ECOSOC Rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) was established by the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, with the aim to promote human and people’s rights and ensure their protection in Africa. The Commission was inaugurated on 2 November 1987 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Commission’s Secretariat has subsequently been located in Banjul. On October 24 , 2011 the ACHPRO adapted the Guidelines And Principles On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights In The African Charter On Human And Peoples’ Rights. In that document intersex people are recognized as a vulnerable and disadvantaged group. It also states that this group deserves special attention and protection when it comes to the the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without free and informed consent.

Guidelines and Principles on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

  1. 1. In the interpretation of these Guidelines the following terms shall be interpreted as follows:
    1. Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are people who have faced and/or continue to face significant impediments to their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups include but are not limited to, women, linguistic, racial, religious minorities, children (particularly orphans, young girls, children of low-income groups, children in rural areas, children who are disabled, children of immigrants and of migrant workers, children belonging to linguistic, racial, religious or other minorities, and children belonging to indigenous populations/communities), youth, the elderly, people living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS, and other persons with terminal illnesses, persons with persistent medical problems, child and female-headed households and victims of natural diasters, indigenous populations/communities, persons with disabilities, victims of sexual and economic exploitation, detainees, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex people, refugees and asylum seekers, legal or illegal migrant workers, internally displaced populations, slum dwellers, landless and nomadic pastoralists, workers in the informal sector of the economy and subsistence agriculture, persons living in informal settlements and workers in irregular forms of employment such as home-based workers, casual and seasonal workers.

Right to Health (Article 16)

  1. The individual has the right to be free from unwarranted interference, including nonconsensual medical treatment, experimentation, forced sterilisation and inhuman and degrading treatment.

Minimum Core Obligations

  1. The minimum core obligations of the right to health include at least the following:
    1. Ensure the right of access to health facilities, goods and services on a non-discriminatory basis, especially for vulnerable or marginalised groups;
    2. Ensure the provision of essential drugs to all those who need them, as periodically defined under the WHO Action Programme on Essential Drugs, and particularly anti-retroviral drugs;

Cross-cutting Obligations

    1. Ensure the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without free and informed consent. In this regard, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups should be given special attention and protection.
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