The human rights situation in Mauritania is marked by violations to fundamental rights and freedoms including the rights of detainees as well as the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Individuals are prosecuted for peaceful dissent and criticism of the state and its representatives on a regular basis, and journalists and human rights activists are subjected to police abuse, judicial harassment and arbitrary detention.

Mauritania was the last country worldwide to officially abolish slavery in 1981, and the practice was only criminalised in 2015. While the authorities affirm that the practice no longer exists, anti-slavery activists regularly document cases of slavery in some parts of the country, and are subjected to reprisals for their activism.

Accountability for present and past abuses committed by the military and law enforcement agents remains of concern. In terms of torture prevention, the government has passed legislation in line with international standards, but generally it is not implemented due to a lack of resources and political will. In recent years, national human rights institutions have been established, but their impact remains marginal due to a lack of independence. As a result, torture remains widespread in the country, particularly in the context of counter-terrorism.

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Country legislation


Criminal procedure code (FR)

Law creating the National Commission for Human Rights (AR/FR)

Law on associations (AR/FR)

Ordinance on freedom of the press (FR)

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Latest Reports
Human Rights Instruments
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
ICCPR ratified?
ICCPR ratified on
Has the Human Rights Committee individual complaint mechanism been accepted?
Has the second Optional Protocol of the ICCPR (abolition of the death penalty) been ratified?
Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations last issued on
Next Human Rights Committee state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT)
UNCAT ratified?
UNCAT ratified on
Has the Optional Protocol to the UNCAT been ratified?
Has a National Preventive Mechanism against torture been created?
Has the confidential inquiry procedure been accepted?
Has the individual complaint procedure been accepted?
Committee against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations last issued on
Next CAT state report due on
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
ICPPED ratified?
ICPPED ratified on
Has the ICPPED individual communication procedure been accepted?
Has the ICPPED inquiry procedure been accepted?
Next CED state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
Human Rights Council
Last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on
Next Universal Periodic Review to be held on
Membership of Human Rights Council:


National Human Rights Institution
Accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)