Latest News on Petty Offences

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Story About Us

Who are we?

We are a group of CSOs fighting for the decriminalization and de-classification of Laws that target the Poor.

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We Need You!

Join Us

Become a part of our family. Together, we
can prompt change and save many lives.

Join Now!

Doing away with outdated and petty offences to

Fight Poverty!

Video Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the laws on petty offences?

National legislation

County By-Laws

Which offences are categorized as petty offences?

Rogues and Vagabonds
Failure to pay debts

Why do we need to get rid of these Laws?

Some may argue that arresting people for these offences make society safer and reduce crime. There
is, however, no evidence from research that this is the case. Moreover the research rather indicate
the contrary by exposing people to further risk and marginalisation

Detention not only adds to prison overcrowding, but also has a range of negative consequences for the
detainees and their families:

Loss of employment for those employed in the formal sector.
Families lose their contribution (monetary and non-monetary) to the household, even if it was small.
Children can suffer in terms of their general care, as well as access to education.
Children often drop out of school because the family cannot afford costs associated with schooling.
Lengthy pre-trial detention brings new costs to families:
Travel costs to visit family members in prison; and
Taking food and other necessities to detainees which the state is supposed to provide – ultimately resulting in the poor subsidising imprisonment.
Severe health consequences, especially in overcrowded prisons with poor health care services.

What can I do?

Join this campaign!
Share this information with your members of parliament, the judiciary and civil society organisations.
Urge AU institutions to promote decriminalisation of petty offences.
Engage with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Pan African Parliament, the AU Summit and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.


We are a group of regional partners working together in the Campaign for Decriminalization and Reclassification of Petty Offences in Africa. The group comprises of like minded organizations/Institutions working on human rights issues across Africa and who are part of an elaborate legislative, litigation and advocacy campaign towards decriminalization and reclassification of petty offences in Africa.