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Nigeria: Nigerian Human Rights Law

Nigerian Human Rights Law webpage features fundamental rights in the Nigerian Constitution, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and other international and regional human rights instruments.

Nigerian Human Rights Law: Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Sections 33 – 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999:

Nigerian Constitution, Chapter IV: Fundamental Rights

Nigeria: Right to life

33. (1 )No one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.

(2) A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section, if he dies as a result of the use, to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably necessary –

(a) for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property;

(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; or

(c) for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.

Nigeria: Right to dignity of human person

34. (1) Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly –

(a) no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment;

(b) no person shall be held in slavery or servitude; and

(c) no person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c) of this section, “forced or compulsory labour” does not include –

(a) any labour required in consequence of the sentence or order of a court;

(b) any labour required of members of the armed forces of the Federation or the Nigeria Police Force in pursuance of their duties as such;

(c) in the case of persons who have conscientious objections to service in the armed forces of the Federation, any labour required instead of such service;

(d) any labour required which is reasonably necessary in the event of any emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community; or

(e) any labour or service that forms part of –

(i) normal communal or other civic obligations for the well-being of the community,

(ii) such compulsory national service in the armed forces of the Federation as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly, or

(iii) such compulsory national service which forms part of the education and training of citizens of Nigeria as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

Nigeria: Right to personal liberty

35. (1) Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure permitted by law –

(a) in execution of the sentence or order of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty;

(b) by reason of his failure to comply with the order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation imposed upon him by law;

(c) for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court or upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence, or to such extent as may be reasonably necessary to prevent his committing a criminal offence;

(d) in the case of a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, for the purpose of his education or welfare;

(e) in the case of persons suffering from infectious or contagious disease, persons of unsound mind, persons addicted to drugs or alcohol or vagrants, for the purpose of their care or treatment or the protection of the community; or

(f) for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry of any person into Nigeria or of effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal from Nigeria of any person or the taking of proceedings relating thereto:

Provided that a person who is charged with an offence and who has been detained in lawful custody awaiting trial shall not continue to be kept in such detention for a period longer than the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed for the offence.

(2) Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right to remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice.

(3) Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed in writing within twenty-four hours (and in a language that he understands) of the facts and grounds for his arrest or detention.

(4) Any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection (1)(c) of this section shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time, and if he is not tried within a period of –

(a) two months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled to bail; or

(b) three months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who has been released on bail, he shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him) be released either unconditionally or upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trial at a later date.

(5) In subsection (4) of this section, the expression “a reasonable time” means –

(a) in the case of an arrest or detention in any place where there is a court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of forty kilometres, a period of one day; and

(b) in any other case, a period of two days or such longer period as in the circumstances may be considered by the court to be reasonable.

(6) Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained shall be entitled to compensation and public apology from the appropriate authority or person; and in this subsection, “the appropriate authority or person” means an authority or person specified by law.

(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed –

(a) in relation to subsection (4) of this section, as applying in the case of a person arrested or detained upon reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence; and

(b) as invalidating any law by reason only that it authorises the detention for a period not exceeding three months of a member of the armed forces of the Federation or a member of the Nigeria Police Force in execution of a sentence imposed by an officer of the armed forces of the Federation or of the Nigeria Police Force, in respect of an offence punishable by such detention of which he has been found guilty.

Nigeria: Right to fair hearing

36. (1) In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.

(2) Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this section, a law shall not be invalidated by reason only that it confers on any government or authority power to determine questions arising in the administration of a law that affects or may affect the civil rights and obligations of any person if such law –

(a) provides for an opportunity for the person whose rights and obligations may be affected to make representations to the administering authority before that authority makes the decision affecting that person; and

(b) contains no provision making the determination of the administering authority final and conclusive.

(3) The proceedings of a court or the proceedings of any tribunal relating to the matters mentioned in subsection (1) of this section (including the announcement of the decisions of the court or tribunal) shall be held in public.

(4) Whenever any person is charged with a criminal offence, he shall, unless the charge is withdrawn, be entitled to a fair hearing in public within a reasonable time by a court or tribunal:

Provided that –

(a) a court or such a tribunal may exclude from its proceedings persons other than the parties thereto or their legal practitioners in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, the welfare of persons who have not attained the age of eighteen years, the protection of the private lives of the parties or to such extent as it may consider necessary by reason of special circumstances in which publicity would be contrary to the interests of justice;

(b) if in any proceedings before a court or such a tribunal, a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State satisfies the court or tribunal that it would not be in the public interest for any matter to be publicly disclosed, the court or tribunal shall make arrangements for evidence relating to that matter to be heard in private and shall take such other action as may be necessary or expedient to prevent the disclosure of the matter.

(5) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty:

Provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts.

(6) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to –

(a) be informed promptly in the language that he understands, and in detail of the nature of the offence;

(b) be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;

(c) defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice;

(d) examine, in person or by his legal practitioners, the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court or tribunal and obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court or tribunal on the same conditions as those applying to the witnesses called by the prosecution; and

(e) have, without payment, the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the offence.

(7) When any person is tried for any criminal offence, the court or tribunal shall keep a record of the proceedings and the accused person or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall be entitled to obtain copies of the judgment in the case within seven days of the conclusion of the case.

(8) No person shall be held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence heavier than the penalty in force at the time the offence was committed.

(9) No person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for a criminal offence having the same ingredients as that offence save upon the order of a superior court.

(10) No person who shows that he has been pardoned for a criminal offence shall again be tried for that offence.

(11) No person who is tried for a criminal offence shall be compelled to give evidence at the trial.

(12) Subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefor is prescribed in a written law; and in this subsection, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State, any subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of a law.

Nigeria: Right to private and family life

37. The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.

Nigeria: Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

38. (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) No person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if such instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own, or a religion not approved by his parent or guardian.

(3) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any place of education maintained wholly by that community or denomination.

(4) Nothing in this section shall entitle any person to form, take part in the activity or be a member of a secret society.

Nigeria: Right to freedom of expression and the press

39. (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subjection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions:

Provided that no person, other than the Government of the Federation or of a State or any other person or body authorised by the President on the fulfilment of conditions laid down by an Act of the National Assembly, shall own, establish or operate a television or wireless broadcasting station for any purpose whatsoever.

(3) Nothing in this section shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society –

(a) for the purpose of preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of courts or regulating telephony, wireless broadcasting, television or the exhibition of cinematograph films; or

(b) imposing restrictions upon persons holding office under the Government of the Federation or of a State, members of the armed forces of the Federation or members of the Nigeria Police Force or other Government security services or agencies established by law.

Nigeria: Right to peaceful assembly and association

40. Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests:

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not derogate from the powers conferred by this Constitution on the Independent National Electoral Commission with respect to political parties to which that Commission does not accord recognition.

Nigeria: Right to freedom of movement

41. (1) Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society –

(a) imposing restrictions on the residence or movement of any person who has committed or is reasonably suspected to have committed a criminal offence in order to prevent him from leaving Nigeria; or

(b) providing for the removal of any person from Nigeria to any other country to –

(i) be tried outside Nigeria for any criminal offence, or

(ii) undergo imprisonment outside Nigeria in execution of the sentence of a court of law in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty:

Provided that there is reciprocal agreement between Nigeria and such other country in relation to such matter.

Nigeria: Right to freedom from discrimination

42. (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that her is such a person –

(a) be subject either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or

(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.

(2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the State or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or a member of the Nigeria Police Force or to an office in the service of a body corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria.

Nigeria: Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria

43. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.

Nigeria: Compulsory acquisition of property

44. (1) No movable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law that, among other things –

(a) requires the prompt payment of compensation therefor; and

(b) gives to any person claiming such compensation a right of access for the determination of his interest in the property and the amount of compensation to a court of law or tribunal or body having jurisdiction in that part of Nigeria.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as affecting any general law –

(a) for the imposition or enforcement of any tax, rate or duty;

(b) for the imposition of penalties or forfeitures for the breach of any law, whether under civil process or after conviction for an offence;

(c) relating to leases, tenancies, mortgages, charges, bills of sale or any other rights or obligations arising out of contracts;

(d) relating to the vesting and administration of the property of persons adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt or insolvent, of persons of unsound mind or deceased persons, and of corporate or unincorporate bodies in the course of being wound-up;

(e) relating to the execution of judgments or orders of court;

(f) providing for the taking of possession of property that  is in a dangerous state or is injurious to the health of human beings, plants or animals;

(g) relating to enemy property;

(h) relating to trusts and trustees;

(i) relating to limitation of actions;

(j) relating to property vested in bodies corporate directly established by any law in force in Nigeria;

(k) relating to the temporary taking of possession of property for the purpose of any examination, investigation or enquiry;

(l) providing for the carrying out of work on land for the purpose of soil conservation; or

(m) subject to prompt payment of compensation for damage to buildings, economic trees or crops, providing for any authority or person to enter, survey or dig any land, or to lay, install or erect poles, cables, wires, pipes, or other conductors or structures on any land, in order to provide or maintain the supply or distribution of energy, fuel, water, sewage, telecommunication services or other public facilities or public utilities.

(3) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria shall vest in the Government of the Federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

Nigeria: Restriction on and derogation from fundamental rights

45. (1) Nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society –

(a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

(2) An Act of the National Assembly shall not be invalidated by reason only that it provides for the taking, during periods of emergency, of measures that derogate from the provisions of section 33 or 35 of this Constitution; but no such measures shall be taken in pursuance of any such Act during any period of emergency save to the extent that those measures are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of emergency:

Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution, except in respect of death resulting from acts of war or authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 36(8) of this Constitution.

(3) In this section, a “period of emergency” means any period during which there is in force a Proclamation of a state of emergency declared by the President in exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 305 of this Constitution.

Nigeria: Special jurisdiction of High Court and legal aid

46. (1) Any person who alleges that any of the provisions of this Chapter has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any State in relation to him may apply to a High Court in that State for redress.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a High Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear and determine any application made to it in pursuance of the provisions of this section and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement within that State of any right to which the person who makes the application may be entitled under this Chapter.

(3) The Chief Justice of Nigeria may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of a High Court for the purposes of this section.

(4) The National Assembly –

(a) may confer upon a High Court such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section; and

(b) shall make provisions –

(i) for the rendering of financial assistance to any indigent citizen of Nigeria where his right under this Chapter has been infringed or with a view to enabling him to engage the services of a legal practitioner to prosecute his claim, and

(ii) for ensuring that allegations of infringement of such rights are substantial and the requirement or need for financial or legal aid is real.

 

African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Articles 1 – 29 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights:

CHAPTER 1: HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

ARTICLE 1, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

The Member States of the Organisation of African Unity, parties to the present Charter shall recognise the rights, duties and freedoms enshrined in the Charter and shall undertake to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to them.

ARTICLE 2, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status.

ARTICLE 3, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall be equal before the law

2. Every individual shall be entitled to equal protection of the law

ARTICLE 4, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.

ARTICLE 5, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man, particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.

ARTICLE 6, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his freedom except for reasons and conditions previously laid down by law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.

ARTICLE 7, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard. This comprises:

(a) The right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts of violating his fundamental rights as recognized and guaranteed by conventions, laws, regulations and customs in force;

(b) The right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court or tribunal;

(c) The right to defence, including the right to be defended by counsel of his choice;

(d) The right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal.

2. No one may be condemned for an act or omission which did not constitute a legally punishable offence at the time it was committed. No penalty may be inflicted for an offence for which no provision was made at the time it was committed. Punishment is personal and can be imposed only on the offender.

ARTICLE 8, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Freedom of conscience, the profession and free practice of religion shall be guaranteed. No one may, subject to law and order, be submitted to measures restricting the exercise of these freedoms.

ARTICLE 9, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have the right to receive information.

2. Every individual shall have the right to express and disseminate his opinions within the law.

ARTICLE 10, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have the right to free association provided that he abides by the law.

2. Subject to the obligation of solidarity provided for in Article 29, no one may be compelled to join an association.

ARTICLE 11

Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others. The exercise of this right shall be subject only to necessary restrictions provided for by law, in particular those enacted in the interest of national security, the safety, health, ethics and rights and freedoms of others.

ARTICLE 12, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of a State provided he abides by the law.

2. Every individual shall have the right to leave any country including his own, and to return to his country. This right may only be subject to restrictions, provided for by law for the protection of national security, law and order, public health or morality.

3. Every individual shall have the right, when persecuted, to seek and obtain asylum in other countries in accordance with the law of those countries and international conventions.

4. A non-national legally admitted in a territory of a State Party to the present Charter, may only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law.

5. The mass expulsion of non-nationals shall be prohibited. Mass expulsion shall be that which is aimed at national, racial, ethnic or religious groups.

ARTICLE 13, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of the law.

2. Every citizen shall have the right of equal access to the public service of the country.

3. Every individual shall have the right of access to public property and services in strict equality of all persons before the law.

ARTICLE 14, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

The right to property shall be guaranteed. It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws.

ARTICLE 15, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Every individual shall have the right to work under equitable and satisfactory conditions, and shall receive equal pay for equal work.

ARTICLE 16, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health.

2. State Parties to the present Charter shall take the necessary measures to protect the health of their people and to ensure that they receive medical attention when they are sick.

ARTICLE 17, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have the right to education.

2. Every individual may freely take part in the cultural life of his community.

3. The promotion and protection of morals and traditional values recognized by the community shall be the duty of the State.

ARTICLE 18, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. The family shall be the natural unit and basis of society. It shall be protected by the State which shall take care of its physical health and moral.

2. The State shall have the duty to assist the family which is the custodian of morals and traditional values recognized by the community.

3. The State shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of women and the child as stipulated in international declarations and conventions.

4. The aged and the disabled shall also have the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical or moral needs.

ARTICLE 19, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another.

ARTICLE 20, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.

2. Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.

3. All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of the State Parties to the present Charter in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural.

ARTICLE 21, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. All peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources. This right shall be exercised in the exclusive interest of the people. In no case shall a people be deprived of it.

2. In case of spoliation, the dispossessed people shall have the right to the lawful recovery of its property as well as to an adequate compensation.

3. The free disposal of wealth and natural resources shall be exercised without prejudice to the obligation of promoting international economic cooperation based on mutual respect, equitable exchange and the principles of international law.

4. State Parties to the present Charter shall individually and collectively exercise the right to free disposal of their wealth and natural resources with a view to strengthening African Unity and solidarity.

5. State Parties to the present Charter shall undertake to eliminate all forms of foreign exploitation particularly that practised by international monopolies so as to enable their peoples to fully benefit from the advantages derived from their national resources.

ARTICLE 22, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. All peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development with due regard to their freedom and identity and in the equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind.

2. States shall have the duty, individually or collectively, to ensure the exercise of the right to development.

ARTICLE 23, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. All peoples shall have the right to national and international peace and security. The principles of solidarity and friendly relations implicitly affirmed by the Charter of the United Nations and reaffirmed by that of the Organisation of African Unity shall govern relations between States.

2. For the purpose of strengthening peace, solidarity and friendly relations, State Parties to the present Charter shall ensure that:

(a) any individual enjoying the right of asylum under Article 12 of the present Charter shall not engage in subversive activities against his country of origin or any other State Party to the present Charter;

(b) their territories shall not be used as bases for subversive or terrorist activities against the people of any other State Party to the present Charter.

ARTICLE 24, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

All peoples shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development.

ARTICLE 25, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

State Parties to the present Charter shall have the duty to promote and ensure through teaching, education and publication, the respect of the rights and freedoms contained in the present Charter and to see to it that these freedoms and rights as well as corresponding obligations and duties are understood.

ARTICLE 26, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

State Parties to the present Charter shall have the duty to guarantee the independence of the Courts and shall allow the establishment and improvement of appropriate national institutions entrusted with the promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the present Charter.

ARTICLE 27, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

1. Every individual shall have duties towards his family and society, the State and other legally recognised communities and the international community.

2. The rights and freedoms of each individual shall be exercised with due regard to the rights of others, collective security, morality and common interest.

ARTICLE 28, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

Every individual shall have the duty to respect and consider his fellow beings without discrimination, and to maintain relations aimed at promoting, safeguarding and reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance.

ARTICLE 29, AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS

The individual shall also have the duty:

1. To preserve the harmonious development of the family and to work for the cohesion and respect of the family; to respect his parents at all times, to maintain them in case of need.

2. To serve his national community by placing his physical and intellectual abilities at its service;

3. Not to compromise the security of the State whose national or resident he is;

4. To preserve and strengthen social and national solidarity, particularly when the latter is strengthened;

5. To preserve and strengthen the national independence and the territorial integrity of his country and to contribute to his defence in accordance with the law;

6. To work to the best of his abilities and competence, and to pay taxes imposed by law in the interest of the society;

7. To preserve and strengthen positive African cultural values in his relations with other members of the society, in the spirit of tolerance, dialogue and consultation and, in general, to contribute to the promotion of the moral well being of society;

8. To contribute to the best of his abilities, at all times and at all levels, to the promotion and achievement of African unity.

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”

PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

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