Constitutional Provisions

The 1991 Constitution of Yemen does not guarantee the right to life but physical punishment and inhumane treatment during arrest, detention, or imprisonment are expressly prohibited.Art. 48, 1991 Constitution of Yemen.The Constitution does not guarantee the right to freedom of assembly, although under Article 51 citizens have the right "to submit their complaints, criticisms, and suggestions to the various government bodies directly or indirectly".

Article 36 provides that the state is the authority to establish the

police, the security forces and any such bodies. Such forces belong to all the people and their function is to protect the republic and safeguard its territories and security. No organization, individual, group, political party or organization may establish forces or paramilitary groups for whatever purpose or under any name. The law stipulates the conditions for military service, promotion and disciplinary procedures in the military, police and security forces. 

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)      State Party
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 Not party
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints No
CAT Optional Protocol 1 Not party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Signatory

Regional Treaties

Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
2004 Arab Charter of Human Rights State Party

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

A range of governmental and non-governmental forces are conducting law enforcement in Yemen. There does not appear to be extant legislation on police use of force. In its 2018 national report for the Universal Periodic Review, Yemen stated that its Ministry of Human Rights "attaches great importance to building the human rights capacity of law enforcement officers".   

Police Oversight

There is no independent civilian police oversight body in Yemen. The Yemeni Government has reportedly adopted a number of measures aimed at the establishment
of an independent national human rights institution.



Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies

In 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights observed that, two years and more than 13,000 civilian casualties later, the conflict in Yemen continued to rage, with an intensification in hostilities that had exacerbated the entirely man-made catastrophe, and children starving and refugees and fishermen bombed.

Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen

The Group of Experts has found

widespread arbitrary detention throughout the country, and ill-treatment and torture in some facilities. Parties to the conflict were allegedly resorting to the use of undeclared detention facilities in an apparent — and if confirmed unlawful — attempt to put detainees outside the reach of the law.


There is not yet an Arab regional human rights court with jurisdiction over Yemen.


1991 Constitution of Yemen (English translation)

2018 National Report for the UPR

Human Rights Council Resolution 39/16 (2018) on the human rights situation in Yemen

Report of the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen (2018)