The second volume of this African Human Rights Yearbook marks the second year of the African Human Rights Decade (2017-2027), declared by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government to advance the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa and to deepen the culture of human rights on the continent. Attempts by the AU, AU human rights bodies and state parties to foster human rights and to make real the promise contained in various AU human rights treaties, should be complemented by intellectual engagement and critical scholarly reflection. This publication provides a basis for dialogue and discussion, and aims to contribute to the growth of scholarship on the African human rights system.
The Yearbook further aims to serve as a vehicle for strengthening collaboration between the bodies making up the African regional human rights system: the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Its emergence as a publication has followed in the wake of the closer working relationships between all AU bodies with a human rightsrelated mandate, within the African Governance Architecture.
This particular edition also draws attention to the scourge of corruption in Africa, and its implications for human rights. The year 2018 was declared as African Anti-Corruption Year, following the declaration made at the 29th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government in January 2017. The Yearbook therefore also aims to contribute to the theme: ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’. Declarations like this need to become talking points and should involve civil society, in its broadest sense, so that these declarations can speak also to the hearts and minds of the people of the continent.
One of the great shortcomings of our continent is the lack of vibrant discussion and in-depth research and publication on the topics that we as Africans face today. A closer integrated, more prosperous and humane Africa will only fully emerge if the people of the continent are more consistently and meaningfully involved in the substance and processes orchestrated by the AU. Publications like the Yearbook provide an opportunity to make infuse the AU’s endeavours more people-driven and inclusive.
On behalf of the three AU human rights bodies, and on that of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in particular, I wish to thank the authors who contributed, and everyone who assisted in making this Yearbook a reality.
Soyata Maiga Chairperson,
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights