AU Watch

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Many people have described us asa research and media outfit. Though those descriptions would not be entirely incorrect, it will not be entirely correct either. We are much more than that.We use research, media, communication and advocacy as mediums to advance our messages. We are AU Watch’s main program leading the promotion and protection of human rights for the entire organization.

AU Watch human rights program generates ideas and fosters debate on policy issues facing the AU and AUMS, promoting constructive leadership and engagement in regional and international affairs based on the central role of the AU in meeting the regional challenges of the 21st century. Led by experienced legal practitioners and distinguished academics, we form networks, advance policy debate and generate ideas for a new and changed AU and AUMS. Conducting an active agenda of research and publishing, organizingevents, and giving practical development assistance, our human rights interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with regional and international CSOs, governments, development, policy, business and academic communities around Africa and the world. Through our work, we are dedicated to bringing information and analysis to those who make or influence human rights policy on the AU and to assisting the AU and AUMS in promoting regional security, democracy, rule of law, good governance, sustainable developmentand peace.

We provide a platform for citizens to join in the AU debate and project, empowering all of us not only to ask questions of our leaders and take control of our own lives, but also to demand social justice, and to ensure that all of us contribute to the AU dream of a truly united, peaceful and prosperous Africa. Thus, our scholars and analysts not only conduct independent research and analysis on a wide range of policy and practical issues, our army of youths, volunteers and other experts ensure that our practical human rights projects and programs are executed with the aim of assisting the AU to achieve its objectives. Our work is now widely recognised as a source of timely, insightful analysis on issues of policy.We also work closely with other CSOs and the AU to advance the human rights agenda of the AU and its Members.

As a regional movement of people working together to end the injustice of human rights violations and corruption, AU Watch is committed to being transparent in its work and accountable to its key stakeholders, in particular activists and defenders standing up for our rights in Africa. We share information with people affected by injustice of poverty, partner organizations, and the general public, and we are accountable to our staff, volunteers, supporters, donors, suppliers and host governments.

Our human rights Directorate is staffed by noted specialists, who also serve as valuable resource to officials at the highest levels of the AU and governments. Our directors, staff, volunteers, contributing authors and other practitioners represent a diverse community united by a common belief in AU Watch’s mission of renewing the AU for regional and global challenges.

They:

• Recognise that closer cooperation and empowering all of us cannot solve all regional human rights challenges, but it is often a precondition for dealing with them effectively;

• Are committed to ensuring that AU Watch communities remain an influential catalyst for human rights promotion and protection and an important partner of AU engagement in the world.

What We Do

The advent of the OAU in May 1963 was a watershed moment in the annals of African history. With ambitious goals of promoting democracy, human rights and development across the continent, including educating all of its citizens, and attracting inward foreign investment, Africa was poised to take its place as equals amongst the community of nations.

Two decades on from 1963, it was clear that the promised African renaissance would never materialize. Though the decolonialization project had produced moments of inspiration and promise and benefitted a few of Africa’s elites, in large parts it had failed Africa, as the OAU was transformed into a club of unadulterated ruthless despots. Africa’s new leaders in collusion with Western powers and international multi-national companies had driven and twisted the dagger of corruption and human rights violations deeper into the bowels of Africa.


Enter the AU in 2000. The centrality of human rights to the broader mission of the AU and its Members States is beyond doubt. Part of the objectives of the Union in Article 3 (h) of its Constitutive Act, is to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. Article 3 (f) also reaffirms the importance of promoting peace, security, and stability on the continent and several other articles reminds us that the protection of human rights is essential to building a more secure and prosperous Africa.

An AU for its citizens?
A key objective of the AU is building a strong partnership between government and civil society, and human rights sits right in the middle of its governance architecture and Agenda 2063 vision.

The spine of the AU’s human rights mechanism is the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission). Though it has made patchy progress over the past 33years, its monitoring role is weak andthe organization is chronically under resourced and ill equipped to address the current human rights challenges. The new entrant, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (African Court) established to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission, has not fared any better.

So, should it be business as usual? In a continent plagued by daily assaults on dignity and freedom, where news consumption is increasingly digital, and were artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and “black-box” algorithms are being leveraged to challenge truth and trust – the cornerstones of open and democratic societies, it is a call to conscience.

It is,therefore, clear to us at AU Watch that our state managers and policy chiefs don’t own Africa’s agenda. Africa’s human rights and development agenda belongs to all of us. It, therefore,it cannot be business as usual. We therefore cannot and we will no longer leave matters of human rights, governance, rule of law, justice and development to our policy chiefs to determine what is good for Africa. This is a call to action.

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (hereinafter ECOSOC) is the primary vehicle for formal participation by civil society in AU processes. AU Watch is of the view, therefore, that it is up to civil society to push the boundaries and extend the spaces made available to them within the AU. Civil society organisations can perform enormous services including an advocacy function within many organs and institutions of the AU so that civic engagement translates into real people’s power and the ability to influence the activities and decisions of the AU.

Feeling enthused already? Come on board and help us make 2063 a reality.

We are the human rights think-and-do- tank within the AU Watch structure. We:

(a) Monitor closely all the organs of the AU with human rights mandate, holding them accountable to the high standards of promoting and protecting human they have set for themselves. The basis of our intervention is the Constitutive Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the plethora of regional and international human rights instruments and standards that have been agreed upon by the AU and its Member States.

(b) Promote and protect all the rights as set forth in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, investigating and exposing abuses, whenever and wherever they happen. We challenge entrenched, longstanding, or steadily deteriorating human rights challenges.

(c) We carry out authoritative human rights research, providing strategic analysis to assist AU decision-makers and other stakeholders in achieving their goals.We gather and analyze human rights data, share it worldwide, and help to empower disadvantaged communities in Africa to understand their rights and ability to improve themselves and the region.

(d) Act as an independent watchdog on the AU. Out human rights Directorate is dedicated to the expansion of freedoms and democracy in Africa. We analyze challenges to freedom, advocate for greater political rights and civil liberties, and support frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change.

(e) Monitor, publicise and disseminate human rights news and information about the work of the AU, and AUMS as they relate to AU matters. Assisting in changing the way all of us think about the human rights work of the AU, and do things for and on behalf of the AU and AUMS, underpins our work at the human rights directorate. That concept of CHANGE is reflected in our work on the AU and AUMS. Assisting in changing the human rights work of the AU is at the heart of our work at AU Watch.

We run an active and practical human rights program. What does that mean?

Building and strengthening capacities are crucial to our human rights work with individuals, communities, media professionals, the AU and its Member States and other CSOs. By sharing skills and knowledge – whether with policy makers, journalists, businesses, students, our volunteers, youths and other local and international organisations – we empower people to understand and claim their rights, make informed choices and improve their outlook on life. Whether we are participating in constructing a library or a girls training institute or litigating for the protection of LGBT rights in front of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, or the Ecowas Court of Justice, our intention is to ensure that we make a difference to address regional human rights challenges that demand AU attention and leadership.

As a practical organisation, we respond to real challenges in Africa by assisting defenders and supporting human rights training all over the continent.

We deliver knowledge, transparency, and expert guidance to the AU, AUMS, our publics, especially women and girls, by solving social problems through our media work and the mobilization of the masses.
As an advocacy, campaigning and outreach organisation, we are reaching out to Africa’s policy and state managers to improve the political and legislative terrain in which CSOs and media professionals’ work, as they are a crucial plank in developing people’s capacity to make informed choices and changing minds and attitudes.

We are now developing curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary levels on knowledge about the African human rights system – courses which we believe should be taught at civics, history or politics classes in our schools and universities. Is there any justification why our schools are not offering courses on ‘AU Law and Institutions’, or ‘AU History’, but instead our institutions teach ‘UN Law and History’? Building and strengthening capacities for us means knowing how our own systems work as well!

Recognize that freedom is possible only in democratic political environments where governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of minorities and women, are guaranteed. More than a billion people live in African states that we consider “Not Free,” over three fourths of the region’s population. So, we litigate human rights cases in various human rights foras.

(g) Are dedicated to increasing and enhancing understanding of key public policies of the AU’s human rights programs and to realistically analyzing their impact. Our human rights program assists the AU in raising awareness about its various human rights mechanisms and how they can be accessed. Using the power of media and communication, strategic thinking, analysis and writing, we support individuals and people in understanding their rights, with the objective of empowering them to claim their rights. The Directorate is committed to ethically-informed public engagement, including with human rights communities world-wide.

(h) Campaign, advocate and educate. We do this through radio, blogs, news and academic journals, Web features, op-eds and TV appearances, to conferences, research reports, speaking engagements, and books. We work vigorously to present citizens with incisive and understandable analysis of the work of the AU, its institutions and programs by running hundreds of private and public human rights events – conferences, workshops and roundtables, interviews with leading AU personalities, radio and TV dramas, on stage performances, films, documentaries, seminars, yearly schools athletics, football and other sports competitions, mobile phone services and face-to-face communication, press conferences / briefings, schools / colleges debating competitions, moot court competitions for schools and colleges, spelling competitions for junior and senior schools and radio and TV debates on all AU matters. We also provide mentoring and training for journalists and other human rights professionals.

(i) Collaborate with the AU, States Parties to the Constitutive Act and other CSOs on human rights research. AU watch is aware that failure to base policy and programs on sound political, scientific, economic and social analysis can have serious consequences for whole communities. Our research tackles the complex and persistent challenges of freedoms; governance and the rule of law; massive human rights violations and working to help societies in transition address legacies of violations and building civic trust in state institutions as protectors of human rights and human dignity; impunity and injustice. We take a multi-disciplinary approach and work with an international network of partners to develop research which we actively seek to see applied in human rights policy and practice. We co-construct knowledge and reconstruct excellence – by developing and implementing collaborative ways of working which engage multiple perspectives in defining problems and questions and in generating knowledge. Our human rights programs give space to human rights issues that are little-explored, that may be unconventional, experimental or challenging, and which arise from diverse disciplinary traditions.

(j) Empower activists and defenders to protect themselves.We empower and help other partners to improve the protection of activists. We do this by strengthening local human rights organizations through training and coaching tools, mentoring and campaigning to improve policy and legislation, providing insights through in-depth research and through our media and communication work. Our affiliate institute – ‘AU Watch Institute for the Study of Human Rights and Development in Africa’ offers a Certificate and a Post-graduate Diploma in Human Rights and Development in partnership with the University of The Gambia.

(k) Assists the AU and its Member to improve the quality of their promotion and protection mechanisms.AU Watch has had observer status with the African Commission. We also support the Commission’s Secretariat in its promotion and protection work. We also take part in the Commission’s ordinary sessions to report on its concerns with regard to human rights violations on the African continent.

(l) We give awards in human rights awards and sustainable development. Out human rights award will be accorded on individuals and/or organizationsthat have contributed immensely to the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.AU Watch Development Awards recognize the essential role that both non-profit and for-profit developers play in building communities in Africa.

(m) We run human rights and development courses. Our Certificate and Diploma in human rightsoffers a concentrated 12-month (or 24 months, part-time) engagement with the foundations of, and key problems in the African human rights system. Based in the Department of Law at Legacy University in The Gambia, students interact with a number of disciplines so that the broadest definition of human rights can be explored. The core courses are ‘Pillars of the African Human Rights System’ and a Critical Appraisal of the Spine of the African Human Rights System – two multi-disciplinary modules that provides students with a rigorous and focused engagement with five central disciplinary perspectives on the subject of human rights in Africa: philosophy, sociology, promotion, protection and law (regional and international).

(n) Design and write up human rights curriculumon the African Human Rights System for African schools and colleges. In collaboration with the AU Watch Institute of African Union Studies wepromote critical thinking and in-depth learning of real-life AU policy issues. The objective is to equip the African youth with original insights and tools to better understand the African Union, including its Recs, and the Africa of tomorrow as encapsulated in Agenda 2063.

Would you like to help AU Watch by giving a little of your time?

AU Watch is looking for interns or volunteers in translation (French/English) and redaction, students in law, political sciences or communication, or, more largely, any person interested in the promotion and defence of human rights. Please send us your CV at [email protected] outlining your motivations, skills and availabilities.

How We Work

It’s simple. We tell and share stories. We tell and share stories about the violated lives of the peoples of Africa. We tell and share the stories of individuals and communities struggling to make a living in Africa because of the incompetence of our state managers. We tell and share stories about how Africa’s political hyenas have stolen our goats and sheep, thereby, ensuring that families do not have the resources to get their children to school. We tell and share stories about how Africa’s political and economic vultures are nibbling away at resources that should fund the health sector, infrastructure, schools … (you can fill in the blanks).

But we also tell stories about the history, politics, culture, and languages of Africa. We are committed to understanding what our state managers are doing, whatever they say they are doing on our behalf. We are committed to ensuring that the African peoples have a say, and approve whatever programs our AU political class come up with on our behalf. We seek not only to tell and share our stories, but also to empower people and communities to have the power to claim their basic human rights, to escape poverty, injustice, and misrule. Through our comprehensive education, media, communication, outreach, human rights programs, events and activities, we seek to empower ourselves to have the knowledge and power to challenge the political hyenas and economic vultures who in the dead of night, and recently in broad daylight, come to steal our goats!

Our staff and volunteers are legal experts and seasoned campaigners who have many years of working within the African Human Rights system. We use a unique combination of research, education, critical thinking, writing and analysis,education, media & communication, litigation, legal advocacy, partnerships and community mobilization to encourage the AU and its Members to live up to the instruments they have signed and ratified and the numerous promises they have made to us to promote and protect human rights in Africa.

Our Approach

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We are proactive and adaptable. Inbuilt in how AU Watch addresses issues is our ability and mind set to adapt and respond to changes. It is a key component of AU Watch’s strategic approach. This capability is deeply embedded in every phase of our strategic model, beginning with how we promote and protect human rights extending all the way to our monitoring and evaluation activities.

Once an initiative moves into execution with approval from the Governing Council, we continue to adapt and pivot to maximize impact.This is where we employ our M&E capacities. We are able to recalibrate if we find out that our strategies are not achieving the impact we predicted.

Leverage: we use our own form of leverage as a thought leader and convener to move the AU and our other publics in different ways—employing our human rights expertise and influence to create change beyond what the organization could accomplish on its own.

M&E To achieve the greatest possible impact, AU Watch as an organization engages in evidence-based work – measuring the progress of each initiative against specific goals and out comes to ensure the strategy is delivering results.

At the heart of our M&E are:

Learning: At the Human Rights Directorate, we recognise the enormous challenge of promoting and protecting human rights in Africa.We are, therefore, engaged in continuous process of cumulative learning and assessment, to understand how we impact the field.

Curiosity and Rebellion: We are rebellious and idealistic at heart. We aspire to be kind and responsible as we speak truth to power, while being an inspiration for others. We value and encourage creativity. We understand that human rights progress is driven by the brave and the curious. We recognize that creativity exists in many forms, with ideas brimming at every level, from “shoot for the moon” ambitions, right down to our daily work. We embrace innovation and act we courage. We are not afraid to challenge established norms, pursuing the right outcomes, knowing it is rarely easy. We want our people to have the courage to stand up for their ideas and challenge the status quo. Creativity can often mean simply looking at things in a different way and our collaborative culture allow us to build on ideas and continually improve the Work we do.

Authenticity and Innovation: Innovation is at the heart of what we do. We strive to support, learn from and value the contributions of all colleagues. We encourage people to experiment and take smart risks. We strive for an organization in which innovation is rewarded, diversity is embraced and both success and failure are shared.

Independent: We are an independent African-based, non-partisan organization. We protect our independence fiercely and as such do not accept any funding, directly or indirectly that has the potential of compromising our judgment, objectivity and independence. We do not support any political movement and maintain strict neutrality in armed conflict.

Our AU Watch Internet Radio provides news, information on AU programs and activities, interviews, talk shows, entertainment, commentaries, authoritative analysis and up-to-date commentary on current human rights topics and matters.

We are one more voice and action-oriented organization in defense of human dignity and freedoms of all Africans. While recognizing the many challenges faced by the AU, we advocate finding ways to build on its strengths and use its limited resources effectively. In an era of sound bites and partisanship, AU Watch remains dedicated to providing clear, thoughtful, and independent analysis on vital public policy issues. Using all means possible —from radio, blogs, podcast, news and academic journals, Web features, op-eds and TV appearances, to conferences, research reports, speaking engagements, and books — AU Watch works vigorously to present citizens with incisive and understandable analysis of the work of the AU, its institutions and programs.

Our AU Watch TV provides twenty-four-hour news and feature programs and information on AU and AUMS programs and activities, interviews, entertainment, commentaries, authoritative analysis and up-to-date commentary on current topics and matters. We assist the AU to raise their profile and their presence in Member States, so that ordinary Africans not only know what the AU is doing, they can also participate in its activities.

 

We invest in civil society. We support civil society actors and defenders – people who are key in improving human rights and free open societies. We seek out curiosity, collaboration, leadership and courage, knowing that the first steps in solving human rights challenges, many times lay with people and organization’s that take the bold step of speaking out

Through media and communication advocacy, we promote constructive engagement with the leadership of the AU. We provide an essential forum, through our media and other related activities, for navigating the bewildering world of African politics within the foremost African institution by galvanizing our uniquely influential network of journalists, regional scholars, and leaders to shape the AU we all want – a people-centered AU. Through media and communication and outreach work and through our various activities and interventions on all areas of the AU, and through the papers we write, the ideas we generate and the communities we are building, AU Watch shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous Africa.

Our campaigns challenge our states managers to change wrong and unfair human rights policies and practices. The principle that underpins our work is empowering people and communities to speak out and claim their human rights.

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.

While we monitor the activities of the AU and work to address human rights violations, good governance, security issues and contribute to the alleviation of the symptoms of poverty, we also campaign to tackle the causes of these ills.

Our regional Ambassadors campaign around the world on behalf of AU Watch. From promoting and protecting human rights in Africa, campaigning for peace and security, good governance, social justice and inequalities to building schools and homes for disadvantaged communities, campaigning for climate change adaption and helping (women) farmers get fairer prices for their farm products, we take fight against corruption, human rights violations, poverty injustice and inequality where it belongs – the decision makers at the AU and the UN and international organization.

Field research and engagement are at the heart of AU Watch’s human rights work.Our influence stems from rigorous, fact-based desk and field research produced by experienced researchers and analysts in the field. Our research, for example, tackles the complex and persistent challenges of climate change, corruption, poverty, human rights violations and injustice. We take a multidisciplinary approach and work with an international network of partners to develop research which we actively seek to see applied in development and human rights policy and practice. Our research helps to shape development and human rights thinking and practice at the AU.

Many of our researchers are members of the local community, giving them inside knowledge, and access that others cannot get. We are therefore able to cultivate strong networks of contacts over years of sustained work. We are uniquely placed to find out what is happening and why; and most probably how to resolve the issue.

We carry out authoritative research on the AU in formats accessible to a broad audience, as well as independent and rigorous analysis of critical human rights, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities related to the AU, its institutions, and programs. We research the role organizations like the AU and its Recs play in peace, conflict, human rights and development in the region. We advise them on how to reform their policies and practices for working with member states. We also provide them with context analysis; technical expertise and training on a variety of subjects to ensure their strategies and projects take into account local dynamics. We are aware that failure to base policy and programs on sound political, scientific, economic and social analysis can have disastrous consequences for whole communities. Growing inequalities, social deprivation, discrimination, hunger, and disease are all caused by poor decision making and neglecting to implement evidence-based policy. We are known for our innovative and in-depth approach to research, our high-quality teaching and as a regional knowledge hub that transforms peoples’ lives through our ground-breaking work.

Education, critical thinking, writing and analysisis allied to our research, as part of our systems thinking, including engaging with thought leaders.We do not claim to have all the answers, but that doesn’t stop us from challenging the status quo. Together we can find the answers. For example, is the AU a useful organization? Should it be abandoned?At AU Watch we continually question received wisdom. We understand that our state managers have a habit of telling us ‘stories’. We refuse to accept those ‘stories’ as gospel truths. For us, Critical thinking is the process of identifying and solving problems by gathering information, analyzing and evaluating evidence, discovering patterns, and reasoning logically. Critical thinking in writing means asking the right questions and questioning the old, no-longer-obvious answers.

AU Watch Chaptersare the engines that drive the organization. They work with local newspapers as well as local radio and TV Stations to air AU Watch matters. AU Watch’s effectiveness depends on its high standards of research, analysis and reporting. We:

• Contribute academic articles to AU Watch’s peer review journal on the AU – the ‘Journal of African Studies on the African Union’.

• Contribute to AU Watch’s monthly news magazine ‘AU Watch News’, that provides news, interviews, articles, op-eds, authoritative analysis and up-to-date commentary on current human rights topics and matters.

• Publish AU Watch’s Yearbook on human rights, ‘State of the Union (SOTU): Human Rights’, where we review the human rights landscape for the past year.

• Publish a Yearbook on media freedom called Africa Freedom Index,where we review the media landscape for the past year.

• Contribute AU Watch’s development Yearbook called AU Watch ‘State of the Union (SOTU): Development’, where we review the economic and development landscape for the past year.

• Contribute to AU Watch’s ‘Regional Corruption Index’ magazine, outlining corruption in Africa and the measures states are taking to combat this disease.

• Contribute to AU Watch’s ‘Regional Insecurity Index’ magazine, outlining how fragile and conflict-affected countries are combating human insecurity.

• Collaborate with AU Watch online Portal. The Portal has an open access digital library with thousands of publications on AU and African issues.This unique online knowledge resource hub aims to increase the availability, accessibility, and use of materials on the AU and on Africanissues generally.

• Collaborate with ‘AU Watch Institute for the Study of Human Rights and Development in Africa’in designing and developing curricula and teaching materials on the African Human rights System for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, military and police academies and technical and vocational schools.

We also collaborate with the ‘Nelson Mandela Academy for Leadership in African Affairs’ with a view of assisting the AU and its States Parties to develop a new generation of leaders capable of crafting innovative responses to the most pressing challenges facing Africa.

• AU Watch journalists and analysts are routinely interviewed by major international media for their insights. In 2020 we received 300,000 mentions in global media.

• With more than 1 billion followers on Facebook and Twitter AU Watch is a leading voice in digital diplomacy. We engage with a diverse regional and global community including human rights activists, academics, students, political leaders, journalists and thousands of volunteers.

Strategic partnerships & networking is key to how we promote and protect human rights. In today’s interdependent world, no single sector or force is responsible for creating the challenges we now face. At the same time, no single sector nor entity can tackle these problems alone.Rather, solutions require deeper integration and coordination of actors working together to apply their unique and specific skills, talents, and advantages. In this way, creating and supporting strategic partnerships, coalitions, and networks is a core part of our strategic approach.

We give practical assistance to the most vulnerable members of our communities. We give grants and loansas part of our efforts in making a practical difference in the lives of people. Whether we are participating in constructing a library or a girls training institute or litigating for the protection of human rights in front of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, or the Ecowas Court of Justice, our intention is to ensure that we make a difference to address regional challenges that demand AU attention and leadership. We also provide practical technical assistance for projects benefiting the African youth, women, and vulnerable communities. We assist the AU and its Member States to achieve the goal of serving vulnerable communities through sustainable community development.

 

                                                 We invest in solutions
We invest in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the human rights terrain in Africa. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, AU Watch build leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change. However, we are also a PRACTICAL organisation and we ensure that our high-qualityresearch, analysis, and teaching transform’s peoples’ lives in a practical way through our ground-breaking programs and projects.

What We Offer

Research and Analysis
1. Extreme inequality, injustice, insecurity, poverty, corruption, bad governance, and human right violations are the defining challenges of our time – challenging not only the AU but also the world at large. AU Watch Human Rights program believes that if we act now to address these challenges, Africa and indeed the world will be a safer, fairer and more prosperous place! We provide research on political, social and economic policies and many other human rights issues and themes defining the 21st century. Our research is authoritative, providing strategic analysis and practical solutions to assist policy makers in both public and private sectors to achieve their goals.

2. Our research also aims to create an environment for change. We are aware that public policy can help reduce poverty, prevent violations and promote more inclusive growth and greater social equity. We are of the view that strong, informed policies can help establish more stable economies with decent work opportunities for the poor, build peaceful societies, and advance development. But to be effective, policies must be supported by the citizens they are meant to serve. And they must be based on evidence.

Our work is underpinned by research, evaluation, and analysis, believing that the derivative knowledge and evidence are crucial in shaping the changes needed for that vision of an Africa at peace with itself to be realised – an Africa that can assist its citizens and institutions navigate the challenges ahead.

3. For organisations working in and on Africa, we design tailored research, analysis, and strategic assessments to improve their understanding of complex justice, security, development and human rights situations and to increase their relevance and effectiveness in those areas.

4. In partnership with the Legacy University, The Gambia, we offer several popular certificates and postgraduate diploma courses in development and human rights that are integrated with our research activities. Some of our research addresses the complex and persistent challenges of (in) security, human rights, poverty, corruption, injustice, climate change, and development.

5. Crucially, we take a multidisciplinary approach and work with hundreds of CSOs, organizations, schools, business governments and individuals around Africa and beyond which seek to see research applied in different policy areas and practice. Such collaboration allows us to build or consolidate partnerships with a broad array of actors with the ability to drive change in society.By sharing skills and knowledge this way we strengthen the capacity of many individuals and communities improving their ability to make informed choices to better their lives.

6. For more information about what our research offers, please consult our detailed research policy brief here.

Policy Analysis Seminars
Our policy and analysis are based on lessons learned from years of working with the AU and in Africa.

7. To engage with our leaders AU Watch has set up the ‘NGO Forum on the (African) Summit of Heads of State and Government.’ At the margins of every Summit and for three days before the policy organs meet, AU Watch organizes an NGO forum, bringing together various NGOs to strengthen cooperation on democratic values, defend common interests, and debate the major issues facing the continent, and which are of importance to the African people.

8. At the margins of all the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission, the African Court, the Expert Committee on the Rights of the Child, the PSC, AU Watch convenes a one-day ‘Human Security Ideas Workshop’ event to discuss important developments and challenges in human security and human rights theory and practice with experts, practitioners and academics. The events, which comprise of keynote speakers and open discussion, help to frame topics, generate ideas and support programming.

Consultancy Services
We provide consultancy in the following sectors and themes: justice, governance, climate change, security, sustainable development, human rights,media, and communication.For example, we provide consultancy services on:

• Tailored guidance, frameworks and technical advice for partners, donors, businesses, governments, and institutions to implement policies and interventions which promote social justice, good governance, sustainable development, security, human rights and peace.

• Programs that fosters sound human rights policies and long-term economic development that benefits local communities, and especially women.

Specialist human rights advice and expertise. We offer:

  • Information dissemination and awareness raising on human rights programs and activities, including organising and coordinating human rights events and providing media coverage;
  • Accountability assessments of existing human rights policies and procedures (e.g. independence of complaints procedures, effectiveness of inspection systems);
  • Auditing domestic compliance with regional and international human rights obligations;
  • Human rights education, in particular in relation to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  • We provide advisory servicesbased on lessons learned, promising practices, and counter-violations strategies to local, national, and international audiences.
  • Judicial and human rights training, especially as regards the development of effective techniques for monitoring compliance with judicial and human rights standards;
  • On-the-spot monitoring of policing practice and conditions of detention in prisons and other places where people are deprived of their liberty;
  • Human Rights / Trafficking and Slavery Hotline: We operate a 24-hour human rights hotline in all the countries we operate and connecting professionals, victims, and community members to information and services. For further information, please contact us at:[email protected], or to contact the Chapter directly, please call us at: +220 797 1544.
  • We offer comprehensive clinical social services to victims of all forms of human trafficking and severe human rights violations through our local country office or in Partnership with other agencies.
  • We provide services in recruitment, management consultancy, human resources support services and monitoring and evaluation in insecure and chronic conflict environment in the region.

HOW WE SPEND AND ALLOCATE YOUR MONEY

Our priority is delivering aid and support to those that need it, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Decisions about how we allocate your money to each of our members when a disaster strikes are taken in advance, based on each member’s ability to deliver aid where it is needed. We make certain that how we spend your money ensures that communities receive the urgent humanitarian aid required, as well as long term support to rebuild their lives after a disaster.

We operate an extremely cost-effective model, spending an average of just 7.3% of the money we raise, on running our appeals, with the rest distributed to our members to carry out their vital work

HOW WE ENSURE QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

We are governed by a commitment to best practice and being accountable to both our Governing Council, members and donors.

Our high standards begin with our membership, for which we have a strict set of criteria.

We conduct and publish regular independent reports, appeal evaluations, audited accounts our annual reports

CLIENTS

Our clients include the AU, its Recs, organs, and programs, States Parties to the African Charter, the UN, the Inter-American Human Rights Court, the European Union, other non-African governments, CSOs, other national and international partners, donors, academic institutions,think-tanks and universities around the world.

For more information about what our consultancy services offer, please consult our detailed consultancy service policy brief here or email us at:[email protected]

Why choose us?

We hold firm to the conviction that to properly understand the AU, and indeed many of the challenges of Africa demands not only an understanding of African international affairs, but a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the culture and history of Africa and its various constituents, and continuous interaction with a broad cross-section of these societies.The team at AU Watch are some of the finest scholars and analysts in their various fields of endeavour, with a thorough understanding of the politics and social dynamics of Africa. Many of them worked with the AUfor many years. We are thereforein the best position todevelop new ideas on how best to confront critical issues faced by the AU and Africa and take advantage of opportunities to resolve challenges confronting it. Using what we have learned as an organisation, our expert knowledge, experience, and ideas enable us to shape the future of many of the issues we follow at AU Watch. Policy recommendations are developed in collaboration with our policymakers, experts, and stakeholders.

Our human rights media work

We bring the issues you are concerned about and news you want the AU to respond to, to the farms, markets, schools, living rooms and cafes of Africa. Through our television and radio debate shows, dramas, public service announcements, mobile phone services and face-to-face communication we provide individuals and communities a platform to engage their state managers and question them on issues which they are concerned about. Our television, radio and digital programs directly engage people and the AU in discussions, encourage communication across political, ethnic, religious and other social divides.

We provide spokespeople for television, radio, and press concerning the range of issues covered by the AU. Whether it’s social and economic policy analysis, human rights, conflict and peace, development, security, education governance and more we have the experts who can articulate the issues clearly. AU Watch understands that media and communication can have a deep and positive result on the lives of people – especially on the poor and vulnerable. Using its network of scholars, volunteers and other professionals, including think-tanks, AU Watch uses media, research, and evaluation to help inform political, economic and social policies at the AU to improve people’s lives and to bring about lasting change. Our human rights media work also includes producing:

• Documentaries
• Short films
• News briefs
• On-line commentaries
• On-line articles on topical issues
• On-line newsletter
• Collaborative work / publications with:

  • The Court
  • The Commission
  •  Expert Committee on the Rights of the Child

Meet the Human Rights Team
DrFeyi Ogunade: BA Ed (USL); LLB Hons (Lond); MA (Human Rights, Lond); LLM (International Law, UEL – cum laude); M. Journ. (Lond); Dip. Media law (Lond); MA (Int Rel. Bristol); DPhil (York)
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For issues with the website including broken links, technical difficulties, or suggestions for improvement, please send an email with a description of the problem to [email protected]
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Development and Fundraising
For information on donating to AU Watch, please email [email protected]

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Policy Advocacy
For information on the media, policy, advocacy general work of AU Watch – fact sheets, briefings reports, positions papers, articles, news reports, communiqués, press statements and releases, legislative briefs, current laws, soft laws and hard laws, cases and much more and what you can do to help advocate for policy, please email [email protected]
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Fellowship Program
To apply for our Fellowship Program please click here.
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Speaker Requests
To request an AU Watch speaker for your event or conference, please click here.
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Referrals
If you have potential client referrals or questions about our client services, please email us at [email protected]