Human Rights in Algeria: Poverty, Women’s Rights, Child Labor & More


ALGIERS — From HIV treatment to domestic violence, human rights in Algeria are not fully accessible, as is the case for many countries around the world. However, major improvements in humanitarian efforts are taking place in this nation to address these particular issues.

Poverty Level

One aspect to highlight when reviewing a nation’s human rights is its poverty level.

As a basic standard of living is frequently regarded as a fundamental human right, limited access to livable conditions, food or other important necessities can severely harm a nation. Inequality between its citizens and the potential for poverty lingers in Algeria. In 2016, The World Bank looked at the numerous variables that could potentially contribute to this issue.

One example that may lead to some of Algeria’s citizens becoming impoverished is its unemployment rate, which was about 11 percent in 2015. Reduced oil costs can always pose a potential threat to the country, known for this fossil fuel, in achieving any goals it has to address its wealth disparity between citizens.

In addition to poverty, it is vital to consider health conditions in examining human rights in Algeria, as this is one of the foremost and essential liberties people possess.

In 2016, Dainius Pūras, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to health, both congratulated and recommended further advancements in regards to Algeria’s health system. One of his criticisms was Algeria’s focus on hospital treatment while ignoring the importance of prevention and primary care. He looked specifically at a number of demographics, including women and those at risk of contracting HIV.

Women’s Rights

For women, he noted that there is a high occurrence of domestic violence and other instances of brutality. He also highlighted that death among mothers and other impediments to proper reproductive health influenced the well-being of women in the country.

For example, although women are legally allowed to go about addressing their own health as they please, obtaining contraception without any costs has led to backlash. Some pharmacists do not allow unwed females to access contraception.

In the same investigation, Pūras found that while stereotypes and prejudice regarding those with HIV can be extremely damaging, Algeria has various systems that address the disease and focus on caring for at-risk demographics.

There are still certain acts that warrant hefty punitive measures, including child prostitution and rape. Children are also benefited by the education system in Algeria. School is is required and free. In terms of gender disparity, females typically go to the higher-level schools more frequently than their male counterparts.

Child Labor

One of the biggest achievements toward human rights in Algeria involves strides in addressing child labor.

As of 2015, the United States Department of Labor stated the country attained a significant advancement that year for a number of reasons. There are still some issues that persist, like subpar law enforcement preparation to handle cases and people with trafficking backgrounds. Another problem that continues to trouble the country is the prevalence of children working on the streets.

Conversely, some of the improvements include finding underage workers while conducting inspections, creating a Children’s Council and raising the financial punishment for participating in illegal activities related to child labor.

Whether the demographic being examined is children, women, individuals who are not able-bodied or even refugees, there appears to be an indication that the country’s horizons are continuously broadening for the sake of human rights.

Examining the level of human rights in Algeria shows a nation working to improve itself and address its shortcomings in order to better the general well-being of its population.

Maleeha Syed
Photo: Flickr


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