Mozambique 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 on Civil and Political Rights
The following documents further define the obligations of Mozambique:
  • 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 Mozambique 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 Mozambique can be viewed at

The Constitution of Mozambique is an important tool for the protection and promotion of human rights.

The Constitution enables Mozambique 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 a clean environment (art. 72)
Right to education (art. 92)
Right to the equal protection of the laws (art. 66)
Right to freely consent to marriage (art. 55)
Right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (art. 70)
Right to freedom of association (art. 76)
Right to freedom of expression (art. 74)
Right to freedom of movement (art. 83)
Right to health (right to medical and health care) (art. 94)
Right to inherit (art. 87)
Right to information (art. 74)
Right to just and favorable work conditions (art. 89)
Right to liberty and security (art. 70)
Right to life (art. 70)
Right to marry and found a family
Right to participate in the affairs of the State (art. 30, art. 73)
Right to privacy (art. 71)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race (art. 66)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex (art. 66)
Right to own property (art. 86)
Right to seek and obtain redress for violations of rights (art. 80, art. 82)
Right to social security (art. 95)
Right to work (art. 88)

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

The Constitution specifically reasserts equality between men and women (art. 67).

The Constitution protects persons with disabilities (art. 68).

What does that entail? This provision could potentially apply to protect persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. For additional research or information,, please contact the Human Rights Working Group.

It specifies steps that must be taken to protect women. Mozambique is required to:

  • guarantee that marriage is based on free consent (art. 55)
  • protect the family (art. 55) and motherhood (art. 56)
  • promote and support the emancipation of women, as well as their participation in the country's economic, social and cultural life (art. 57)
The Constitution also reasserts a woman's equal right to work (art. 88).

The Constitution broadly mandates Mozambique to improve its population's health and encourage development. Mozambique must:

  • establish a national health service that benefits all citizens (art. 54)
  • encourage the participation of citizens and institutions in raising the level of public health care (art. 54)
  • improve the living conditions of its citizens (art. 38)
  • encourage rural development (art. 39)
  • protect property rights acquired through inheritance (art. 48)
  • promote education (art. 52)
  • protect orphans and abandoned children (art. 56(5))
The Constitution provides for the accountability of the State for "damages caused by illegal acts of its agents" (art. 97).
Why is that important? It is the value added of human rights to public health to make public authorities accountable for failing to ensure rights. Accountability is also a mechanism to ensure implementation of policies and laws, including those adopted to further individual rights. For additional research or information, please contact the Human Rights Working Group.

However, the Constitution allows restrictions to rights in certain cases.

The Constitution authorizes restrictions to rights to protect the public order (art. 96(2)).

What do restrictions entail? By authorizing restrictions to rights, it is acknowledged that Lesotho may be confronted with situations that will entail an infringement on rights. In such situations, Mozambique may take measures to address a public health problem without violating its own constitution.

Restrictions are authorized under international law if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. the restriction is provided for and carried out in accordance with the law
  2. the restriction is in the interest of a legitimate objective of general interest (e.g., the protection of public health)
  3. the restriction is strictly necessary in a democratic society to achieve the objective
  4. there are no less restrictive means available to reach the same objective
  5. the restriction is not drafted or imposed arbitrarily, i.e. in an unreasonable or otherwise discriminatory manner