The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) is independent, non-profit regional human rights NGO based in Banjul, The Gambia. It was set up in 1989 by an Act of Parliament of the Republic of The Gambia. However, 1995, the African Centre was re-launched, thereby repealing the Act, and thus making the Centre a truly independent, autonomous and pan-African NGO.
The African Centre seeks to promote the awareness and adherence of human rights and democratic principles throughout the African continent.
It further seeks to uphold and promote Article 25 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which states that:
“State Parties have the duty to .promote and ensure, through teaching, education and publication, respect of the rights and freedoms contained in the present Charter and to see to it that these freedoms and rights as well as corresponding obligations and duties are understood.”
The African Centre promotes human rights and democracy issues in the African continent through training, advocacy, networking, action-oriented research, publications and documentation.
The African Centre builds bridges between Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as between and among NGOs. It maintains networks of communications, human rights education and research among others.
The African Centre is governed by a Board of eminent African personalities with vast experience and knowledge in the field of human rights and democracy issues in Africa. The Board also comprises of an Advisory Committee whose members are drawn from Africa and beyond.
The working languages of the African Centre are English and French. However, plans are underway for the use of other languages of the African Union.
The African Centre ensures that gender is mainstreamed into all its programme areas and pays great respect to gender parity in relation to the composition of its staff.
The African Centre has observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples. Rights and a Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.