South Sudan Must Ratify African Regional Human Rights Instruments

Press release
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Your Excellency

We, the undersigned South Sudanese and international organizations, committed to the promotion and protection of human rights in South Sudan, write to urge the Government of South Sudan to complete ratification of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) by depositing instruments of ratification with the African Union (AU). We urge the Government to do this in advance of the 56th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which will commence on 21 April 2015.

We also call on the Government to initiate the internal process for ratifying the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

The National Legislative Assembly voted to ratify the African Charter in October 2013 and the ACRWC in October 2014. We welcome these positive steps towards ratification, but note that the final step of the ratification process is still outstanding. South Sudan will only be considered a state party to the above treaties after depositing instruments of ratification with the AU.

South Sudan is the only member state of the AU that is not party to the African Charter. In March 2013, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights issued a resolution on South Sudan in which it called on the Government to immediately ratify and domesticate the African Charter and other regional human rights instruments. It reiterated this call to South Sudan’s delegation during its 55th Session.

Completing the ratification process would demonstrate the Government’s commitment to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the South Sudanese peoples’ rights and freedoms.

We hope you will give this matter the urgent attention it deserves.



Amnesty International (United Kingdom)
Assistance Mission for Africa (South Sudan)
Centre for Documentation and Advocacy (South Sudan)
Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (South Sudan)
East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (Uganda)
End Impunity Organisation (South Sudan)
Human Rights Watch (United States)
International Federation for Human Rights-FIDH (France)
South Sudan Law Society (South Sudan)
Soweto Community Based Organisation (South Sudan)
The ROOTS Project (South Sudan)
Voice for Change (South Sudan)

CC: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Barnaba Benjamin Marial
CC: Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Awut Deng Acuil
CC: Minister of Justice, Paulino Wanawilla Unango
CC: South Sudan Legislative Assembly
Cc: South Sudan Council of States
CC: South Sudan Human Rights Commission
CC: African Union Liaison Office in South Sudan
CC: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair, AU Commission
CC: Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi, Chair, African Commission on Human and People’s Rights

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