Advisory Opinion from the African Court on the Compatibility of Vagrancy Laws in Africa

On 4 December 2020, the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights (the Court) rendered a landmark Advisory Opinion on the consonance of the Vagrancy Laws with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and other relevant human rights instruments. Responding to a submission by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) which has the mandate to make such fillings before the Court due to its standing MoU with the African Union and did so on behalf of a broad coalition of civil society organizations. The Court unanimously declared these laws inconsistent with the African Charter, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa. It further placed a positive obligation on African States to review and amend or repeal the relevant offences.

Year: 2022
Resource Type:
Petty Offences
Human Rights
People Groups:
Children & Young People
People experiencing Homelessness or live in informal settlements
Informal Workers
People affected by Displacement (including migrants and refugees)
People experiencing Poverty
Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
Women and Girls
Law Reform
Strategic Litigation
Policy Reform
Campaign Partner:
Pan African Lawyers Union