Africa

 

Making a Community Action Net (work): organising in the times of COVID-19

By: Ella Scheepers & Ishtar Lakhani & Kasey Armstrong
Français | Español

Community Action Networks in South Africa bring residents from varied backgrounds into collective action to find solutions to COVID-related issues.

Using legal empowerment to fight exploitative land investors in Sierra Leone

By: Hassan Sesay & Daniel Sesay
Español | Français

Legal empowerment helps locals to understand and claim their rights, resulting in a legal victory for communities in Sierra Leone against exploitative corporations.

Challenging the oil industry through community action in Western Uganda

By: Wangũi wa Kamonji
Español | Português

One women’s group in Uganda is showing that solidarity, community and the determination to sustain generative ways of life can be unstoppable, even in the face ...

Indigenous women in Kenya rebuild resilience amidst an eco-cultural crisis

By: Wangũi wa Kamonji
Español | Português

In the face of growing climate change, indigenous women in Kenya are remembering and reinstating their native agricultural practices, to build resilience and reclaim ...

How do treaty bodies respond to situations of crisis such as Burundi?

By: Armel Niyongere
Español | Français

Treaty bodies showed their ability to take the right measures in situations of crisis like in Burundi. A coordination with the high-level bodies of the United Nations, ...

Economic and social rights force us to pressure a return to the state

By: Katharine G. Young
Español | Français

Constitutional entrenchment is only part of the battle for recognition of economic and social rights, as many South African cases have made clear.

Intellectual property as a tool of empowerment

By: Sarah Yookyung Kim
Español | Français

When much broader communities can harness intellectual property rights, these shifts can contribute to reducing inequality and improving the standard of life for ...

The fight for “fun”damental rights for sex workers in South Africa

By: Ishtar Lakhani
Español | Français

Humour is one of the most effective tools in our activist arsenal, because it has the ability to bring people together from a space of shared connection rather ...

Strategic litigation in a perfect storm—South Africa

By: Jason Brickhill
Español | isiXhosa

The courts have done much in South Africa to advance human rights and promote equality, but in what remains a grossly unequal society they can only do so much.

A hashtag that inspired hope: #GambiaHasDecided

By: Salieu Taal
Français | Español

A movement that started as a simple hashtag, declaring that #GambiaHasDecided, is bringing a fresh wave of optimism and hope to political turmoil in the Gambia.

Human rights—tackling inequality by catalyzing the agents of social change

By: Jackie Dugard
Español | Français

Some argue human rights are insufficient to tackle inequality but overlook the emancipatory power of rights—to create the space to mobilize for change, a dynamic ...

A tech solution to documenting sexual violence

By: Suzanne Kidenda & Katy Johnson
Español | Français

A simple app, developed in close co-operation with clinicians, police and other end-users, is making it easier to effectively document and prosecute sexual assault ...

Despite record inequality, UK and EU won’t challenge Swaziland’s monarch

By: Sunit Bagree

The UK and EU are ignoring Swaziland’s threats to human rights and civic space, refusing to hold the monarchy to account.

Illegal logging fuels conflict and violence against women in South Sudan

By: Caroline Kiarie-Kimondo

Mismanagement of timber resources and illegal logging are exacerbating South Sudan’s conflict and destroying the environment, and women are the most severely affected.

Community participation in the face of gatekeeping: lessons from Kenya

By: Collins Liko
Español

Cartels in Kenya are controlling public resources and access to information, but community mobilization is starting to change this power dynamic.

DNA testing can help – and hinder – sexual violence prosecutions

By: Karen Naimer
Español | Français

DNA technology in sexual violence cases can strengthen investigations and prosecutions, but training on how to collect and preserve evidence is equally important ...

Empowering language of rights underlies increasing use in HIV advocacy

By: Kristi Heather Kenyon
Setswana | Zulu

Local HIV activists are expanding human rights discourse into health advocacy, largely due to belief in the empowering impact of rights language, not expectations ...

As NGOs speak out, expect clampdowns to grow

By: David Kode
Español

Governments from Uganda to Poland are silencing activists and organizations that criticize them—what can these NGOs do to fight back?

Building up vs. trickling down: human rights in Southern Africa

By: Kristi Heather Kenyon
Español | Setswana | Zulu

Do we achieve human rights by enacting UN-sanctioned treaties at the legislative level, or at the grassroots level? The history and culture of each country may ...

Using community-led activism and public opinion to stop harmful development

By: John Mwebe & Preksha Kumar

Several investment banks recently withdrew from a project in Malawi due to community-led activism and research on the inherent risks of the proposed plan.

Human rights justice requires corporate information sharing

By: Audrey Gaughran

Legal reform is needed to ensure that victims of human rights abuses have access to the relevant information they need to challenge corporations.

Court judgements are shaking political foundations—and upholding rights

By: James A. Goldston
Español

In Kenya, Guatemala and Brazil, courts have defied presidents and shaken up politics—is court-centric advocacy one of the few remaining avenues to legitimately ...

Why an anti-ICC narrative may help Kenyan leaders win votes

By: Geoff Dancy

Anti-ICC narratives resonate with a crucial minority of Kenyan citizens, but not with victims of political violence.

How to confront restrictive legislation in Nigeria

By: Victoria Ohaeri
Français

Linking online campaigns to offline action has become critical in challenging closing spaces in Nigeria.

A levy in the African Union could be a step towards independence

By: Amandine Rushenguziminega
Français

A new levy in the African Union could lead to more financial independence—but who is funding human rights?

Ready for anything: how preparation can improve trauma recovery

By: Zelalem Kibret
العربية

When in the field, human rights workers must be better prepared for trauma in order to heal from it.

Fighting stigma: protecting the mental health of African rights advocates

By: Douglas Mathew Mawadri
Français | العربية

Human rights advocates in Africa face significant challenges in getting past mental health stigmas in order to get help.

Looking deeper to understand African governments’ opposition to the ICC

By: Ayodele Akenroye

African governments are withdrawing from the ICC with valid criticisms—but what can be done to make the Court less imbalanced?

Opportunities for resistance: Trump’s authoritarianism and the law

By: Stuart Wilson

Human rights values and rule of law are lost on authoritarians, but the need to clothe their action in forms of law is not.

An elusive justice—holding parent companies accountable for human rights abuse

By: Joe Westby
Español

A UK judgement on Shell’s operations in Nigeria yet again shows the need to prevent powerful multinationals hiding behind their subsidiaries to dodge accountability ...

“Quit before they get hit”: withdrawals from the ICC are an indicator of the Court’s success

By: Chris Dolan

Are presidents who seek to withdraw from the ICC in denial about a rare instance of achieved gender equality?

The complex reality beyond the trial of Dominic Ongwen

By: Sarah Kihika Kasande & Virginie Ladisch

Dominic Ongwen faces trial at the ICC for crimes of which he was also a victim—forcing us to reevaluate dichotomies of guilt and innocence.

The ICC needs to ally with victims

By: Reed Brody
Français

To survive the current crisis, the ICC must recruit its most persuasive allies—the victims of atrocity crimes themselves.

How we talk about mass violence: the cultural effects of Darfur campaigns

By: Joachim J. Savelsberg 

When NGOs alter their narratives of mass violence depending on the cultural characteristics of each country, which version dominates?

A string of departures from the ICC is ringing alarm bells

By: James A. Goldston

Three African states have pulled out of the ICC with other departures in the works, putting ICC legitimacy in crisis.

Blame South Sudanese leadership, not George Clooney

By: Majak D’Agoôt & Remember Miamingi

The crisis in South Sudan is a result of its current leadership – the country wasn’t doomed to fail – and its people welcome celebrities like George Clooney who ...

Letter to George Clooney

By: Rita Abrahamsen

Celebrity activism risks reducing complex political issues to simple morality tales, leading to emotional politics and irresponsible interventions.

New Katanga trial shows DRC’s potential to try complex international crimes

By: Paul Seils & Myriam Raymond-Jetté 

A DRC warlord convicted by the ICC will now also face prosecution by national courts in the DRC—an enormously welcome step.

Rethinking what ICC success means at the Bemba Trial

By: Valerie Arnould
Français

When measuring ICC success, we need to examine the local impact and not just the international effects.

To implement Agenda 2030 in Africa, people must be at the centre

By: Charles Kojo Vandyck  & Maame Darkwaa Twum Barima

Increasing threats to citizens’ freedoms will derail the sustainable development goals.

For sexual minorities, “closing space” for civil society means losing access to critical services

By: David Kuria Mbote
Français

Closing space for African sexual and gender minority groups is about far more than advocacy—it is about accessing critical services that no one else provides.

Lessons from Kenya: unpacking the ICC’s deterrent effect

By: Yvonne M. Dutton  & Tessa Alleblas

Although recent empirical work suggests that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a deterrent effect, Kenya’s experience requires a deeper look.

Revising perceptions of the rights of older people in Africa

By: Jamillah Mwanjisi

A new African treaty promises to protect the human rights of the elderly.

Do South Africans really have the right to protest?

By: Julian Brown 

South Africans’ right to protest exists on paper, but authorities have effectively suppressed dissent by making it too dangerous.

In for the long haul: a creative fight for space in Kenya

By: Ezra Mbogori 
Français

What started as a “one time” reform exercise has turned into a long-term battle for Kenyan civil society.

In the name of security: when silencing active citizens creates even greater problems

By: Iva Dobichina & Poonam Joshi
Español

Silencing activists in the name of security can stifle actors most likely to challenge extremist ideologies, making insecurity worse.

Refugee protection is politics

By: Roni Amit & Loren B. Landau
Français

The best refugee legislation in the world will have little effect when those seeking protection are characterized as security risks.

Running the numbers on ICC deterrence: when does it actually work?

By: Hyeran Jo & Beth A. Simmons
Español

Systematic assessments reveal that the ICC can deter intentional civilian killing, but only under the right conditions.