Djibouti: Mission on Rights of Women, 2002


The delegation of the mission of the Special Rapporteur to the Republic of Djibouti was led by Commissioner Angela Melo, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa and Robert Ayéda Kotchani, lawyer at the Secretariat to the ACHPR. It aimed to publicize the work of the Special Rapporteur to the Government and members of civil society, including women's rights NGOs. According to the terms of reference established for the mission, it was to hold discussions with the authorities of Djibouti and other stakeholders on the following topics: 


  1. Inform the authorities of Djibouti on the recent activities and plans of the Commission and the Special Rapporteur;
  2. Hear the official position of the Government of Djibouti regarding the peace process and national reconciliation with the opposition and the FRUD, learning about the impact this has on women;
  3. The situation of women who at times cannot appeal against the refusal of their husband with whom she wants a divorce, as lawyers generally do not intervene before the Cadi who judges on the basis of the Sharia;
  4. The situation of the elaboration of a Family Code;
  5. Encourage the Government to make greater efforts to provide the resources needed to implement the rights of women, particularly in the area of ​​health, food security, education and training
  6. Encourage the Government and civil society organizations, including NGOs and women's rights, to fight against the social constraints that prevent women from fully exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights, particularly by encouraging the boy to the detriment of the girl;
  7. The problem of female genital mutilation (FGM) that had been recognized by the mission of the ACHPR as a scourge that the Government of Djibouti should eradicate;
  8. Encourage the Government to respect the universal principles of democracy and good governance;
  9. The need for the Government of Djibouti to implement the provisions of the Charter and other instruments to which Djibouti is a party;
  10. Encourage Djibouti to facilitate the creation of NGOs and women's associations;
  11. Visit places of detention for women.


The Government of the Republic of Djibouti should:

  1. Submit and present outstanding reports to the African Commission, while allocating sufficient space to the rights of women;
  2. Encourage, facilitate and support the creation of NGOs working on awareness-raising to change attitudes towards democracy, human rights of women and environmental sustainability;
  3. Establish an information system for civil society organizations on the laws, decrees and other measures concerning the rights of women that the government or the country's institutions adopt, ensuring that this information is available in all languages ​​of the country;
  4. Distribute the new Family Code widely;
  5. Develop a national plan and specific strategies on measures to combat FGM and HIV / AIDS, while involving the traditional institutions concerned;
  6. Strongly support the Ministry for the Promotion of Women in the implementation of the National Strategy for Integration of Women in development by reinforcing in particular the Welcome and Information Centre on the problems of women;
  7. Develop and implement a Plan of National Education on the gender perspective;
  8. Ensure greater collaboration between the Ministry of the Promotion of Women and NGOs working in the field of women's rights and make a systematic and continuous monitoring of activities in collaboration with other ministries, including the Ministry of Health, through the creation of a systematic Working Group
  9. Undertake administrative and other measures for women's integration in the processes and decision making at all levels;
  10. Ensure respect for women's rights as provided for by law in the private sector;
  11. Create and implement a system of regular monitoring of the Criminal Procedure;
  12. Finalise the creation of the Special Corps of prison guards and train them in human rights and more specifically women's rights in custody;
  13. Create and update statistical data on violence against women;
  14. A system of consultation between all the institutions administrative / judicial and all other stakeholders to propose solutions to the problems in Gabode prison;
  15. Encourage, with the participation of civil society, the establishment of programmes for education and vocational training for inmates to facilitate their reintegration to the release and ensure the strengthening of monitoring of the legal aspects of the situation of prisoners.

Civil society organisations should:

  1. Request for observer status with the African Commission to work more closely with it in terms of human rights, and especially the human rights of women;
  2. Gather documentation and relevant information on women's rights and to provide these to government authorities and the Special Rapporteur for appropriate action;
  3. Provide support to government activities relating to women's rights, including the Ministry of Promotion of Women;
  4. Diversify their activities in dealing with among other things, women's education and the environment;
  5. Create a network of women's associations at the national, regional and international for the exchange of information and experiences and disseminate the results of their activities in several local languages, so as ​​to make them accessible to the people.
  6. Make increased efforts to popularize the Family Code;
  7. Raising awareness against FGM and for the education of the girl.

The African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples' Rights should:

  1. Provide the Secretariat of the Commission with a system of credible sources of information and regular updates, including the rights of women in each State Party to the African Charter;
  2. Provide the lawyers and the Commission Members and Special Rapporteurs with adequate equipment for work during missions, including laptops;
  3. Allocate sufficient funds for the conduct of missions of the Special Rapporteur (administration during the mission, phone, fax, copying of documents, transport and other logistics.)
  4. Requst the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa to visit the Central Prison of Djibouti.