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Tribal Law: International Indigenous Resources

Regional Organization Resources

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights  is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (“OAS”) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. The Commission considers that inasmuch as the rights of all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Member States are to be protected, special attention must be devoted to those populations, communities and groups that have historically been the targets of discrimination.

The OAS and its several bodies carry out specific projects aimed at promoting the protection, well-being, and development of indigenous peoples and communities in our hemisphere.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights is one of three regional human rights tribunals, together with the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights. It is an autonomous legal institution whose objective is to interpret and apply the American Convention. The Inter-American Court exercises a contentious function, in which it resolves contentious cases and supervises judgments; an advisory function; and a function wherein it can order provisional measures.

European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959. It rules on individual or State applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

European Committee of Social Rights monitors compliance with the Charter under two complementary mecanisms: through collective complaints lodged by the social partners and other non-governmental organisations (Collective Complaints Procedure), and through national reports drawn up by Contracting Parties (Reporting System).

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe takes a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities.

African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights is the judicial arm of the African Union. It was established to protect the human and peoples’ rights in Africa principally through delivery of judgments. The Court has its permanent seat in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania.  The mandate of the Court is to complement and reinforce the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission – often referred to as the Banjul Commission), which is a quasi-judicial body charged with monitoring the implementation of the Charter.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) also known as the African Union, adopted the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) in 1981 and it came into force on 21 October 1986. Article 30 of this Charter created the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights which is charged with three major functions; protection of human and peoples’ rights, promotion of human and peoples’ rights, and interpretation of the Charter. 

International Justice Resource Center-Indigenous peoples and communities in Africa  (IJRC) hosts a web resource addressing African Indigenous peoples and communities; the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and Communities and more.  Included are mandates of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the well-being of indigenous communities, and issuing appropriate recommendations for the monitoring and protection of the rights of indigenous communities.

Arab Charter on Human Rights was adopted in 1994 by the League of Arab States. “Each State party to the present Charter undertakes to ensure that every individual located within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, shall have the right to enjoy all the rights and freedoms recognised in this [Charter], without distinction on the basis of race, colour sex, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status, and without any discrimination between men and women.” Art. 2, League of Arab States, Arab Charter on Human Rights, 15 September 1994. [Retrieved from on 12 May 2021]