African Court: Vagrancy Laws Incompatible with Human Rights


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Tobi Soniyi

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has held that countries in the continent are under obligation to repeal or amend their vagrancy laws to conform with the rights protected by the Charter, the Children’ Rights Charter and Women’s Rights Protocol.
The court, while rendering an advisory opinion following a request by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) held that vagrancy laws violated the rights of the African people and should therefore be abrogated or amended to conform with human rights.

In its request for advisory opinion PALU submitted that many Member States of the African Union (AU) retained laws which criminalised the status of individuals as being poor, homeless as opposed to specific reprehensible acts otherwise as ‘vagrancy laws.’

According to PALU, many African countries abuse vagrancy laws to arrest and detain people even when there is no proof of criminal conduct. The Open Society Justice…

Source: Thisday Newspaper