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Côte d’Ivoire

The Law, when complemented by the Decree, is comprehensive and contains almost all provisions of the Model Law, albeit in a simplified form. However, obligations of human rights defenders in the Decree are broad (i.e. ‘not spreading troubling information’ and presenting annual activity reports) and could be used to restrict their rights. The protection mechanism’s functions are broad and lack specific protection measures.

Law N° 2014-388 of 20 June 2014 on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders

Complemented by: Decree No. 2017-121 of 22 February 2017 on the modalities of application of Law No. 2014-388 of 20 June 2014 on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders and Council of Ministers decision of 20 October 2021; Inter-ministerial Order N°972/MJDH/MEMD/MIS of November 10 2021 on the creation of the mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders

Type of instrument:  Law, Implementation Decree, Modifying decision and Inter-ministerial Order
Status: (as of 1 January 2022)
Law adopted on 20 June 2014;
Decree adopted on 22 February 2017;
Modifying decision adopted on 20 October 2021
Inter-ministerial Order adopted on 10 November 2021.

Comments on the instrument:
The Law is comprehensive and, when complemented by the Decree, contains almost all provisions of the Model Law, albeit in a simplified form. However, obligations of human rights defenders in the Decree are overly broad and could easily be interpreted to restrict human rights defenders’ rights.

The protection mechanism’s functions are broad and unclear, lacking specific protection measures for human rights defenders. It does not establish the obligation to assist investigations to prosecute those violating human rights defenders’ rights, but merely that it will ‘aim to ensure violations are punished.’ It does not mandate cooperation with civil society and it lacks other relevant elements.

Does the instrument contain specific provisions easily used to restrict human rights defenders’ rights?
Yes. Article 16 of the Decree states that human rights defenders must ‘not spread rumours or information that could be troubling for the public order’ and ‘respect the institutions of the republic as well as the personalities who embody them’. Article 17 states that human rights defenders have to submit annual activity reports to the Ministry of Human Rights. These articles are broad and could limit human rights defenders’ rights, particularly to freedom of expression and association.

 


Comparison to the Model Law

Below is a short summary of the instrument compared to the Model Law. For additional information and analysis by ISHR on Côte d’Ivoire, click here.

A selection of fundamental rights for human rights defenders incorporated in the instrument (as compared to the Model Law):

Provision

Covered?

Analysis / articles

Definition of Human Rights Defender

FULL

1

Dec: 2, 3

Right to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms

PART

3

Dec: 10

Right to Form Groups, Associations, and Organisations

FULL

3

Right to Solicit, Receive and Utilise Resources

FULL

8

Right to freedom of expression and to seek, receive and disseminate Information

PART

3, 15

Ord: 2

Right to access and cooperate with NGOs, government organisations and international organisations

FULL

3, 7

Right to participate in public affairs

PART

4

Dec: 10 h), 10 i)

Right to Peaceful Assembly

FULL

3

Right to represent and advocate

FULL

3, 7, 15

Dec: 10 g)

Right to freedom of movement

NONE

 

Right to Privacy

PART

6, 16

Dec: 9, 10 e), 14

Ord: 2

Freedom from intimidation or reprisal

FULL

5

Dec: 4, 5, 12, 13

Freedom from defamation and stigmatisation

PART

Dec: 4

State obligations regarding human rights defenders in the instrument?

Obligation to respect, promote, protect and fulfil rights of human rights defenders

FULL

14

Obligation to facilitate the activities and work of human rights defenders 

FULL

15

Dec: 8

Obligation to prevent and to ensure protection against arbitrary or unlawful intrusion, interference, and intimidation or reprisal

FULL

9, 17

Dec: 4, 5, 6

Obligation to investigate, provide an effective remedy and ensure reparation

FULL

18

Dec: 7, 10 l)

Ord: 2

Mechanism on the protection of human rights defenders established in the instrument?

Yes, in Decree No. 2017-121, as modified by the Council of Ministers decision of 20 October 2021 (Decision 3 of Draft Decrees). The Decision entrusts the Ministries of Human Rights, Security, Justice and Defence with the organisation and implementation of the Mechanism. Inter-ministerial Order N°972/MJDH/MEMD/MIS of November 10 2021 on the creation of the mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders establishes the functioning of the mechanism.

Provision

Covered?

Articles

Cooperation with human rights defenders, civil society, and national and international human rights bodies

PART

Ord: 4

Training of mechanism’s personnel on human rights and fundamental freedoms

NONE

 

Periodic reviews with independent experts and CSOs on the functioning of the Mechanism

NONE

 

Resources for adequate functioning of the Mechanism / transparency on resource usage 

PART

Ord: 11

Public acknowledgement of human rights defenders’ work and rights (promotion of UN Declaration)

NONE

 

Disseminate information on protection programmes for human rights defenders, Mechanism’s work

NONE

 

Development of protocols and guidelines based on best practices to protect human rights defenders

NONE

 

Assist investigations for prosecuting offences against human rights defenders

PART

Ord: 2

Granting of protective measures based off a specific risk assessment

PART

Ord: 10

Review / appeal of Mechanism decision before courts or independent authority

NONE

 

Confidentiality and personal data protection

PART

Ord: 2

Actions to achieve structural changes (annual reports on the situation of human rights defenders, advising government on laws and policies related to human rights defenders) 

NONE

 

Quick access and downloads

Law N° 2014-388 of 2014
Decree No. 2017-121 of 2017
Council of Ministers decision of 2021
Inter-ministerial Order N°972/MJDH/MEMD/MIS of 2021