Which African states have ratified regional instruments on GBV?
Explore the table below to find out which African states have ratified the major regional and African standards and instruments relating to gender-based violence.
Outlining the regional instruments which are binding on each country help to outline their obligations and commitments.
In time, ENDGBV.AFRICA will fully map out each African state’s alignment with and adherence to these standards.
S : signature
R : ratification
A : accession
✓ : signature and ratification/accession
A portal to enable and empower
A portal to enable and empower
Unpacking regional laws and standards on GBV
This treaty, which supplements the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, includes broad protections for women’s rights, with a particular focus on reproductive health rights and their inherent autonomy. It is also the first binding treaty that addresses HIV and AIDS. The protocol is a result of the African Charter’s gaps in explicitly referring to women. Research indicates the interlinkages between gender, socio-cultural norms, economic equity, and health outcomes.
The primary purpose of this declaration is to influence and enhance the attention given to issues such as gender parity as African States strive towards gender equality. The thematic areas of action identified in this declaration are governance; peace and security; human rights; health; education; and economic empowerment.
The aforementioned Action Plan was a joint project between the European Union and African States to provide a framework to combat the trafficking of women and children in recognition of the unique obstacles faced by these groups. It reaffirms the best interests of the child principle. Further, the legislative framework, policy development, and law enforcement portion of the document calls upon States to ensure that legal and administrative practices provide information to survivors about the status of relevant criminal and other legal proceedings available to them.
The African Youth Charter defines ‘youth’ or ‘young people’ as persons between the ages of 15 and 35 years old. Article 23 mandates State Parties to acknowledge the need to eliminate discrimination against girls and young women. As part of this acknowledgment, the Charter includes 14 measures for State Parties to work towards gender equality. These measures include introducing appropriate legislative measures; guaranteeing universal and equal access to and completion of at least nine years of formal education; and taking steps to provide equal access to health care services and nutrition.
The Maputo Plan of Action, which aligns itself with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals as well as the AU Agenda 2063, seeks to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health rights to women in Africa. The Plan makes use of indicators in order to monitor the progress of Member States in implementing this plan. Examples of key output areas include the integration of HIV, STI, Malaria, and sexual and reproductive health services into primary health care, the reduction of unsafe abortions, and developing youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services aimed at empowerment.
Although this framework is specific to SADC, it is still worth noting. It sets out the causes of GBV and encourages the implementation of preventative methods and collective action to eliminate this epidemic. One of the goals of SADC’s GBV Strategy is to provide a common platform that facilitates a holistic and coordinated approach to GBV. One such way to achieve this is through capacity development and information/knowledge management.