The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is the primary human rights mechanism of the African Union. The Commission, which consists of 11 members, is elected by the African Union Assembly. It is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 2005 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, known as the Maputo Protocol. The Secretariat of the Commission is in Banjul, Gambia. The Commission ensures protection of human rights through its communication procedure, state reporting, including consideration of shadow reports from nongovernmental organizations, urgent appeals and other activities of special rapporteurs and working groups. Human Rights Watch has, since November 1989, enjoyed Observer Status with the Commission.