The African Charter established the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in 1987 with a mandate to protect and promote human and peoples’ rights in Africa. In 2000, the ACHPR established the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (WGIP).
The ACHPR consists of eleven members elected by the African Union Assembly from experts nominated by the State Parties to the Charter. In addition to performing any other tasks which may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Commission is officially charged with three major functions: the protection of human and peoples' rights; the promotion of human and peoples' rights; and the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The secretariat of ACHPR is located in Banjul, Gambia.
The Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (WGIP) in Africa was established by the ACHPR at the 28th Ordinary Session in Benin in 2000. The WGIP consists of commissioners of the ACHPR as well as external expert members. The WGIP carries out promotional activities for the rights of indigenous peoples, including country visits, research and sensitization seminars. Since 2015 the WGIP has carried out 13 country visits and research and information visits, as well as a number of seminars and research activities. The WGIP is an active participant in international gatherings on indigenous peoples' rights, and published in 2010 an Advisory Opinion on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2003 the ACHPR adopted a groundbreaking report on the rights of indigenous peoples in Africa taking point of departure in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. This report continues to be the major framework for the ACHPR on the the issue of indigenous peoples' rights in Africa.