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Human Rights Law Research Guide: Arab States

Emerging Arab States Human Rights Mechanisms

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ARAB CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The Arab Charter on Human Rights 2004 was drafted under the auspices of the League of Arab States. The Charter entered into force in March 2008.  An English language translation of the Charter, together with useful introductory and background information, is in Mohammed Amin Al-Midani and Mathilde Cabanettes, 'Arab Charter on Human Rights 2004' 24 (2006) Boston University International Law Journal 147. This article has been made freely available online by the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL).

See the current States Parties to the Charter.

ARAB HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

In 2009, the Arab Human Rights Committee, was established to monitor and oversee compliance with the Charter.

The Charter does not provide for a complaints mechanism. It establishes a process through which the Committee receives and reviews State reports (to be submitted every three years) and makes recommendations as deemed appropriate. State reports can be viewed on the Committee’s Reports page. For more information on the Committee, see pages 40-47 of the 2015 manual by the Open Society Foundations and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies: The League of Arab States Human Rights Standards and Mechanisms: Towards Further Civil Society Engagement - A Manual for Practitioners.

COURTS

The Charter and League of Arab States currently lack any enforcement mechanisms and there is no regional court of justice or human rights. 

The Statute of the Arab Court of Human Rights was approved by the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States on 7 September 2014. An unofficial English translation of the Statute is contained on pages 35-43 of the International Commission of Jurists' 2015 report: The Arab Court of Human Rights: a Flawed Statute for an Ineffective Court. No states have yet ratified the Statute. There has been much criticism by civil society organisations of the Statute, which call for states not to ratify it until it is comprehensively amended. See for example: