Africa

In terms of laws for the protection of HRDs, the pioneer country in Africa has been the Democratic Republic of Congo, which started in 2007 to debate laws in provinces and at the national level. But it has been especially since 2015 that laws have been passed in several countries, mostly, but not exclusively, in West Africa. It is the region with the most national processes on laws, fifteen in total, but also with the most stalled or abandoned processes (seven of the fifteen).

In general, these national laws have been based on the UN Declaration on HRDs, as well as on the Model Law developed by the International Service for Human Rights.

Collectively, these laws succinctly outline a number of rights for human rights defenders, which overlap to a large extent with the rights that everyone has as a citizen of these countries. Some laws regulate their application, others do not. And several laws contain a series of “responsibilities” on the part of HRDs, as for example in the 2014 law of Côte d’Ivoire:

o Art. 10 : ” HRDs are obliged to exercise their rights and freedoms impartially and with respect for the rights of others, public safety and the general interest “.
o Art. 12: “… Human rights defenders must contribute to the preservation and strengthening of social and national solidarity…. “
These responsibilities assigned to HRDs could serve as a basis for delegitimising the action of HRDs.

As of mid-2021, the list of countries with protection policies in Africa is as follows:
•Law in force: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali,
•Decree or sub-national regulation: Democratic Republic of Congo
•Discussions in force: Uganda, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Togo.
•Previous debates, not currently taken up: Cameroon, Guinea, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Sudan.

International Service of Human Rights
2022
In the Central African Republic, a Draft Law is being discussed at the Ministry of Justice. See here for an...
République du Niger
2022
On the 15th of June 2022, a national law on human rights defenders (HRDs or defenders) in Niger was adopted. The...
2021
A meeting between the consultant and stakeholders on the draft law on the recognition and protection of human rights defenders...
2021
International Service for Human Rights – ISHR This study examines existing national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in West African countries...
2021
International Service for Human Rights ISHR and its partner Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (RPDH) welcome...
2021
Togo is in the process of adopting the law on the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs). This law, enshrined...
2021
Togo has for several years been taking steps towards better protecting human rights and guaranteeing “the physical and mental integrity,...
2021
ISHR The Human Rights Defenders Network of Sierra Leone and Amnesty International are campaigning for the adoption of a new...
2021
In Madagascar, the number of attacks on human rights defenders and whistleblowers is increasing. A draft law on the protection...
International Service for Human Rights
2021
According to Articles 23 (3) and 72 of the Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’...
ISHR
2021
From 18th to 20th October 2021, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) hosted a regional consultation in Abidjan on...
ISHR
2021
Jointly with the national defenders’ coalitions in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Niger, ISHR has published a...
Portail Officiel du gouvernement de Côte d’Ivoire
2021
On 10 November 2021, the government of Ivory Coast adopted the inter-ministerial order N°972/MJDH/MEMD/MIS, creating the Committee for the Protection...
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
2021
The study on the potential of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to serve as protection mechanisms for human rights defenders...
ISHR
2021
On 8 and 9 April 2021, Senegalese civil society met at a workshop co-organised by Amnesty International – Senegal and...
Journal Officiel de la République du Mali
2020
On the 21st of February 2020, the Republic of Mali adopted Decree No. 2020-0087/P-Rm establishing the modalities of application of...
ISHR
2020
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights urged Mali to adopt the implementation decree on the law for the protection...
Defenders Protection Initiative
2020
In 2020, a protection bill for defenders has been proposed in the Ugandan Parliament. It provides for the recognition and...
Defenders Protection Initiative
2020
In July 2020, Hon. Lyandro Komakech, member of parliament from the Gulu Municipality, filed a motion seeking to leave parliament...
ISHR
2019
Following the adoption of the law in 2014 and its implementing decree in 2017, the Ivorian civil society, in collaboration...