Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

Ukweli: Monitoring and Documenting Human Rights Violations in Africa: A handbook

Monitoring And Documenting Human Rights Violations in Africa. Edited by Amnesty International & CODESRIA. Dakar, CODESRIA, 2000, 88 p., ISBN 9782869780798

Number of visits: 4150


The African Charter on Human and People’s Right was adopted by African governments as far back as 1986. Yet the incidence of human rights violations remains a cause for concern on the continent. The deregulation and privatisation of African economies in response to global economic pressures and interests has led to growing social and economic inequalities, and increasing human rights abuses. Rising crime rates tend to harden public attitudes towards criminals, breeding acceptance for intolerance, ill-treatment, torture and the death penalty. Shoot-to-kill policies are now common. Millions of civilians have lost their lives in wars fuelled by unregulated international arms trade and the presence of foreign troops and mercenaries.

Occurring simultaneously with all these developments is the presence of an increasing number of African human rights defenders. These men and women document and denounce human rights abuses, challenge repressive, discriminatory and dictatorial regimes, and seek redress and justice for many victims and families. They provide services where the state has withdrawn or given up, and take on advocacy or educational roles. They testify to the changing nature, growing strength and importance of African civil society.

Ukweli combines the experiences of African human right defenders to present a step-by-step guide for monitoring and investigating human rights abuses in Africa. This practical problem-solving Handbook and the accompanying booklets have been written with and for African human rights defenders to strengthen and professionalise human rights work on the continent. Accurate and consistent research is an essential element to human rights campaigning, advocacy and lobbying. It is crucial to building and sustaining the legitimacy and reputation of human rights organisations and activists, locally, nationally and internationally. Ukweli is a Swahili word that can refer to both truth and fact. In Customary Law, Ukweli signifies the findings of impartial investigation that are irrefutable. Using this philosophy, the Handbook provides indispensable guidelines for tackling obstacles, ensuring accuracy, eliminating partiality and seeking redress for human rights violations.


- Introduction


- Part I: Research on Human Rights: Definition and Activities

(Part I)

- Part II: Principles of Research on Human Rights Violation

(Part II)

- Part III: Challenges and Possible Solutions

(Part III)

- Part IV: Suggestions for Interviews

(Part IV)

- Index


Essential case study booklets accompanying the handbook include:
Monitoring and Investigating

- Political Killings

Political Killings

- Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, and Prison Conditions

Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, and Prison Conditions

- Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence

- Death in Custody

Death in Custody

- Excessive Use of Force

Excessive Use of Force

- Human Rights Abuse in the Context of Armed Conflict

Human Rights Abuse in the Context of Armed Conflict
March 31 2000