Claiming Human Rights
When Human Rights are violated in Africa.
Human rights, internationally agreed upon by the United Nations and many other organizations, are YOUR human rights.
Human rights are not texts of mercy and clemency, they are legally binding rights! When your human rights are violated, you have many opportunities to fight for your human rights through international legal mechanisms. Claim your rights and use these instruments.
This website explains all international procedures available for people living in Africa to claim their human rights. It offers many options for accessing the information: either by a list of the international instruments, article by article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, country by country or through the list of human rights topics.
On December 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the first time in history, it was officially and globally stated that all human beings have the same fundamental rights, irrespective of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
In 1948, there were only four independent African states. Egypt, Ethiopia and Liberia voted in favour of adopting the Declaration, South Africa abstained. During the following decades, almost all African people successfully fought for independence. Colonialism, slavery and apartheid have become history.
Today, there are 53 member states of the United Nations in Africa. Most of them have signed and ratified many of the core UN human rights treaties. These treaties and other international instruments allow everybody to claim her or his human rights!
This website is the product of a collaboration of the German and the French Commission for UNESCO, with financial support of the Foreign Offices of France and Germany. It was launched on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008. It is continually updated.