Principles on the Declassification and Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa

The criminal justice system in many African countries is characterized by widespread criminalization and punishment of petty offenses through arbitrary arrests which provides a basis for the violation of human rights of poor, marginalized and vulnerable people. Particularly for poor and marginalized groups, the justice system can be difficult to understand and navigate due to obstacles, such as lack of financial resources and lack of awareness on how to access the justice system

It is against this that the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) is engaged in a campaign alongside its partners to decriminalize and declassify petty offenses in the region and instead find alternative punishment such as utilization of Community Service Orders.The campaign is engineered to change the justice system as well as find alternative ways to deal with petty offenses

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 63rd ordinary session on October 25, 2018, adopted the “Principles on the Declassification and Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa.”

Year: 2018
Resource Type:
Petty Offences
People Groups:
Children & Young People
People in Detention
People with Disabilities
People who use Drugs
Elderly People
People experiencing Homelessness or live in informal settlements
Informal Workers
LGBTQIA+ persons
People affected by Displacement (including migrants and refugees)
People experiencing Poverty
Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
Sex Workers
Women and Girls
Duty Bearers
Law Reform
Policy Reform