Background: The Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), in Article 3(h) provides a clear mandate on the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights on the continent. This mandate is further reinforced by the continental human rights instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the establishment of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
During its fifth (5th) Ordinary Session held in Benghazi, Libya in 1989, the ACHPR adopted Resolution ACHPR/Res.1(V)89 on the celebration of an African Day of Human and Peoples’ Rights. It is for this reason that Member States of the African Union commemorate 21 October of each year as the African Human Rights Day.
The overall goal of the commemoration is to, among other things, reflect on and recommit to the solemn declaration by the peoples and leaders of Africa on promotion and protection of human and people’s rights on the Continent.
The theme of the 2018 African Human Rights Day is “Fighting Corruption and Advancing Human Rights: Our Collective Responsibility”.