The Gabonese Republic is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. It has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions (compare list on the right) and thus has made binding international commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents.
Gabon is a French-speaking country in Central West Africa. The middle-sized country with an area of 267,745 square km has a border on the Atlantic Ocean in the west. On a global scale, its population density is very low. The capital of the country, which became independent on 17 August 1960 from France, is Libreville. Gabon is a member of the regional economic community ECCAS.
With a Human Development Index of 0.76 Gabon ranks 103rd of 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 1.4 million inhabitants at birth is 61 years, population growth is 1.8 percent per year. GNI is 7,240 US-$ per capita. External debt is 56.2 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 88.0 percent.
In as far as Gabon has ratified the Optional Protocols for UN Human Rights Conventions or has accepted the Competence of the corresponding UN Treaty Bodies (compare list on the right), the inhabitants of Gabon and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Gabon may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through procedure 1503, to the Special Rapporteurs for violations of specific human rights or to ECOSOC for women's rights violations.
Since Gabon is a member state of UNESCO, its citizens may use the UNESCO procedure for human rights violations in UNESCO's fields of mandate.
Employers' or workers' and certain other organizations (not individuals) of Gabon may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Gabon has ratified.
Since Gabon is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
They may also file complaints according to the EU guidelines (on Human Rights Defenders, Death Penalty and Torture) to Embassies of EU Member States and the Delegations of the European Commission.
In cases of human rights violations by multinational enterprises, they may also invoke the National Contact Point in an OECD member state.
Gabon has joined the International Criminal Court, it may thus be called upon in case of severe crimes.