Arab Charter on Human Rights

The most recent version of the Arab Charter on Human Rights was adopted by the League of Arab States on 22 May 2004. The charter affirms many of the principles laid out in other human rights documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ICPPR, and the ICESCR. The Charter entered into force on 15 March 2008.

Goal: For Arab nations to incorporate and legalize human rights doctrines into their legal framework

Relevant Clauses:[i]

Article 3:

3.       Men and women are equal in human dignity, in rights and in duties, […]


Article 5:

1.       Every human being has an inherent right to life.

2.       This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.


Article 8:

1.       No one shall be subjected to physical or mental torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

2.        […] The practice thereof, or participation therein, shall be regarded as a punishable offense. Each victim of an act of torture is entitled to a right to compensation and rehabilitation.


Article 14:

1.       Every individual has the right to liberty and security of person and no one shall be arrested, searched or detained without a legal warrant.


Article 24:

Every citizen has the right to:

1.       Freedom of political activity.

2.       Take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

3.       Stand for election and to choose his representative in free and fair elections  […]

4.       The opportunity to gain access […] to public service in his country […]

5.       Form associations with others and to join associations.

6.       Freedom of peaceful assembly and association.


Article 31

Everyone has a guaranteed right to own private property. No person shall under any circumstances be divested of all or any part of his property in an arbitrary or unlawful manner.


Article 32

1.        […] the right to information, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression, freedom to seek, receive and impart information by all means, regardless of frontiers.


Article 34

1.       Every citizen shall have the right to work. […] and equality of opportunity without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion, affiliation to a trade union, national or social origin, handicap or other status.

2.       Every worker shall have the right to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work […]: a fair wage […] limitation of working hours, rest and periodic holidays with pay, safe and healthy working conditions, the protection of women, children and handicapped persons in the workplace.

3.        […] the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, […] health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. […] State Parties shall in particular:

a)      Provide for a minimum age of employment.

b)      Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment. […]

4.       No distinction between men and women shall be made in […] training, employment, protection of work, and equal pay for work of equal value and quality.

5.       Every State Party shall ensure protection to workers migrating to its territory […]


Article 35:

1.       Every individual shall have the right to form trade unions, become a member of a trade union and to freely exercise trade union activity to defend his interests.


Article 38

Everyone shall have the right to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family […] including adequate food, clothing, housing, services and a right to a safe environment […]


Article 39

1.       […] the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the right of every citizen to enjoy free and non-discriminatory access to health services […]

2.       The steps to be taken by the State Parties shall include […]:

a)      Develop basic healthcare and ensure the free and non-discriminatory access […]

b)       […] fight disease by means of prevention and cure in order to reduce mortality.

c)        […] increase awareness and promote health education.

d)      Fight against traditional practices which are harmful to an individual’s health.

e)      Ensure basic nutrition and clean water for everybody.

f)       Fight environmental pollution and supply sanitation systems.

g)      Fight against tobacco, drugs, and psychotropic substances



[i]League of Arab States. (2004, May 22). Arab Charter on Human Rights. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from International Center for Non-Profit Law:


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