African Regionalism & Human Protection Norms: An Overview

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
Charles T. Hunt RMIT University,

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Growing international solidarity for protection principles has formed the backdrop for an evolving notion of human protection at the un in the post-Cold War era. The emergence of the ‘Human Rights up Front’ initiative, protection of children and Women, Peace and Security policy agendas, and normative frameworks such as the protection of civilians and the Responsibility to Protect are indicative of a tangible human protection agenda at the un. However, the extent to which human protection norms have diffused in different regions vary in important ways. Africa – one region or many – has been a norm maker, shaper and taker, as well as a major recipient of action in accordance with this nascent normative regime. This article provides an overview of regionalism in Africa and examines how perspectives and institutional expressions at the regional level(s) have been influenced by – and in turn influenced – the uptake and development of norms around human protection.

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