Short Survey on Laws Criminalizing Petty Offences in National Jurisdictions across Africa

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,
The Pan African Lawyers Union, in collaboration with a consortium of Civil Society Organisations*, is conducting a survey on criminalisation and penalisation of petty offences across Africa. These laws are often vaguely drafted, overly broad, and mostly used to target specific marginalised communities or groups. Victims of such practices are often subjected to arbitrary arrest, excessive and abusive use of power while in police custody and pre-trial detention. This often leads to overpopulation of prisons.

We kindly request you to fill the following questionnaire, which will provide us with information on the laws, regulations and practices in your jurisdiction.

  1. Questionnaire in English
  2. Questionnaire in French
  3. Questionnaire in Portuguese
The results of this survey will contribute to enhancing the understanding of petty offences, relevant legislation, regulations and practices across Africa. They will form part of a campaign to increase awareness by African stakeholders of the adverse effect that criminalisation of petty offences has on the poor and marginalized groups. They will further be used as a basis for a more detailed study on specific countries. The overall goal is to decriminalize or declassify such offences.Kindly find attached a leaflet here with further information on decriminalization and declassification of petty offences.Please fill and return the questionnaire by 31 August 2015, to Ms. Irini Anastassiou, copying

You can also address any questions for further clarifications to Ms. Anastassiou at the above email addresses.

Yours sincerely,

Donald Deya
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU)

* The Consortium is comprised of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF); Centre for Citizens’ Participation on the African Union (CCPAU); Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI); Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU); and Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC).

31 July, 2015

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.


#DecrimPoverty   |  #DecrimStatus  |  #DecrimActivism