Resolution on the Expansion of the Mandate and Composition of the Working Group on Death Penalty and Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa - ACHPR/Res. 408 (LXIII) 2018


The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission) meeting at its 63rd Ordinary Session held from 24 October to 13 November 2018, in Banjul, Republic of The  Gambia;

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

Recalling its Resolution ACHPR/Res.79 (XXXVIII) 05, on the Composition and Operationalisation of the Working Group on the Death Penalty; 

Recalling also its Resolution ACHPR/Res.227 (LII) 2012: resolution on the expansion of the mandate of the working group on death penalty in Africa, to include Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa;

Reaffirming the commitment of the Commission to promote the right to life and human dignity as fundamental rights and to encourage States Parties to abolish the death penalty;

Emphasizing that the right to life is a fundamental human right guaranteed by Article 4 of the African Charter which enshrines the absolute prohibition of the arbitrary deprivation of life;

Concerned about the emerging issue of enforced disappearances in the continent, which have in some cases resulted in deaths, and being aware of the need to urgently address this issue, as it is a violation of the right to life; 

Committed to eliminating violations of human rights on the continent, including enforced disappearances;

Decides to expand the mandate of the Working Group to include issues of enforced disappearances, with the following amended title: The Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Africa;

Decides also to expand the composition of the Working Group to include one additional Member with expertise on issues of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, namely Professor Christof Heyns.

Decides further to entrust the Working Group with the additional mandate to:

                     I.        Monitor situations relating to enforced disappearances in Africa with all its ramifications;

                    II.        Collect information and keep a database of reported instances of situations concerning enforced disappearances in Africa;

                  III.        Undertake studies on issues relating to enforced disappearances;

                   IV.        Advise the Commission on urgent measures to be taken to address situations of enforced disappearances that require immediate attention;

                    V.        Collaborate with its stakeholders and partners including National Governments, International and Intergovernmental Organisations for the successful fulfilment of its mandate.

Done in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia, on 13 November 2018