All Member States of the United Nations (UN) have their human rights records reviewed once every 4.5 years. Today, 26 January, it is Benin’s turn. The UN’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism provides an opportunity for States under review to present the actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries and for UN Member States to present recommendations to the States under review.
As part of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review on human rights in Benin, Coalition des Défenseurs des Droits Humains-Benin (CDDH-Bénin), West African Human Rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN/ROADDH), the Réseau des Femmes Leaders pour le Développement (RFLD) and CIVICUS submitted a report examining the state of civil society in the country, including recommendations on how to protect and foster civil society rights.
The review and recommendations were submitted in July 2022 and highlight the adoption of restrictive legislation, particularly the Criminal Code and the Digital Code, with its provisions being used against human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists. Additionally, the submission also draws attention to the increasing restrictions and violations of the freedom of peaceful assembly, which includes blanket bans on protests, the militarisation of law enforcement and the use of excessive force, including live ammunition, against protesters, along with increasing legal restrictions to the right to protest.
Follow the review here.