Comoros Islands acceded to three of the seven United Nations conventions, namely: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (2004), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1994), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1993). It also signed the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2000) and the Convention on Protection of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (2000), but did not ratify them. Comoros also acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (2007).
Comoros Islands also acceded to six of the eight International Labour Organization conventions pertaining to human rights, namely: the two conventions (87 and 98) concerning Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining (1978); the two conventions (100 and 111) pertaining to Elimination of Discrimination in Respect of Employment (1978 and 2004 respectively); the two conventions (138 and 182) on Prevention of Employing Children and Minors (2004).
Comoros Islands has agreed to the "Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam" issued in 1990 by foreign ministers of Muslim countries. The declaration is a guiding document that does not require ratification. Comoros Islands also acceded to the "Arab Charter of Human Rights/Amended" prepared by the Arab Summit in Tunisia in May 2004. It also acceded to the African Charter for Human and Peoples Rights (1986); the "African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child" (2004); and the Protocol on establishing the "African Court for Human and Peoples' Rights" (2003).
Human Rights Institutions
Comoros Islands has a ministry that attends to women's issues and to their advancement. It also has a small number of NGOs that are active in the field of human rights, such as "Comoros Islands Institution for Human Rights" and WEMA Association which is a women's organization founded in 1997. In June 2006 the National Assembly (parliament) passed a law establishing "A Human Rights Committee", however the committee did not convene all through 2006.
Achievements on the Road to Good Governance
1. Comoros Islands was able to overcome its constitutional crisis and the secession of Anjwan Island from the Union through signing the "Fomyoni Agreement" for national reconciliation (February 17, 2001), and by approving a new constitution (December 23, 2001) and appointing Othman Ghazali as President (March 26, 2002). Returning to normalcy passed through numerous difficulties, however joint efforts of the African Union, the Arab League, International Francophone Organization, the European Union and neighbouring countries – especially South Africa – played a major role in preserving these achievements, and helped in reaching an agreement on transitional measures during the regional summit on the Federal Republic of Comoros Islands (November 20, 2003) held in Moroni. The agreement provides for holding legislative elections before the end of April 2004, establishing unified and common customs authority, granting the federal government control of the army and leaving authority over the police force to Islands that enjoy self-rule. Moreover, parties that signed the agreement agreed to deploy civilian and military observers from the African Union to monitor the implementation of such measures during the transitional period, and the respect of all parties to their obligations. Elections took place on May 16, 2006 and were contested by three candidates. Observers testified that it was free and fair. Observers testified that it was free and fair. President Abdullah Mohammad Sambi won the election that was described as the first election in the country's history that allowed peaceful and democratic transfer of power. The African Union delegate Mr. Francisco Madina ruled out any fraudulent acts, and no acts of violence were reported.
2. In April 2006, the first live television station was launched, although its transmission was not powerful enough to cover the whole country. Moreover the television broadcasts were six hours daily. The television station is owned by the state but it relies fully on donated funds.