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What we do

Our work rests on three pillars:

Defend, Educate, Inform.


IHRDA offers pro bono legal counsel for victims of human rights abuses in Africa. We represent victims of human rights violations in cases before national courts and African regional human rights bodies,  such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights or the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

The  institute instigates cases on legal issues that we deem of particular importance, and that may not otherwise be brought to the attention of the concern courts.

By presenting cases behalf of victims of human rights violations, we aim to increase the application and enforcement of African human rights instruments to bring effective remedies to these victims.

Even though our main focus is maintained on refugee, minority, socio-economic, and children’s  rights, we also represent victims of human rights violation on a diversity of issues such as the right to fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom from discrimination, as well as matters of transitional justice processes.


IHRDA believes all human rights defenders should have access to the knowledge and skills needed to seek the protection of African human rights system and challenge human rights violations on the continent. In line with this belief, the Institute conducts training and other capacity building workshops on the African Human Rights System and other Human Rights issues.

The IHRDA notably trains human rights workers on using African human rights mechanisms; the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), as well as the procedures of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights(ACmHPR) and of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child(ACERWC).

Our current country- specific litigation workshops for civil society actors aim at encouraging the filing of key human rights cases at the national, regional and continental levels.


IHRDA publishes and distributes information on the African Human Rights System.

Limited access to information about the African human rights system is a major obstacle to the realisation of human rights in Africa. Our publications which are inspired and informed by our legal work, are aimed at providing  relevant information and tools that lawyers and other human rights defenders can use to achieve their goals.

In addition to publishing books,IHRDA developed the Case Law Analyser(CLA)  in partnership with Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS). It is a multilingual, free-to-access collection of the human rights decisions of African supra-national mechanisms.

Its principal aim is to promote human rights in Africa by filling the information lacuna on the African Human Rights System, via  using the most intuitive and research friendly information systems. This database offers unrivalled access to African human rights case law, with phenomenal ease of research, in EnglishFrench and Portuguese.