Resolution on Police and Human Rights in Africa - ACHPR/Res.259(LIV)2013


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) meeting at its 54th Ordinary Session, held from 22 October to 5 November 2013 in Banjul, The Gambia,

Recalling its mandate to promote and ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Recognizing the central role of the police in the maintenance and enforcement of law and order and the promotion of citizen’s safety as well as the respect for human rights;

Further recognizing the growing demands placed on the police to combat national and transnational crime, terrorism and other emerging security challenges;

Concerned that effective policing in Africa is impeded by several factors including limited financial resources, inadequate training, poor working conditions and corruption;

Further concerned that this situation has led to non-compliance by the police with basic human rights standards in the execution of their duties, including the use of excessive and disproportionate force, extrajudicial killings and summary executions, arbitrary and illegal arrest, torture and mistreatment;

Noting the importance of human rights training for the police as well as efficient mechanisms to follow up on human rights compliance by the police;

Recalling its decision at the 40th and 41st ordinary sessions to organize seminars on Building the Culture of Peace and Human Rights for the Military / Police in Africa;

Reaffirms its commitment to continue to place police and human rights as a priority issue in the execution of its promotion and protection mandate;

Calls on State Parties to the Charter to ensure that in the execution of their duties, police fully comply with the respect for human rights and the rule of law;

Further calls on State Parties to the African Charter to take the appropriate measures in accordance with the relevant Articles of the African Charter and other regional instruments to ensure that police services respect the dignity inherent in the individual in the discharge of their duties. 

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 5 November 2013