The Republic of Zambia 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.
Zambia is an English-speaking country in Southern Africa. It is a landlocked, quite large country with an area of 752,618 square km. On a global scale, its population density is low. The capital of the country, which became independent on 24 October 1964 from the United Kingdom, is Lusaka. Zambia is a member of the regional economic communities SADC and COMESA.
With a Human Development Index of 0.48 Zambia ranks 164th of 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 12.6 million inhabitants at birth is 46 years, population growth is 2.5 percent per year. GNI is 950 US-$ per capita. External debt is 27.9 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 94.0 percent.
In as far as Zambia 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 Zambia and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Zambia 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 Zambia 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 Zambia may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Zambia has ratified.
Since Zambia 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.
Zambia has joined the International Criminal Court, it may thus be called upon in case of severe crimes.