. The African Charter is signed by 53 countries from Africa. The main task of the ACHPR is promoting and protecting human and community rights within the African continent.

The ACHPR also acts as a quasi-judicial agency by reviewing complaints (called ‘communications’) lodged by individuals, communities and member states regarding violations of the African Charter. The ACHPR is also tasked with overseeing and interpreting the African Charter and verifies that signatory states are meeting their legal obligations to protect human rights.