The Islamic Republic of Mauritania 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.
Mauritania is an Arabic- and French-speaking country in Northwest Africa. It has a coastline to the Atlantic Ocean to its west. With an area of 1,030,700 square km it is the eleventh largest country of the continent. On a global scale, its population density is very low. The capital of the country, which became independent on 28 November 1960 from France, is Nouakchott. Mauritania is a member of the regional economic communities AMU and CEN-SAD.
With a Human Development Index of 0.52 Mauritania ranks 154th of 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 3.2 million inhabitants at birth is 64 years, population growth is 2.5 percent per year. GNI is 840 US-$ per capita. External debt is 62.0 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 80.4 percent.
In as far as Mauritania 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 Mauritania and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Mauritania 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 Mauritania 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 Mauritania may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Mauritania has ratified.
Since Mauritania 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.
Mauritania has not yet joined the International Criminal Court.