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Beyond Rhetoric: Commitment to and Ratification of African Human Rights and Human Rights-Related Treaties

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the constitutional and legislative procedures for ratification of African Union (AU) human rights and human rights-related treaties in AU member states. It presents and analyses historical data regarding the adoption, signature and ratification of these treaties. This data is valuable in at least two ways. First, it can be used to predict future trends in the practice of AU member states relating to the adoption and ratification of or accession to, Organization of African Unity (OAU)/AU treaties in the broad area of human rights. Secondly, it predicts the treaty policy areas which are likely to yield high positive ratification. Whenever a member state fails to ratify an AU treaty, such failure has the potential of undermining the political credibility and standing of the organisation in the public perception, in both the organisation's member states and the international community.

Keywords: African Union (AU) human rights; AU treaty; international community; Organization of African Unity (OAU)



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