1. Situated in the Horn of Africa, the Republic of Djibouti is strategically located and borders the Bab-El- Mandeb strait, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The country stretches over a total surface area of 23,000 km2 . It is bordered to the West by Ethiopia, the North-East by Eritrea and Somalia to the South- East.
2. The Republic of Djibouti, which ratified the Charter on 11 November 1991, could not meet obligations to submit, within the required timeline, its initial report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). This delay is not due to a lack of political will but rather a combination of technical factors.
3. The purpose of this combined initial and periodic report, which covers the period 1993 to 2013, is to provide the Commission with elements for assessment of key human rights developments in Djibouti, as required by Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. It presents the legislative, administrative and judicial measures and mechanisms adopted by the State party to give effect to the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the Charter.
4. Djibouti had previously prepared several reports in relation to international commitments in the area of human rights and this facilitated the interpretation of information contained in this report, in particular those relative to the Core Document, the Covenant on economic and social rights, the Covenant on civil and political rights and the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
5. The Republic of Djibouti has, since 1992, initiated a series of measures to ensure greater protection of human rights through modernization of its legislative acts, reform of its civil service and establishment of institutions capable of guaranteeing the fundamental rights and freedoms of people.
6. Government action is geared towards the effective realization of the economic, social and political rights of citizens with special emphasis on issues relating to access and equity.
7. Constraints such as high illiteracy levels and difficulties to reduce poverty among populations despite positive measures in the education sector and the National Social Development Initiative (INDS) inhibit the effective implementation of the provisions of the Charter.
8. Nonetheless, human rights monitoring has significantly improved with the establishment of the Inter- ministerial committee in charge of coordinating preparation and submission of reports to treaty organs (2008) and of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).
9. This report has been prepared pursuant to the simplified directives of the two aforementioned organs. It was validated during a meeting attended by various partners working in this area. Technical support received from the Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and coordination by the UN system in Djibouti greatly facilitated the conduct of this activity