In July 2014, President Alassane Ouattara promulgated the continent's first human rights defender law, putting the country squarely at the forefront of protection of human rights defenders - at least on paper. Since then, however, the law remains largely dormant, while human rights defenders continue to face challenges and threats to their work.
Human rights defenders in Côte d'Ivoire are active on a wide range of civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights including women's rights, minority rights, child rights, discrimination, human rights education, documentation of the violence and abuses linked to the conflict, as well as monitoring of the reconciliation process.
While human rights defenders are not targeted systematically, they often face threats, intimidation and attacks including raids on the offices and physical assaults. Intimidation and harassment particularly increased during election periods, when defenders denouncing abuses were specifically targeted.