AU Watch

Find Out About Our Current Work

Project ‘Promote and Protect ESCR’ brings social justice and human rights together. We also work to promote African women’s economic, social and cultural rights by bringing a gender framework to policy, law and practice at local, national, regional and international levels through ever-evolving strategies and activities in both conceptual and practical realms.

Economic, social and cultural development is about government, the private sector and civil society working together to create equitable prosperity and achieving the vision of Agenda 2063. At AU Watch we support this process by working with and through the AU, regional and national institutions, building local capacity, and helping lay the legal, institutional and regulatory foundations of growth. We know that in states where the rule of law is strong, where communities are empowered to know and stand up for their rights, will become prosperous. Whether at the national or local level we believe that socially and environmentally sustainable economic and social growth is achieved alongside a strengthened rule of law.

AU Watch’s principles are that all human rights are universal, indivisible, and interdependent; civil and political rights are mutually interdependent on economic, social and cultural rights. We organize, mobilize and empower to ensure that all of us have ability to hold power to account, and especially ensuring that women and marginalized communities are not left behind.

Vision

We envision a social justice Africa that is empowered and capable of achieving its own development.

Mission

We work to ensure that AU law, policy and practice complies with our international human rights obligations. We provide research-based policy solutions that sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition. We build strategic partnerships, offer technical support, and provide access to relevant knowledge related to economic and social rights across Africa.

How we do it

To achieve our goal of enabling individuals and institutions to ultimately improve the lives of Africans, we actively build strategic partnerships, extend grants to think tanks across the continent, offer technical support on capacity development to Governments, the private sector and civil society; and provide stakeholders with access to relevant knowledge related to capacity building and sustainable development in Africa.

Our six service lines to deliver impact on our strategic pillars are:

1. Media, advocacy and communication 
2. Campaigns
3. Resource Mobilization Services
4. Litigation
5. Capacity Development Advisory Services
6. Knowledge Services, including training and hosting events

Campaign and Advocate

International institutions like the AU can have considerable influence in poor, fragile and conflict-affected countries, but often focus too narrowly on their relationship with central governments to guide their priorities. In order to enhance the prospects of locally-owned progress towards meaningful peace and development, international institutions like the AU should support the development of a culture of inclusion, participation, transparency, and accountability between a government and its citizens. So, we mount vigorous campaigns to achieve all of that.

Take Action

Ask your government to call on the AU to bring the Socio-Economic duty into effect. Africa is one of the most economically unequal regions in the world. But inequality is not inevitable. AU and its Members have powerful tools and incentives at their disposal – poverty, inequality and social injustice. What more incentive do we need when we know that nearly 100 million are out of school? What more motivation, do we need when we know that hundreds of millions of our citizens go to bed hungry and do not have access to clean drinking water and decent housing?

Research

Our vision is an Africa in which a just distribution of resources and power enables current and future generations to live with dignity, in full enjoyment of their economic and social rights. In pursuit of that vision, our mission is to harness the power of human rights to inspire fairer and more sustainable economies. The values we seek to reflect, and hold ourselves to, in our work and workplace include, mutual learning and research. We approach our research work with humility, curiosity, and thoughtfulness, ensuring our strategies are context-specific and responsive to changing circumstances. We seek out reciprocal insights and shared wisdom from our collaborations, which inform continual experimentation.

Monitoring

What would African economies look like by 2063 if their aim was to guarantee that everyone can live life with dignity? What would this mean for how our societies could be organized and resources distributed fairly—to the benefit of all? From available evidences, if we the citizens of Africa do not intervene, nothing much would happen.

We know, from our research, that lack of monitoring mechanisms and avenues to seek redress can push communities into further marginalization and deprivation, exacerbating their already dire living conditions. Therefore, engaging the AU, its Members and more broadly the African community, in monitoring services is a crucial step to guarantee a more dignified life, and start breaking the cycle of marginalization.

AU Watch ESC Monitoring Group

Without well-functioning public services and a proper social safety net, millions of people around the continent are denied access to life’s essentials—a decent livelihood, sufficient food, proper sanitation, clean water, housing, and health care—which our Africa governments have a duty to ensure to all people under international and regional human rights law.
We are therefore developing an ESC Monitoring Working Group composed of African CSOs, volunteers and academics. We are aware of the critical role of data for advancing social justice, members use a variety of traditional and innovative tools, methods and approaches to understand what is going on in Africa.

Litigation

We understand that regional and national economic and social systems face major challenges and require fundamental transformations – thus the reasons why Agenda 2063 is so important. We also know that our state managers, many times, should be forced to do the right things. So, our Strategic Litigation Team works at ensuring accountability for violations of economic, social and cultural rights by strengthening access to competent adjudication and effective remedies within domestic, regional and international systems, developing contextualized models on implementation and making resources available to advocates.

Are you a researcher or a lawyer and would love to contribute to promoting and securing human rights in Africa? We would love to hear from you.