a. Dreams of ademocratic, just and peaceful Africain which fundamental human rights and fundamental freedoms are recognized, respected and enjoyed by all, where human rights violations and impunity are rejected, and where human rights and social justice are the pillars of every decision made by our state managers.
b. Every human being has the right to live in dignity. We, therefore, envision an Africa where every child, woman and man have equal rights under the law, and full enjoyment of their human rights and, where all of usunderstand our rights,and where we are able to claim and defend these rights and freedoms without fear of threats or attack.
Considering the Charter of the Organization of African Unity, which stipulates that “freedom, equality, justice and dignity are essential objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples,” the mission of the Judicial and Human Rights Program is to:
a. Monitor the human rights programs, activities and performances of the AU, holding them accountable to those standards they have set for themselves.
b. Promote and advance the wider understanding of the AU through our comprehensive media, outreach education and other programs.
c. Achieve legal and systemic change that addresses structural injustices, includingvigorously protecting and promoting human rights, and accountable governments; and also by working for the recognition and enforcement of economic and social rights, as articulated in African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and numerous cases at the regional and international level, as tools for promoting social justice and human dignity in Africa.
We challenge the AU to live up to the human rights standards and ideals it has set for itself. When it fails, we step in to demand action and changes.In pursuit of our mission, we aim to influence the AU and Member States’ human rights policies in order to promote democracy, human rights and sustainable peace.
d. We create innovative solutions to advance regional democracy as a common human aspiration, and an important plank of the Agenda 2063 vision. In that regard, our mission is to establish and reinforce democratic political institutionsand processes, in line with the vision of the AU African Governance Architecture that seek to disrupt unjust and unaccountable systems, that keep people and communities in poverty and injustice. We seek to ensure a more equitable and sustainable futureby investing in the potential of people.
1. We promote and defend human rights: Your freedoms, our freedoms, our rights, depend on people who speak truth to power, and in pursuit of our vision, we take a stand to defend the rights of others. In many parts of Africa that comes with tremendous amounts of risks. We support people (human rights defenders), who promote the realization of human rights in AU Member States through non-violent means or who exert these rights and are prosecuted for this. We litigate, petition, campaign, advocate, write appeal letters, conduct promotion and investigative missions. At AU Watch, we work to improve the human rights terrain in Africa and contribute to an Africa that respects the African Charter on Human and People’s rights. By protecting defenders, we are protecting your rights too.
Our lives are a battlefield on which is fought a continuous war between the forces that are pledged to confirm our humanity and those determined to dismantle it; those who strive to build a protective wall around it, and those who wish to pull it down; those who seek to mold it and those committed to breaking it up those who aim to open our eyes, to make us see the light and look to tomorrow […] and those who wish to lull us into closing our eyes.”
Ngugi Wa Thiongo
2. We bringing the AU to the people:If, we the people are the sovereign, then we must own the AU. Our work is important because, literally, we bring the AU to the people and provide a platform for the AU to explain itself to the people it is supposed to be serving.
3. We promoting constructive engagement: We provide an essential forum, through our education, events, advocacy, research, media and other related activities, for understanding the AU and its Members by galvanizing our uniquely influential network of journalists, regional scholars, and leaders to shape the AU we all want – a people-centered AU.
4. Information dissemination: Through our comprehensive media, outreach and education programs and activities, we raise awareness, expand and disseminate information and understanding of AU affairs.
AU Watch is a politically and religiously independent African human rights organization. Through advocacy, litigation, and public campaigns, we advance the rights of all Africans. We also act as Africa’s watchdog, monitoring the activities and policies of the AU and its Members and holding them to account.
5. Our advocacy and campaigning strategy: We campaign to change the way the AU and its Members conduct business that has kept individuals and whole communities locked in poverty and injustice.
Our work is important because together all of us are going to raise our voices and deliver an almighty shout for the changes we want to see in Africa.
6. Regional and International Legal action: Our work is important because we take legal actions against States, individuals and companies that violate our human rights.
7. Bolstering the capacity of the AU: Together we can bolster the AU’s capacity in the near and long terms. Underpinning all our projects is the objective of empowering the African citizenry, help them make sense of the socio-economic and political events, within their countries and within Africa’s multilateral organisations.
8. Changing development policy and practice in Africa: We reject the popular and conventional paradigm of ‘community development’ as presently conceptualized and executed. Our development model seeks to assist individuals and, when communities are involved, they must satisfy very stringent criteria. We aim to:
a. Design and develop AU curricula: We design and develop curricula and teaching materials on the AU for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, military and police academies and technical and vocational schools.
b. Project no child left behind:AU Watch is leading a regional project, wherein every child we will be school, and stay in school, till the age of 18, within the next 20 years! AU Watch has developed a teaching program that makes it possible to teach thousands of children across the region with limited teachers. The project will also ensure that every child have at last a meal in school.
9. Authoritative research and analysis: Critical thinking, research, evaluation, and analysis underpin all that we do. We carry out authoritative research on the AU in formats accessible to a broad audience, as well as independent and rigorous analysis of critical African, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities related to the AU, its institutions, and programs.
10. Humanitarian Aid: AU Watch gives practical assistance and supporting training in many areas of AU related programs like human rights, agriculture, and development. We provide practical help like grants, loans and technical assistance for projects benefiting the African youth, women, and vulnerable communities. The aim here is to assist the AU and its Members to achieve the goal of serving vulnerable communities through sustainable community development.