Constitutional Provisions

The 2016 Constitution of the Central African Republic protects the rights to life and to freedom from inhumane treatment. According to Article 3:

1. Everyone has the right to life and to physical and moral integrity. There may be no derogation from this principle except in application of a law.

2. No one may be subjected to torture, to rape, or to cruel, inhuman, degrading or humiliating acts or treatment.

According to Article 10, freedom of assembly is guaranteed to all.

Article 27 determines that the Security Forces of the Central African Republic "are at the service of the Nation". Organic laws are to determine the organization and functioning of the Security Forces.

In early February 2019, a peace deal was agreed between the government of the Central African Republic and 14 rebel groups after talks in Sudan.

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) State Party
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 State Party
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints No
CAT Optional Protocol 1  State Party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court State Party

Regional Treaties

Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights State Party
1998 Protocol to the African Charter on the African Court Signatory
Article 34(6) declaration regarding individual petitions N/A
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties at Regional Level
Malabo Protocol on Amendments to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights Not party

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

Law enforcement in the Central African Republic is primarily conducted by the National Police (Sûreté Nationale) and the Gendarmerie. Following the outbreak of non-international armed conflict in 2012, the Gendarmerie were reorganised and retrained by the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

The use of force by law enforcement agencies is not believed to be explicitly regulated by domestic law. The content of Act No. 08.016 of 20 May 2008 on the special status of the Central African police is not known.

One of the stated aims of MINUSCA is to revise the national laws governing police use of force.

Police Oversight

There is no independent civilian police oversight body in the Central African Republic. 

In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2387, the mandate of MINUSCA Police focuses on the following missions:

  • Protection of civilians
  • Operational support of national security forces; and
  • Capacity building of the Central African police officers and gendarmes.



Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies

In its 2020 Concluding Observations on the Central African Republic, the Human Rights Committee expressed its concern at reported extrajudicial killings and called for strengthened training of security officials to prevent torture:

While noting the efforts made by the State party to investigate some of the extrajudicial killings committed since 2013, the Committee regrets that these investigations have not been carried out routinely, particularly with regard to alleged violations committed by the Gang Suppression Office of the Central African Republic and by African Union peacekeepers from the Republic of the Congo in Boali, where a mass grave has been found. The Committee is concerned at reports that serious human rights violations, including rape, torture and extrajudicial killings, have been and continue to be committed against civilians in conflict areas where various armed groups and militias are active and at the fact that these acts are not investigated because they occur in areas that are outside the control of the State.

In its 2017 Concluding Observations on the Central African Republic, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed its deep concern 

about violence perpetrated against children by the police, including during investigations, which may amount to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The 2018 Universal Periodic Review of the Central African Republic did not address police use of force in any detail.


The Central African Republic has not recognised the jurisdiction of the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights.


In April 2015, the National Transitional Council of the Central African Republic approved the establishment of a Special Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute those responsible for atrocities in the country since 2003. 


2016 Constitution of the Central African Republic (English translation)

Code pénal centrafricain (2010)

Code de procedure pénale centrafricaine (2010)

Loi organique portant creation de la cour pénale spéciale

Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations on CAR (2020)

Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding Observations on the Central African Republic (2017)