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Open Access The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Demystification of Second and Third Generation Rights under the African Charter: Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC) and the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) v. Nigeria

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The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Demystification of Second and Third Generation Rights under the African Charter: Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC) and the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) v. Nigeria

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This article argues that the decision of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in the Ogoni case represents a giant stride towards the protection and promotion of economic, social and cultural rights of Africans. This is predicated on the African Commission's finding that the Nigerian Government's failure to protect the Ogoni people from the activities of oil companies operating in the Niger Delta is contrary to international human rights law and is in fact a step backwards since Nigeria had earlier adopted legislation to fulfill its obligation towards the progressive realization of these rights. The findings of the African Commission demonstrate that economic, social and cultural rights are not vague or incapable of judicial enforcement. They also illustrate how the Charter can be interpreted generously to ensure the effective enjoyment of rights. Novel and commendable as the decision is, it is not without its shortcomings. These shortcomings lie in the failure of the Commission to pronounce on the right to development, its silence on the desirability of holding transnational corporations accountable for human rights violations, and the institutional weakness of the Commission in enforcing its decisions.

10.1163/221097312X13397499736101
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/content/journals/10.1163/221097312x13397499736101
2005-05-01
2016-12-05

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