Advanced as early as 1970, the idea of a protective human rights instrument for the Arab region only took concrete form in 1994, with the adoption by the members of the League of Arab States of the Arab Charter on Human Rights.
Signed by only one State and never ratified, the Arab Charter was subjected to a process of “modernization” decided in 2003 by the Council of the League of Arab States.
The ICJ considers that in its current state, the Arab Charter on Human Rights is marred by fundamental deficiencies: it contains important omissions, guarantees rights only superficially, offers expanded possibilities for restrictions and derogations to the rights guaranteed, and above all contains no real mechanism to monitor respect of these rights.
The process of “modernization” envisaged must at least aim at bringing the Arab Charter on Human Rights to the level of international human rights standards. An exercise in the opposite direction would be meaningless.
The following documents are available:AdvocacyPosition papers