THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (HRDI)

WELCOME TO HRDI

HRDI is an African regional non-governmental human rights organisation based in Pretoria, South Africa working in Southern Africa, East Africa and the Great Lakes Region.

HRDI’s mission is to challenge political, economic and social elitism and promote equality of people regardless of race, place of origin, gender, social status, class, religion, sexual orientation, belief, ethnicity, HIV status or any other quality or trait that might be used as a basis for unfair discrimination, using international and regional human rights standards as the barometer. Constantly bearing in mind that human rights is not about what we write or say, but what we do.

Illicit Financial Flows and Human Rights in Africa

Addressing illicit financial flows from Africa as a fundamental human rights issue is, arguably, the most important human rights intervention of this era. Indeed it has the potential to have substantial impact on the ability of African governments to achieve the sustainable development goals.

Mindful of the fact that Africa loses more money through illicit financial flows than it receives in aid, loans and investments combined; Mindful also that despite high growth rates, Africa today is a mixed story of booming economic growth juxtaposed against abject poverty and idyllic holiday locations against overflowing slums. Illicit financial flows directly affect a government’s ability to meet their obligations under international human rights law as it drains the continent of much needed resources.

On 23rd April 2013, as a result of HRDI’s advocacy strategy, the ACHPR adopted Resolution 236 and took the first bold step toward a human rights based approach to addressing this issue.

HRDI is currently working with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights as its Secretariat to manage a study on the human rights impact of and human rights based solutions to illicit financial flows from Africa.

NEWS UPDATES

November 2015

During the 57th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR, the new Chairpersons of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa and the Working Group on Extractive Industries, the Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa, Commissioner Jamesina King and Commissioner Solomon Dersso respectively renewed HRDI’s appointment as the Secretariat for the ACHPR Study on “The Human Rights Impact of and Human Rights Based Solutions to Illicit Financial Flows from Africa”.

October 2015

In its capacity as secretariat for the ACHPR study, HRDI revised the draft interim report based on input received from the two responsible ACHPR Commissioners and other experts in the field. The revised version has been translated into French.

August 2015

The first draft of the ACHPR’s Interim Report on "The Human Rights Impact of and Human Rights Based Solutions to Illicit Financial Flows from Africa" received the following comments from independent experts.

"I am working my way through the document and it is truly unique. It will be an excellent resource for all of us looking to solidify the connection between human rights and illicit financial flows."

Ms Shauna Levin, Global Witness, UK

"This is a very comprehensive report first of all because of its “Africaness”. It captures various issues that matter for the development of Africa. The multi and transdisciplinary analysis of the impact of illicit financial flows as they relate to the continent is fascinating. The linkages with various areas of law and more specifically within the African human rights system are equally excellent. This report is likely to be a ground breaking report in Africa because it will lead to further research on the impact of illicit financial flows across disciplines. There is something for everyone. I would argue that almost every aspect could constitute a research topic for Masters or Phd students who will therefore popularise and seek answers and recommendations to deal with the issues at stake."

Prof Serges Djoyou Kamga, Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute, UNISA, RSA

July 2015

The chairpersons of ACHPR Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa and to the ACHPR Working Group on Extractive Industries, the Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa, Vice-President Commissioner Bechir Khalfallah and Commissioner Pacifique Manirakiza respectively, reviewed and commented on the draft interim report prepared by HRDI on their behalf on "The Human Rights Impact of and Human Rights Based Solutions to Illicit Financial Flows from Africa".

June 2015

The chairpersons of the two working groups assigned to the study on “The Human Rights Impact of and Human Rights Based Solutions to Illicit Financial Flows from Africa” worked with HRDI to complete a draft interim report. Namely, the ACHPR Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa and the Working Group on Extractive Industries, the Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa. The report was translated into English and French and circulated among key experts in the field for comment.