Human rights Women are socially and economically disadvantaged

The Niger has ratified all the important international human rights conventions. Elementary civil rights are also laid down in the country’s constitution. However, there are many areas where national legislation has yet to catch up with these commitments.

Women with goats and camels in Makanga

Women with goats and camels in Makanga

Women with goats and camels in Makanga

Women are underrepresented in both politics and civil society organisations in the Niger. They are socially and economically disadvantaged, for example as regards access to education or earning their own money. Despite the fact that female genital mutilation has been declared a criminal offence, it continues to be practised in individual cases in some ethnic communities. In the Niger, the majority of girls are married while they are still underage.

In 2015, a law was passed to combat human trafficking and the activities of people smugglers, but so far it has had little effect.

Although a law from 2003 makes slavery a criminal offence, international human rights organisations estimate that around ten per cent of the population lives under slave-like conditions.

The protection of freedom of opinion and freedom of the press has improved under President Issoufou. The media in the Niger have repeatedly reported on political ills in the past. The human rights organisation Freedom House (External link) describes the Niger as "partly free".