Press Release

Inter-American and African Commissions agree to strengthen strategic cooperation

March 29, 2018

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (the African Commission) agreed during a joint meeting held in Washington D.C. on 27 March 2018, to strengthen and institutionalize their strategic cooperation, including by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and developing a roadmap of joint activities between both organizations.

The declaration of intention between the African Commission and the IACHR aims to strengthen the partnership between the two sister regional human rights systems, by reinforcing and formalizing existing practices and developing new ones. These include joint actions, regular consultations, exchange of information and collaboration in standard-setting, and a range of other activities.

The Chairperson of the African Commission, Commissioner Soyata Maiga, noted that the mandates and work of the two organizations are complementary, and that by working together, they can do more to protect and promote human rights. She welcomed this declaration of intention as an important step in reinforcing the human rights of the inhabitants of the respective regions, and expressed commitment to continuing and close collaborations with the Inter-American Commission.

The IACHR President, Margarette May Macaulay, noted that the American and African regions face similar challenges, and that therefore, the alliance of the two regional systems is crucial to strengthening their roles in helping States to meet their human rights obligations, and victims to enjoy their rights.

The drafting of the detailed MoU and roadmap for collaborations will be led by focal points from each organization, following which it would be agreed upon and signed off  by both organizations. 

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The IACHR has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. It is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, an autonomous treaty body, derives its mandate from the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and has a mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights on the continent, and to interpret the African Charter. The African Commission is composed of eleven independent members, elected by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

No. 070/18