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Refereed articles

A new beginning? The enforcement of social, economic and cultural rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' RIghts

Pierre de Vos maintains that, although the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights is much criticised for its vague and seemingly unenforcable provisions, it is a unique document that requires the development of a more nuanced and theoretically consistent understanding of the nature and scope of the human rights obligations contained in it. At the heart of the Charter is an endorsement of the interdependence and indivisibility of the various kinds of rights, which are traditionally classified into discrete groups and viewed as having their own character and enforcement potential.

The African Commission has taken the first bold steps in the interpretation of the provisions of the African Charter. It has made good use of International human rights norms and is well placed to develop a unique yet internationally attuned jurisprudence on the enforcement of social and economic rights.

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