The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism established by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to assess the human rights records of all UN member states. It is meant to be a constructive and collaborative process, with the aim of identifying areas of progress and challenges in the protection and promotion of human rights.
In 2021, Djibouti underwent its third UPR, which highlighted the country’s lack of progress in the area of human rights over the past five years. A report by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Rights Group, which monitors human rights in the region, noted that Djibouti had failed to implement any of the recommendations made during its previous UPR in 2016.
The report identified several areas where Djibouti has fallen short in its obligations to protect human rights. These include the mistreatment of detainees, restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, and discrimination against women and minorities. The report also noted that Djibouti had failed to investigate allegations of torture and other forms of abuse by security forces.
One particularly concerning issue highlighted by the report is the detention of political prisoners in Djibouti. According to the report, there are currently over 200 political prisoners in the country, many of whom have been held without trial for several years. The report notes that many of these prisoners have been subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
The MENA Rights Group report concludes that Djibouti has shown a “lack of political will” to address human rights abuses in the country. It calls on the international community to put pressure on the government to implement the recommendations of the UPR and to take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation in the country.
It is clear that Djibouti has a long way to go in terms of protecting and promoting human rights. The UPR is an important tool for holding governments accountable for their human rights records, but it is only effective if governments are willing to take the recommendations seriously and implement them. It is up to the international community to ensure that Djibouti is held accountable for its human rights abuses and that steps are taken to improve the living conditions of common Djiboutians.