The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in the Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

By Vexen Crabtree 2018

#antisemitism #Ivory_Coast #ivory_coast_antisemitism

Ivory Coast
Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index157th best
Life Expectancy58.60yrs (2017)2

The Ivory Coast is generally poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world. The Ivory Coast does better than average for its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice3, commentary in Human Rights Watch reports4 (amongst the highest in Africa) and in freethought5. Human Rights Watch in 2017 reported some improvement in the legal defence of human rights, including in press freedom6 and judicial abuses and arbitrary arrests were decreasing in number6. But unfortunately The Ivory Coast gets most other things wrong. It does worse than average in supporting press freedom7, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms8, LGBT equality9 (still high for Africa), its nominal commitment to Human Rights10 and in speed of uptake of HR treaties11. And finally, it falls into the worst-performing 20 for opposing gender inequality12 (one of the highest in Africa). Prosecutions against historical human rights abusers is still rare and perpetrators of post-election abuse and violence in 2010-11 largely remained unaccountable6.

1. Ivory Coast's Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #gender_equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Compared to Africa (2020)13
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13
1S. Africa56.1
21Sierra Leone100.2
22Ivory Coast100.4
Africa Avg108.2
Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)13
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13
118San Marino100.2
119Sierra Leone100.2
120Ivory Coast100.4
World Avg87.9

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Sweden, Norway and Denmark14. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are The Solomon Islands, Somalia and Tuvalu14.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators), the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice, LGBT equality and freethought. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe14, whereas the worst are Melanesia, Micronesia and Australasia14.

For more, see:

Amnesty International's 2023-23 summary on human rights in Côte d'Ivoire stated:

Modifications to two laws adopted by the senate threatened to curtail the right to freedom of expression. Political parties and civil society organizations released a report recommending a process to provide reparation for victims of electoral violence. Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence continued to face obstacles in their search for justice. There were several incidents of badly constructed buildings collapsing, causing deaths. The government took measures to ensure the rights to health and food.

"The State of the World's Human Rights 2022/23" by Amnesty International (2023)15

Human Rights Watch in 2017 reported some improvement in the legal defence of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire, that the press is mostly free6, judicial abuses such as arbitrary arrests have been decreasing in number6 and the "International Criminal Court (ICC) continued the trial of former President Gbagboand Charles Blé Goudé, a former youth minister and leader of a pro-Gbagbo militia"6. Despite these positive comments, prosecutions against historical human rights abusers is still rare and perpetrators of post-election abuse and violence in 2010-11 largely remained unaccountable6.

The prevalence of arbitrary arrests, mistreatment of detainees, and unlawful killings by the security forces lessened again in 2017, but investigations and prosecutions of those who commit abuses were rare. Although Côte d'Ivoire's press largely operated without restrictions, laws criminalizing publication of false information were on occasion used to unfairly detain journalists and several pro-opposition newspapers were temporarily suspended. [...]

Many members of the security forces, including senior army officers, continued to engage in racketeering and extortion. Several army commanders allegedly responsible for atrocities during the 2002-03 armed conflict and 2010-11 crisis were promoted in January.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16

2. Human Rights & Tolerance

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments


Human Rights Watch Comments
Higher is better4
42S. Korea0
44=Ivory Coast-1
Africa Avg-5.6
World Avg-1.9
(one of the best in Africa)With regard to commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, the Ivory Coast comes 43rd in the world.

Human Rights Watch comments concentrate mostly on negative issues, however, they also make positive comments for those countries that engage in human rights defence around the world, or who make improvements at home. By adding up positive and negative comments (including double-points for negatives that involve large scales and crimes against humanity), the Social and Moral Index turns HRW commentary into quantified values. Some countries may be unfairly penalized because HRW have not examined them, and, some countries "get away" with abuses if they manage to hide it, or if it goes unnoticed - a negative point has been given for those countries in which HRW specifically state that access to investigators has been barred. The points were limited to a minimum of -10 because there are some points at which things are so bad, with abuses affecting so many, it is difficult to be more specific about the depths of the issues.

2.2. Nominal Commitment to HR


Nominal Commitment to HR
Higher is better10
2=Costa Rica23
128=Congo, (Brazzaville)13
128=Ivory Coast13
128=Equatorial Guinea13
128=Antigua & Barbuda13
Africa Avg14.8
World Avg15.1
The Ivory Coast ranks 125th in the world in terms of its nominal commitment to Human Rights.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.3. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag
Lower is better11
Avg Yrs/Treaty11
139Ivory Coast12.14
140Trinidad & Tobago12.26
Africa Avg9.88
World Avg10.02
In terms of speed of uptake of HR treaties, the Ivory Coast ranks 139th in the world.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

For more, see:

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom
Lower is better8
1Hong Kong1
3New Zealand3
110Ivory Coast110
Africa Avg114.2
World Avg79.7
Regarding supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, the Ivory Coast is positioned 110th in the world.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)17

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #Freedom_of_Speech #Good_Governance #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom
Lower is better7
93Northern Cyprus2934
95Ivory Coast2977
Africa Avg3511
World Avg3249
In terms of supporting press freedom, the Ivory Coast ranks 95th in the world.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world, and is linked with Freedom of Speech and Good Governance. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted". The rankings are used as one of the datasets of the Social and Moral Development Index18

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

2.6. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Lower is better
% Victims19
111Ivory Coast0.59
Africa Avg0.96
World Avg0.65
When it comes to eliminating modern slavery, the Ivory Coast is positioned 111st in the world.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory20. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends21. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life22. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves23.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery24. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity25. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.26. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi27, Eritrea27, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

For more, see:

3. Gender Equality

The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including The Ivory Coast and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. The Ivory Coast culture has a severe problem with gender equality, with male rights dominating those of women. Things need to change.

Although the UN reported in January 2017 that the number of reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence has progressively decreased since 2014, social stigma and widespread impunity prevents many victims from reporting abuses. The holding of cour d'assises sessions has enabled some trials and convictions for rape, but many sexual assaults are reclassified as lesser offenses or settled out of court.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16


3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality
Lower is better
153Congo, DR0.66
155Ivory Coast0.67
Africa Avg0.54
World Avg0.36
The Ivory Coast is 5th-worst in the world regarding opposing gender inequality.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchalism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

For more, see:

3.2. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Lower is better
1New Zealand1893
89=St Kitts & Nevis1951
89=St Vincent & Grenadines1951
92=Ivory Coast1952
Africa Avg1961
World Avg1930
In terms of the year from which women could participate in democracy, the Ivory Coast is positioned 91st in the world.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

For more, see:

4. Prejudice

4.1. Anti-Semite Opinions

#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semite Opinions
Lower is better
29=Ivory Coast22
32=Trinidad & Tobago24
Africa Avg45.9
World Avg36.8
The Ivory Coast ranks 30th in the world when it comes to its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice.

Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews30,31,32,33. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East34, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews35,36. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"37. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males38.

For more, see:

4.2. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #ICCPR #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

"Côte d'Ivoire does not criminalize same-sex conduct, although the criminal code establishes higher minimum sentences for public indecency for same-sex couples. An antidiscrimination provision in Côte d'Ivoire's new constitution, promulgated in January 2017, does not include protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Incidents of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons, including physical assaults, are common.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16

LGBT Equality
Higher is better
119=Ivory Coast1
Africa Avg-10.4
World Avg12.6
(still good for Africa)The Ivory Coast comes 118th in the world in terms of LGBT equality.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence39. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws40. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries39. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

For more, see:

4.3. Freedom of Thought

#europe #freedom_of_belief #freethought #human_rights #netherlands #religion #religious_tolerance #secularism #the_enlightenment

Freedom of Thought
Lower is better
99=Ivory Coast3.0
Africa Avg3.1
World Avg3.0
The Ivory Coast comes 88th in the world in terms of freethought.

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief are upheld in Article 18 the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights41. It affirms that it is a basic human right that all people are free to change their beliefs and religion as they wish42. No countries voted against this (although eight abstained). This right was first recognized clearly in the policies of religious toleration of the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe in the post-enlightenment era43 of the 19th century. In democratic countries, freedom of belief and religion is now taken for granted44. In 2016 a study found that over 180 countries in the world had come to guarantee freedom of religion and belief45. The best countries at doing so are Taiwan, Belgium and The Netherlands5,46 and the worst: Afghanistan, N. Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia5,47.

Long-term studies have shown that religious violence and persecution both decrease in cultures where religious freedom is guaranteed48. Despite this, there still are many who are strongly against freedom of belief42, including entire cultures and many individual communities of religious believers. Their alternative is that you are not free to believe what you want and they often state that you cannot change religion without being punished (often including the death penalty): this is bemoaned as one of the most dangerous elements of religion49 and "the denial of religious freedoms is inevitably intertwined with the denial of other freedoms"50 and the solution is, everywhere, to allow religious freedom and the freedom of belief.

For more, see: