Human Rights: African Commission Adopts Principles for Decriminalization of Petty Offenses in Africa

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 21st Extraordinary Session held from 23 February to 4 March 2017 in Banjul, The Gambia tasked the Special Rapporteur on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa (the Special Rapporteur) to develop the Principles on the Decriminalization and Reclassification of Petty Offenses in Africa; and that the Principles be presented to the Commission for consideration and adoption within the year.

The development of the draft principles was based on a series of consultations with different stakeholders from different African countries. These consultations gave rise to the consolidated recommendations reflected in the draft, see  and Consequently, the draft was first presented to the ACHPR for consideration during the 60th Session of the ACHPR in Niamey, Niger during which recommendations were made for improvement.

The ACHPR adopted these Principles during the 61st Ordinary Session of the in November 2017 at Banjul, the Gambia: Find below the link to the communique from the 61st Ordinary Session which highlights the adoption of the Principles (see paragraph 49 (iii)).

8 February, 2018

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


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