Public international law governs relationships between national governments and/or intergovernmental organizations. For more detailed guidance on how to research international human rights law, please see our International Human Rights Law Research Guide.
The United Nations is the largest intergovernmental organization with 193 member states. The UN human rights system develops, monitors, and protects human rights around the world.
The African Union consists of 55 member states located on the African continent. The AU, officially launched in July 2002, is the successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (1963 - 1999).
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Banjul Charter) promotes and protects human rights and basic freedoms on the African continent. This charter was adopted on 1 June 1981 and entered into force on 21 October 1986.
Full-text copies and status information for other OAU/AU treaties are available at African Union - OAU/AU Treaties, Conventions, Protocols & Charters.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights interpret and apply the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other African regional human rights instruments. For guidance on how to find jurisprudence from the African human rights system, please see the African System section of the International Human Rights Law Research Guide.