Guinea-Bissau has ratified the following documents:
  • African (Banjul) Charter on Human and People's Rights
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The following documents further define the obligations of Guinea-Bissau:
  • Beijing +5: Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Platform for Action
  • Beijing Platform for Action
  • Cairo Programme of Action
  • UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The documents listed above require Guinea-Bissau to protect and promote the following rights:

Right to development
Right to education
Right to equal protection of the law
Right to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment
Right to highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
Right to housing
Right to just and favorable work conditions
Right to liberty and security of the person
Right to life and survival
Right to marry and found a family
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of age
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability (i.e. HIV positive)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of marital status
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex and gender
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
Right to private and family life
Right to receive and impart information
Right to the benefits of scientific progress

Constitutional Protection of Rights

The Constitution of Guinea-Bissau can be viewed at http://www.icrc.org/ihl-nat.nsf/0/8ff8cad34667b579c1257083002a6fa8/$FILE/Constitution%20Guinea%20Bissau.doc

The Constitution of Guinée-Bissau is an important tool for the protection and promotion of human rights. It enables countries to translate international agreements into domestic law, and obliges all branches of government to respect and ensure the rights it enunciates.

The Constitution provides for the protection of the following rights, among others. This empowers individuals in making reproductive health decisions, and helps create the economic and social conditions conducive to good sexual and reproductive health.

Right to education (art. 41)
Right to equality before the laws (art. 23)
Right to food
Right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 32.3)
Right to freedom of association (art. 44)
Right to freedom of expression (art. 44)
Right to freedom of movement (art. 55)
Right to health (art. 39)
Right to inherit (art. 14)
Right to just and favorable working conditions (art. 37.1)
Right to liberty and security (art. 32)
Right to life (art. 32)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race (art. 23)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex (art. 23)
Right to participate in the political, economic and cultural life (art. 3, art. 43.1)
Right to privacy (art. 38)
Right to seek and obtain redress for violations of rights (art. 30)
Right to work (art. 36)

The Constitution includes other provisions that promote and protect rights relevant for good sexual and reproductive health.

The Constitution specifically states that this list is not exhaustive, and that ordinary laws can provide for other rights (art. 29).

What does that entail? When researching the rights of individuals in relation to sexual and reproductive health, it is necessary to turn not only to the Constitution but also to Guinée-Bissau's laws.

However, the consequence is that rights provided for in laws (rather than in the Constitution) receive a less stringent protection, because it is easier to alter laws than a Constitution. For additional research or information, please contact the Human Rights Working Group.

The Constitution explicitly obliges Guinée-Bissau to:

  • protect youth, motherhood and childhood (art. 40)
  • ensure that the public health system promotes the physical and mental well-being of the population, with a focus on prevention (art. 15)
  • ensure that education provides the necessary skills to be integrated in society and contribute to community progress (art. 16)
  • protect the family (art. 25)
  • take positive steps to create the conditions necessary for the realization of economic and social rights (art. 45)