Côte d’Ivoire: Implement Human Rights Committee recommendations on protection of defenders

08.04.2015

Côte d’Ivoire should take immediate steps to implement recommendations on the protection of human rights defenders made by the UN Human Rights Committee following its periodic review of the country, ISHR said today.

(Abidjan) -  Côte d’Ivoire should take immediate steps to implement recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Committee following its periodic review of the country, ISHR said today. In particular, authorities should ensure the full and effective implementation of Law No 2014-388 on the protection and promotion of human right defenders.

As advocated for by ISHR, the Human Rights Committee's Concluding Observations on Côte d’Ivoire, adopted on 31 March 2015 following the Committee's review of the country on 18 and 19 March, included a recommendation that authorities take all necessary measures to ensure the effective implementation of the human rights defender law adopted in June 2014.

The Committee also highlighted its concern at the lack of investigation of attacks and acts of intimidation against human rights defenders and urged the Government to take action to protect defenders and to prosecute and sanction those who violate their rights.

'The proper implementation of the law will help protect defenders and ensure that instances of attacks against them do not go unpunished,' said Clément Voulé, Head of ISHR’s Africa Programme.

The law on the protection of human rights defenders was adopted in June 2014 and promulgated by the President of Côte d’Ivoire in July.

'The law is the first of its kind on the African continent and a positive example upon which other states should build. However, its effective implementation depends on the adoption of a follow up decree operationalising the law. This decree is yet to be drafted,' Mr Voulé said.

ISHR and its partner organisations in Côte d’Ivoire have called on the Government to prioritise the elaboration of the decree, including by designating the authority with competence and resources to enforce the law and ensure the protection of defenders. ISHR has also called on the Government to ensure that, in consultation with human rights defenders, the law is periodically reviewed and strengthened with a view to closing protection gaps, and ensuring it is effective in promoting an enabling environment for human rights defenders and addressing systemic factors contributing to attacks against them.

The Human Rights Committee's Concluding Observations on Côte d’Ivoire follow on from a recent report on the country presented to the UN Human Rights Council by Independent Expert Mohammed Ayat on 24 March 2015. In a statement to the Council delivered during the interactive dialogue with Mr Ayat, ISHR urged the independent expert to 'encourage the government to adopt an executive decree required to implement this law' and noted that 'without such a decree this initiative will remain but a hollow promise of protection for Ivorian defenders'.

ISHR will continue to work with human rights defenders inside Côte d’Ivoire to advocate for the government to enact the executive decree and to put in place the mechanisms needed to protect defenders in accordance with its new law.

Contact: Clément Voulé on c.voule@ishr.ch

Category:

Region
  • Africa
Topic
  • Human rights defenders
Mechanism
  • Human Rights Committee (CCPR)
  • Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Human Rights Council
Country
  • Ivory Coast