Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa

Regions: Gambia, Pan Africa

The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) is a pan–African non-governmental organization (NGO) headquartered in The Gambia, working to promote awareness of human rights in Africa and improve the effectiveness of the African Human Rights system. IHRDA envisions an African continent where all have access to justice via national, African and international human rights mechanisms.”

IHRDA undertakes pro bono legal counsel and provides support to victims of human rights violations, including refugees and individuals who are denied formal citizenship. For example, in one landmark case, 100,000 black Mauritanians were stripped of proof of their citizenship and forcibly expelled to Senegal and Mali. The IHRDA assisted those who were expelled in pursuing communications, which alleged several violations of the African Charter, including extra-judicial killings within the army, failure to tackle slavery and information regarding the mass expulsions. These communications were presented to the African Commission, which subsequently found that the refugees had been arbitrarily expelled and wrongfully deprived of their nationality. In a case decided by the African Commission in 2015, Nubian Community in Kenya (Nubian Adults) v Kenyathe IHRDA provided legal counsel to the Nubian Community who have been subject to the persistent denial of citizenship in that country. This lack of citizenship deprives Nubians of access to employment in the formal sector and the right to vote; as a result, the community suffers from low levels of income, poor access to health services, malnutrition, illiteracy, low educational standards and lack of access to basic social amenities.