Sub-Saharan Africa


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

December 5, 2019
By: Wangũi wa Kamonji
Español | Português

In the face of growing climate change, indigenous women in Kenya are remembering and reinstating their ...

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

November 27, 2019
By: Armel Niyongere
Español | Français

Treaty bodies showed their ability to take the right measures in situations of crisis like in Burundi. ...

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

November 6, 2019
By: Katharine G. Young
Español | Français

Constitutional entrenchment is only part of the battle for recognition of economic and social rights, ...

Intellectual property as a tool of empowerment

August 20, 2019
By: Sarah Yookyung Kim
Español | Français

When much broader communities can harness intellectual property rights, these shifts can contribute ...

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

June 12, 2019
By: Ishtar Lakhani
Español | Français

Humour is one of the most effective tools in our activist arsenal, because it has the ability to bring ...

Strategic litigation in a perfect storm—South Africa

April 2, 2019
By: Jason Brickhill
Español | isiXhosa

The courts have done much in South Africa to advance human rights and promote equality, but in what ...

A hashtag that inspired hope: #GambiaHasDecided

February 28, 2019
By: Salieu Taal
Français | Español

A movement that started as a simple hashtag, declaring that #GambiaHasDecided, is bringing a fresh wave ...

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

February 12, 2019
By: Jackie Dugard
Español | Français

Some argue human rights are insufficient to tackle inequality but overlook the emancipatory power of ...

A tech solution to documenting sexual violence

January 3, 2019
By: Suzanne Kidenda & Katy Johnson
Español | Français

A simple app, developed in close co-operation with clinicians, police and other end-users, is making ...

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

October 11, 2018
By: Sunit Bagree

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

Illegal logging fuels conflict and violence against women in South Sudan

March 20, 2018
By: Caroline Kiarie-Kimondo

Mismanagement of timber resources and illegal logging are exacerbating South Sudan’s conflict and destroying ...

Community participation in the face of gatekeeping: lessons from Kenya

March 1, 2018
By: Collins Liko

Cartels in Kenya are controlling public resources and access to information, but community mobilization ...

DNA testing can help – and hinder – sexual violence prosecutions

February 28, 2018
By: Karen Naimer
Español | Français

DNA technology in sexual violence cases can strengthen investigations and prosecutions, but training ...

Empowering language of rights underlies increasing use in HIV advocacy

January 9, 2018
By: Kristi Heather Kenyon
Setswana | Zulu

Local HIV activists are expanding human rights discourse into health advocacy, largely due to belief ...

As NGOs speak out, expect clampdowns to grow

December 6, 2017
By: David Kode

Governments from Uganda to Poland are silencing activists and organizations that criticize them—what ...

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

November 16, 2017
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 ...

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

November 14, 2017
By: John Mwebe & Preksha Kumar

Several investment banks recently withdrew from a project in Malawi due to community-led activism and ...

Human rights justice requires corporate information sharing

October 17, 2017
By: Audrey Gaughran

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

Court judgements are shaking political foundations—and upholding rights

September 14, 2017
By: James A. Goldston

In Kenya, Guatemala and Brazil, courts have defied presidents and shaken up politics—is court-centric ...

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

August 22, 2017
By: Geoff Dancy

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

How to confront restrictive legislation in Nigeria

August 16, 2017
By: Victoria Ohaeri

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

June 14, 2017
By: Amandine Rushenguziminega

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

May 11, 2017
By: Zelalem Kibret

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

April 9, 2017
By: Douglas Mathew Mawadri
Français | العربية

Human rights advocates in Africa face significant challenges in getting past mental health stigmas in ...

Looking deeper to understand African governments’ opposition to the ICC

April 3, 2017
By: Ayodele Akenroye

African governments are withdrawing from the ICC with valid criticisms—but what can be done to make ...

Opportunities for resistance: Trump’s authoritarianism and the law

February 23, 2017
By: Stuart Wilson

Human rights values and rule of law are lost on authoritarians, but the need to clothe their action ...

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

February 14, 2017
By: Joe Westby

A UK judgement on Shell’s operations in Nigeria yet again shows the need to prevent powerful multinationals ...

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

February 7, 2017
By: Chris Dolan

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

The complex reality beyond the trial of Dominic Ongwen

December 21, 2016
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 ...

The ICC needs to ally with victims

November 21, 2016
By: Reed Brody

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

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

November 8, 2016
By: Joachim J. Savelsberg 

When NGOs alter their narratives of mass violence depending on the cultural characteristics of each ...

A string of departures from the ICC is ringing alarm bells

October 30, 2016
By: James A. Goldston

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

Blame South Sudanese leadership, not George Clooney

September 28, 2016
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 ...

Letter to George Clooney

September 28, 2016
By: Rita Abrahamsen

Celebrity activism risks reducing complex political issues to simple morality tales, leading to emotional ...

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

September 16, 2016
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 ...

Rethinking what ICC success means at the Bemba Trial

September 14, 2016
By: Valerie Arnould

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

August 3, 2016
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

July 6, 2016
By: David Kuria Mbote

Closing space for African sexual and gender minority groups is about far more than advocacy—it is about ...

Lessons from Kenya: unpacking the ICC’s deterrent effect

July 5, 2016
By: Yvonne M. Dutton  & Tessa Alleblas

Although recent empirical work suggests that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a deterrent ...

Revising perceptions of the rights of older people in Africa

June 13, 2016
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?

June 8, 2016
By: Julian Brown 

South Africans’ right to protest exists on paper, but authorities have effectively suppressed dissent ...

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

April 21, 2016
By: Ezra Mbogori 

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

April 20, 2016
By: Iva Dobichina & Poonam Joshi

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

Refugee protection is politics

March 31, 2016
By: Roni Amit & Loren B. Landau

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

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

March 22, 2016
By: Hyeran Jo & Beth A. Simmons

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

Without addressing women’s security, we can’t hope for equality

March 8, 2016
By: Amrita Kapur

Understanding why and how insecurity affects women is key to overcoming inequality across all dimensions ...

End the attacks—protecting the rights of persons with albinism

February 26, 2016
By: Ikponwosa Ero 

A newly appointed UN expert sets out a plan to protect the rights of persons with albinism.

Côte d’Ivoire: The International Criminal Court with its back against the wall

December 2, 2015
By: Eric-Aimé Semien

Four years after the ICC's intervention in Ivory Coast, opinions are still divided regarding its impact