The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Commission), holding its 77th Ordinary Session in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, from 20 October to 9 November 2023:
Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples' rights as set out in Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Charter);
Taking note of Articles 10 and 11 of the African Charter, which guarantee the rights to freedom of association and freedom of assembly;
Noting further that the African Commission's Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa, adopted in 2017 (the Guidelines), require that any legal framework established or other measures taken in relation to the rights to freedom of association and assembly be primarily aimed at enabling the exercise of the rights as provided for in the Guidelines;
Recalling its Resolution ACHPR/Res. 406 (LXIII) of 13 November 2018 on the establishment of a support group for the mandate of Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and focal point on reprisals in Africa (Special Rapporteur) to promote and monitor the effective implementation of the Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa, with a mandate to promote and monitor the effective implementation of the Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa with governments, parliaments and other State institutions, and to advocate for the adoption of national laws and regulations in line with the Guidelines;
Further recalling its Resolutions ACHPR/Res.471 (LXVII) 2020 and ACHPR/Res.547 (LXXIII) 2022 on the renewal of the mandate of the Support Group of the Special Rapporteur;
Concerned about the slow pace of implementation and review of laws in line with the Guidelines by States Parties, which provide for the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of association and assembly, guarantee accountability and reduce threats to democratic space;
Emphasizing the importance of freedom of association and assembly in the work of the Commission and in the effective implementation of the African Union's Agenda 2063;
Noting the Addis Ababa Roadmap on Cooperation between the Special Procedures of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council, in which we committed to undertake joint actions, including thematic research;
1.Decides to conduct a regional study to assess the conformity of national laws in Africa with the Guidelines on Freedom of Association and of Assembly in Africa;
2.Tasks the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa to undertake the said study in collaboration with the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association under the Addis Ababa Roadmap;
3.Requests that the report and conclusions of the study be submitted to the Commission for consideration within one (1) year; and
4.Calls upon all stakeholders to support the drafting of this study.
Done in Arusha, Tanzania, 9 November 2023.