Program approach, definition and application

Right to Health: At the Africa Center for Law and Human Rights, we strongly believe that the right to health means that hospitals, clinics, treatments, and medical services must be both accessible and acceptable to all peoples on an equitable basis. An emphasis must be made on good quality of care, where and when needed by the people of Africa. The human right to health represents the notion that everyone in Africa is deserving of the highest attainable services (both physical and behavioral medicine), adequate food, safe and secured housing, healthy working conditions, and a clean and healthy environment. Health is a Human right and African Governments are encouraged to promote and protect healthcare in budgeting, civil planning, and legally as a right.

Freedom of Speech and Expression: As a principle of operation, the Center believes that all individuals hold the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes the freedom to hold and express an opinion void of interference and the right to seek and disseminate information and ideas without the fear of being arrested, detained, indicted, or prosecuted. We are of the sense that as human right, the people of Africa must be left alone to hold political opinion as freely as any other class of statements. They should freely make comment on matters that are of general public interest, artistic expression, and opinion that relate to matters that are particularly legitimate and of public interest. Freedom of Speech and Expression must remain at the core of peoples’ rights in Africa.

Right of the Child: In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities, or legislative bodies in Africa, the best interests of the children of Africa must always be considered. They should remain primary when it comes to respecting, promoting and protecting the human and peoples’ rights in Africa. The Center will insistently work to protect the right of the child throughout Africa.

Right of Women: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) defines the right of women to be freedom from discrimination. It sets the strategic measurement that universally promotes and protects the human rights of women in the developed as well as developing world. CEDAW firmly establishes the basis for achieving total equality between men and women though equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life. Applying CEDAW, the Africa Center for Law and Human Rights will work to promote and protect the human and peoples’ rights of women rights in Africa. We hope to achieve compliance by working scrupulously upholding these rights in Africa.

Environmental Justice: As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people irrespective of race, color, national origin, income or status. Specifically, this concerns the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies that usually impact minority communities and people in poverty. This form of human right will be only achieved when all society members gain equal access to the same degree of treatment and protection from environmental violations and abuses. Africa Center of Law and Human Rights will work to ensure equal access to goods and services by working against institutionalized environmental abuses and violations commonly found and practiced by governments and big corporations in poor and marginalized communities in Africa.

Rights of Indigenous Peoples: In September 2007, the United Nations established a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples. The UN Declaration addresses both the individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity; and rights to education, health, employment, and language. It totally condemns any forms of discrimination against indigenous peoples globally. As a policy, Africa Center for Law and Human Rights will work to support and sustain the rights of indigenous peoples in Africa by holding indigenous peoples’ rights conferences, trainings, and strategic litigations to ensure compliance and promote protection of this right.

Death Penalty: As stated by Amnesty International and other international organizations, the death penalty is a cruel and inhumane treatment that violates the human rights and degrades the civil rights of all persons. It has been outlawed in many settings but continues to be practiced irrespective of color, creed, religion, or status. In many cases, the purported crime is underscored by racial and other factors with the aim of violating the human rights of the person being executed. The Center will mount a collective effort to bring the death penalty to an absolute end in policy and practice. We will hold educational conferences, trainings, and policy-based forums to defend the rights of the accused in Africa.

Freedom of Religion: Article of the Civil and Political Covenant, provides that everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This includes the freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of one’s choice. It also provides for the freedom, either individually or in community with others in public or private to manifest, observe, or practice religious teachings without interference or violence. As a policy, the Center strongly believes and supports that in the practice of one’s religion, no one shall be subject to coercion. We will work to ensure that the religious and human rights of everyone is protected by holding education and training and human rights conferences to uphold this right.

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: The Center strongly believes that all peoples have the right of self-determination. This right encompasses the right to freely determine their political, social, and cultural development void of any interference from within and without the public sector, private sector, or the government. We will work to promote and protect this right by training, education, creation of awareness, and strategic litigation to protect this right.

Equality before the Law: At Africa Center for Law and Human Rights, we strongly believe that everyone is equal before the law and entitled to, void of discrimination, equal protection of the law. Everyone is entitled to equal protection against any from of discrimination in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Crimes against Humanity: – For the purpose of the work of Africa Center for Law and Human Rights, crimes against humanity is committed when there is a widespread and systematic attack carried out against any civilian population with the intent of achieving the crimes of murder, extermination, enslavement or torture in violation of both domestic and international norms and values upheld by members of the comity of nations. Africa Center for Law and Human Rights will conduct trainings, conferences and ensure strategic litigation to uphold the human and peoples’ rights in Africa.

War Crimes: – At Africa Center for Law and Human Rights, war crimes is committed when torture, willful killings, causing of suffering and the destruction of human lives and protected property are targeted and destroyed in violation of the 12 August 1949 Geneva Conventions respecting any act that shall constitute war crimes. We will conduct trainings, conferences, and engage in strategic litigations to ensure and uphold the rights of the people of Africa in conjunction with the Africa Charter on Human and People, as well the ECOWAS Protocols and Conventions to ensure impunity and rights violations don’t go unchecked.