Republic of Mauritius
Republic of Mauritius
Joined United Nations: 24 April 1968
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 21 February 2013
1,313,095 (July 2012 est.)
Prime Minister since 5 July 2005
President and vice president elected by the National Assembly for
five-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 21 July
2012; note - former President Sir Anerood Jugnauth resigned on 31
Next scheduled election: 2017
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the
president, responsible to the National Assembly; elections: last
held on 5 May 2010
Next scheduled election: 2015
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000
Parliamentary democracy with 9 districts and 3 dependencies; Legal system is based on French civil law system with elements of
English common law in certain areas; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Executive: President and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term);
elections last held on 21 July 2012 (next to be held in 2017); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president,
responsible to the National Assembly; note - former President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH resigned on 31 March 2012
Legislative: Unicameral National Assembly (70 seats; 62 members elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the election
commission to give representation to various ethnic minorities; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 5 May 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
Judicial: Supreme Court
Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%,
unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)
It has been frequently hypothesized that Mauritius was first discovered by the Arabs but this is without proof. The first historical
evidence of the existence of an island which we now know as Mauritius, is on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto
Cantino in 1502. Cantino shows three islands which are thought to represent the Mascarenes (Reunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues)
and calls them diba margabin, dina aroby and dina morare. What is known is that the mediaeval Arab world called the Indian
Ocean island region Waqwaq. Mauritius was discovered and visited by the Portuguese between 1507 and 1513. An official world
map by Diogo Ribeiro described “from west to east, the first island, ‘’Mascarenhas’’, the second, ‘’Santa Apolonia’’ and the third,
‘’Domingo Froiz’’. The three islands (Réunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues) were discovered some years earlier by chance during an
exploratory expedition of the coast of the Golf of Bengal led by Tristão da Cunha. The expedition ran into a cyclone and was forced
to change course. Thus, the ship ‘’Cirne’’ of the captain Diogo Fernandes Pereira, came into view of Réunion island on 9 February
1507. They called the island ‘’Santa Apolonia’’ in honor of that day’s saint. Mauritius was discovered during the same expedition
and received the name of ‘’Cirne’’ and Rodrigues that of ‘’Diogo Fernandes’’. Five years later, the islands were visited by Dom
Pedro de Mascarenhas who left the name ‘’Mascarene’’ for the whole region. The Portuguese took no interest in these isolated
islands. They were already established in Asia in Goa, on the coast of Malabar, on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and on the
Malaysian coast. Their main African base was in Mozambique, therefore the Portuguese navigators preferred to use the
Mozambican canal to go to India. The Comoros at the north proved to be a more practical port of call. Thus no permanent colony
was established on the island by the Portuguese. In 1598, a Dutch expedition consisting of eight ships set sail from the port of Texel
(Netherlands) under the orders of admirals Jacques Cornelius Van Neck and Wybrandt Van Warwyck towards the Indian
subcontinent. The eight ships ran into foul weather after passing the Cape of Good Hope and were separated. Three found their
way to the northeast of Madagascar while the remaining five regrouped and sailed in a southeasterly direction. On 17 September,
the five ships under the orders of Admiral Van Warwyck came into view of the island. On 20 September, they entered a sheltered
bay which they gave the name of ‘’Port de Warwick’’ (present name is “Grand Port”). They landed and decided to name the island
"Prins Maurits van Nassaueiland", after Prince Maurits (Latin version: Mauritius) of the House of Nassau, the stadtholder of
Holland, but from those days, only the name Mauritius has remained. From then on, the island’s ’’Port de Warwick’’ was used by
the Dutch as a stopover after long months at sea. In 1606, two expeditions came for the first time to what would later become Port-
Louis in the northwest part of the island. Those who landed on the island freely cut and took with them the precious bark of the
Ebony trees, then found in profusion all over the island. Dutch colonization started in 1638 and ended in 1710, with a brief
interruption between 1658 and 1666. Numerous governors were appointed, but continuous hardships such as cyclones, droughts,
pest infestations, lack of food and illnesses finally took their toll, and the island was definitively abandoned in 1710. The island was
not permanently inhabited for the forty years after its discovery by the Dutch, but in 1638 Cornelius Gooyer established the first
permanent Dutch settlement in Mauritius with a garrison of twenty-five. He thus became the first governor of the island. In 1644, the
islanders were faced with many months of hardships, due to delayed shipment of supplies, bad harvests and cyclones. During those
months, the colonists could only rely on themselves by fishing and hunting. Nonetheless, Van der Stel secured the shipment of 95
more slaves from Madagascar, before being transferred to Ceylon. In 1664, a second attempt was made, but this one also ended
badly as the men chosen for the job abandoned their sick commander, Van Niewland, without proper treatment, and the latter
eventually died. From 1666 to 1669, Dirk Jansz Smient administered the new colony at Grand Port, with the cutting down and
export of Ebony trees as the main activity. Thus the Dutch definitely abandoned the island in 1710. Abandoned by the Dutch, the
island became a French colony when, in September 1715, Guillaume Dufresne D'Arsel landed and took possession of this port of
call on the route to India. He named the island "Isle de France", but it was only in 1721 that the French started their occupation.
However, it was only from 1735, with the arrival of the most illustrious of French governor, Mahé de La Bourdonnais, that the "Isle
de France" started developing effectively. Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a naval base and a shipbuilding
centre. The island was under the administration of the French East India Company which maintained its presence until 1767. During
the Napoleonic wars, the "Isle de France" had become a base from which French corsairs organised successful raids on British
commercial ships. A preliminary attack was foiled at Grand Port in August 1810, but the main attack launched in December of the
same year from Rodrigues, which had been captured a year earlier, was successful. The British landed in large numbers in the north
of the island and rapidly overpowered the French, who capitulated. By the Treaty of Paris in 1814, the "Isle de France" which was
renamed Mauritius was ceded to Great Britain, together with Rodrigues and the Seychelles. In the act of capitulation, the British
guaranteed that they would respect the language, the customs, the laws and the traditions of the inhabitants. The British
administration, which began with Robert Farquhar as governor, was followed by rapid social and economic changes. One of the
most important events was the abolition of slavery in 1835. Mauritian Creoles trace their origins to the plantation owners and slaves
who were brought to work the sugar fields. Indo-Mauritians are descended from Indian immigrants who arrived in the nineteenth
century to the Aapravasi Ghat in order to work as indentured laborers after slavery was abolished in 1833. Included in the Indo-
Mauritian community are Muslims (about 17% of the population) from the Indian subcontinent. The Franco-Mauritian elite controls
nearly all of the large sugar estates and is active in business and banking. As the Indian population became numerically dominant and
the voting franchise was extended, political power shifted from the Franco-Mauritians and their Creole allies to the Indo-Mauritians.
Conflicts arose between the Indian community (mostly sugarcane labourers) and the Franco-Mauritians in the 1920s, leading to
several – mainly Indian – deaths. Following this the Mauritius Labour Party was founded in 1936 by Maurice Cure to safeguard the
interest of the labourers. Cure was succeeded a year later by Emmanuel Anquetil who tried to gain the support of the port workers.
After his death, Guy Rozemond took over the leadership of the party. An independence campaign gained momentum after 1961,
when the British agreed to permit additional self-government and eventual independence. A coalition composed of the Mauritian
Labour Party (MLP), the Muslim Committee of Action (CAM) of Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed, and the Independent Forward
Bloc (IFB) – a traditionalist Hindu party – won a majority in the 1967 Legislative Assembly election, despite opposition from
Franco-Mauritian and Creole supporters of Gaetan Duval's and Jules Keoing's Mauritian Social Democratic Party (PMSD). The
MLP led alliance was able to win this constituency only due to the support of the CAM, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, MLP leader
and chief minister in the colonial government, became the first prime minister after independence, on March 12, 1968. The 1970s
saw the emergence of the Mouvement Militant Mauricien/Parti Socialiste Mauricien (MMM/PSM) led by Paul Bérenger. The
MMM was founded in 1970 and had three initial leaders, Paul Bérenger, Dev Virahsawmy and Juneid Jeeroobarkhan. Following
Sir Seewoosagur's death, his son, Navin Ramgoolam succeeded him as leader of the MLP. However, the MLP and PMSD were
defeated at the 1991 election, which saw Sir Anerood Jugnauth re-elected. On March 12, 1992 Mauritius finally became a republic
within the Commonwealth, with Cassam Uteem as president. At the next elections in 2001, Sir Anerood Jugnauth’s MSM, in
coalition with Paul Bérenger’s MMM was returned to power, with Sir Anerood Jugnauth appointed as prime minister. He
subsequently retired as Prime Minister after 3 years and assumed the office of President. For the remaining time of the elected
government the Prime Minister’s post was filled by Paul Bérenger. At the 2005 general elections, the MLP led Alliance Sociale
coalition won the elections and Navin Ramgoolam became Prime Minister. Sir Anerood Jugnauth remains the president. The 2010
general elections saw the victory of a MLP-MSM-PMSD coalition (known as "L'Alliance de l'Avenir") and the maintaining of
Navin Ramgoolam as Prime Minister. President Sir Anerood Jugnauth resigned on 31 March 2012; The current office-holder is
Kailash Purryag, he was elected as the fifth President and took office on 21 July 2012. The President's official residence is the State
Source: Wikipedia: History of Mauritius
Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income
diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the
order of 5% to 6%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life
expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. The economy rests on sugar, tourism, textiles and
apparel, and financial services, and is expanding into fish processing, information and communications technology, and hospitality
and property development. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 15% of export earnings.
The government's development strategy centers on creating vertical and horizontal clusters of development in these sectors.
Mauritius has attracted more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India, South Africa, and China. Investment
in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector, has been well poised to take
advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Mauritius' sound economic policies and prudent banking practices
helped to mitigate negative effects from the global financial crisis in 2008-09. GDP grew in the 3-4% per year range in 2010-12,
and the country continues to expand its trade and investment outreach around the globe.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Mauritius)
Mauritian politics is vibrant and characterised by coalition and alliance building. All parties are centrist and reflect a national
consensus that supports democratic politics and a relatively open economy with a strong private sector.
Alone or in coalition, the Mauritian Labor Party (MLP) ruled from 1947 through 1982. The Mauritian Militant Movement/Mauritian
Socialist Party (MMM/MSM) alliance won the 1982 election, taking all 60 seats in Mauritius.
The MMM and MSM rejoined in a coalition that won the 2000 elections and, although a handful of MPs defected from the MSM
in early 2005, both parties went together to the next election in July 2005, competing against the Alliance Sociale, a MLP-led
coalition. The Alliance Sociale won the elections with an overwhelming majority.
Until 1992, Mauritius was a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, but on March 12 of that year, the
country became a republic within the Commonwealth. The last Governor-General, Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, became President
under a transitional arrangement, before stepping down three months later in favour of Cassam Uteem, a former government
minister. Under the amended constitution, the country's unicameral parliament, the Legislative Assembly, was renamed the National
Communal Voting is very often the sole way of voting.Since independence ,the Prime Ministers elected by the population are
Hindus and also President holds the majority of Hindu office holders. As from 2003,President Jugnauth,from 2007,Vice President
Chettiar and as from 2005 Prime Minister Ramgoolam are the highest ranked persons in the actual government and are all three
Hindus. For the 2010 General Election, two alliance was formed before the election, the Alliance of the Future consisting of the
PTR, the PMSD and the MSM. The other alliance was the Alliance of Heart which consisted of the MMM, the National Union and
the Mauritian Socialist Democrat Movement (MMSD). The Alliance of the Future won the election, Dr. Navin Ramgoolam
remained the Prime Minister of Mauritius. President Sir Anerood Jugnauth resigned on 31 March 2012; The current office-holder is
Kailash Purryag, he was elected as the fifth President and took office on 21 July 2012. The President's official residence is the State
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Mauritius
Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory), and its former inhabitants, who reside
chiefly in Mauritius; claims French-administered Tromelin Island
Consumer and transshipment point for heroin from South Asia; small amounts of cannabis produced and consumed locally;
significant offshore financial industry creates potential for money laundering, but corruption levels are relatively low and the
government appears generally to be committed to regulating its banking industry
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Mauritius
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Mauritius is a multiparty democracy governed by a prime minister, a council of ministers, and a National Assembly. The Alliance of the
Future, a coalition led by Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, won the majority of national assembly seats in the May 2010
elections, judged by international and local observers to be generally free and fair. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.
The most important reported human rights problems were violence and discrimination against women.
Other reported human rights problems included security force abuse of suspects and detainees, prison overcrowding, official corruption,
abuse and sexual exploitation of children, discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS, discrimination and abuse based on sexual
orientation, restrictions on labor rights, antiunion discrimination, and child labor.
The government took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in
the government; however, impunity at times occurred.
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21 October 2011
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Geneva, 3 – 21 October 2011
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
2. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for its combined sixth and seventh periodic report, which was detailed and
generally followed the Committee’s guidelines for the preparation of reports and took into consideration previous concluding
observations, although it lacked reference to the Committee’s General Recommendations and some sex-disaggregated data on the
situation of women in some of the areas covered by the Convention, in particular in respect to girls’ absence from school and women
victims of trafficking. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the detailed written replies to the list of issues and questions raised
by the Committee at its pre-session working group, and the further clarifications to most of the questions posed orally by the Committee.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women on 31 October 2008; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the
Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict on 12 February 2009; and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography on 14 June 2011.
5. The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption of several new Acts aimed at combating discrimination and violence against
women, including the Combatting of Trafficking Act that was passed by Parliament in 2009, which provides, inter alia, for repatriation
of victims of trafficking, return of victims of trafficking to Mauritius and compensation to victims of trafficking, and the Employment
Rights Act that was passed by Parliament in 2008 and which introduced the payment of maternity allowance to all confinements, and
also five continuous working days as paternity leave to all married male workers.
C. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
10. The Committee recalls the obligation of the State party to systematically and continuously implement all the provisions of the
Convention and views the concerns and recommendations identified in the present concluding observations as requiring the priority
attention of the State party between now and the submission of the next periodic report. Consequently, the Committee urges the State
party to focus on those areas in its implementation activities and to report on actions taken and results achieved in its next periodic
report. The Committee calls upon the State party to submit the present concluding observations to all relevant ministries at the National
Assembly and at regional levels, to the Municipal and Village Councils, as well as to the legislative branch and judiciary, so as to ensure
their full implementation.
11. While reaffirming that the Government has the primary responsibility and is particularly accountable for the full implementation of the
obligations of the State party under the Convention, the Committee stresses that the Convention is binding on all branches of the State
apparatus. It invites the State party to encourage the National Assembly, in line with their procedures, where appropriate, to take the
necessary steps with regard to the implementation of the present concluding observations and the Government’s next reporting process
under the Convention.
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Freedom In The World 2012 Report
Political Rights Score: 1
Civil Liberties Score: 2
Mauritius experienced rare political upheaval in 2011, when the Mauritian Socialist Movement (MSM) pulled out of Prime Minister
Navinchandra Ramgoolam’s governing coalition in July. The moved was sparked by the filing of corruption charges against the health
minister, a member of the MSM. The political turmoil deepened in September when MSM leader and former finance minister Pravind
Jugnauth, the son of Mauritius’s president, was also charged with corruption.
In the 2005 parliamentary elections, frustration with rising unemployment and inflation following the loss of preferential trade deals
resulted in a victory for the opposition Social Alliance, and Ramgoolam returned to power. However, rising prices and increasing levels
of crime quickly diminished the popularity of the new government.
In the May 2010 National Assembly elections, Ramgoolam’s Alliance for the Future (AF)—which included his Labour Party, the
Mauritian Social Democratic Party (PMSD), and the MSM—captured 45 seats, while Bérenger’s Alliance of the Heart (AH)—a coalition
between the MMM, the National Union, and the Mauritanian Socialist Democratic Movement—took 20. Outside observers judged the
elections to be free and fair, and Ramgoolam retained the premiership.
In July 2011, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the anti-graft watchdog, arrested Health Minister Santi Bai
Hanoomanjee of the MSM on charges of inflating the government’s bid to purchase a private hospital. In response, all six MSM cabinet
ministers—including party leader Pravind Jugnauth, the finance minster and son of Anerood Jugnauth—resigned. On August 7, the
MSM pulled out of the governing coalition, leaving Ramgoolam with just a 36 to 33 seat parliamentary majority. Ramgoolam the previous
day had named PMSD leader Charles Gaëtan Xavier-Luc Duval finance minister. Further turmoil came in September, when Pravind
Jugnauth was arrested by the ICAC on conflict of interest charges related to the hospital bid.
Mauritius is an electoral democracy. Since independence, voters have regularly chosen their representatives in free, fair, and competitive
elections. The head of state is a largely ceremonial president elected by the unicameral National Assembly for a five-year term. Executive
power resides with the prime minister, who is appointed by the president from the party or coalition with the most seats in the
legislature. Of the National Assembly’s 70 members, 62 are directly elected and 8 are appointed from among unsuccessful candidates
who gained the largest number of votes; all members serve five-year terms. Decentralized structures govern the country’s small island
dependencies. The largest dependency, Rodrigues Island, has its own government and local councils, and two seats in the National
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Suggested recommendations to the 16 States in the fourth round of reviews under the Universal Periodic Review
Recommendations to the government of Mauritius
International Criminal Court
* To accede to the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court and implement it in national law.
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2012: A Year of Progress for Domestic Workers
January 10, 2013
2012 brought significant progress for the rights of domestic workers, with dozens of countries adopting policy or legislative measures to
strengthen protections for domestic workers, including 8 that moved to ratify the ILO Convention Concerning Decent Work for
Domestic Workers (ILO Convention 189, Domestic Workers Convention). Below is a summary of noteworthy developments.
Ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention:
During the year, 8 countries moved to ratify the Domestic Worker Convention. Uruguay deposited its instrument of ratification on June
14, the Philippines deposited its instrument on September 5, and Mauritius deposited its instrument on September 13.
In addition, Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Italy all approved ratification, though their instruments of ratification have not
yet been deposited. The Convention will enter into force in September 2013.
Public Pledges of Ratification:
At the 2012 International Labor Conference, several governments, including Belgium, Benin, Kenya, Mauritius, Paraguay, and the
Philippines made public statements regarding ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention. Colombia announced during the March
2012 Governing Body its intention to ratify the convention.
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Minister Mireille Martin attends SADC Gender and Development Meeting in Mozambique
GIS - February 15, 2013
The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin, attended on 14 February the 2013 Meeting
of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs in Maputo,
The ministerial meeting was preceded by the senior officials’ meeting, which took place from 11 to 13 February. The SADC meeting of
ministers in charge of gender and women’s affairs is an annual event aimed at enabling the presentation and sharing of best practices,
lessons learnt and progress achieved as regards gender equality and the active role women are to play in society in the Southern African
During the meeting, the ministers discussed the SADC Regional Gender Programme. The areas covered by the programme include
Policy Development and Harmonisation; Gender Mainstreaming; Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building; Women’s
Empowerment Programmes; Communication, Information Sharing and Networking; and Monitoring and Evaluation. The meeting also
reviewed efforts made by Member States towards promoting gender equality and women empowerment as well as on the status of
women’s representation in politics and decision making positions. The ministers also took note of progress with regard to the signing
and ratification of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development by Member States.
In addition, the ministers worked on the adoption of a common position in connection with the 57th Session of United Nations (UN)
Commission on Women Status, set for 4 to 15 March 2013 in New York on the theme: Elimination and prevention of all forms of
violence against women and girls. The Commission on Women Status is the UN principal global policy-making body dedicated
exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Each year, it brings together representatives of Member States to evaluate
progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and
women's empowerment worldwide.
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Non-Governmental Organisations Receive Training on Human Rights
GIS - May 02, 2012
A two-day training course on Human Rights education for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was launched this morning at the
Burrenchobay Lecture Theatre of the University of Mauritius in Réduit. This workshop is organised at the initiative of the Prime
Minister's Office (PMO) in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission and the Mauritius Council of Social Service.
The training programme aims at broadening the skills and knowledge of members of NGOs about human rights with a view to ensuring
that vulnerable groups falling under their responsibility are made aware of the human rights. The objective of the human rights education
is to foster the establishment of a society that upholds and cherishes the values of human dignity. In fact, the acquisition of knowledge
of human rights by a larger number of women and men is essential to make these rights become a reality for the community.
The programme consists of eight modules as well as discussion sessions. The topics which will be discussed relate to: the history of
human rights, Declarations and Conventions of human rights, the Constitution and human rights, the rights of the child, the United
Nations human rights machinery, international instruments and human rights institutions in Mauritius, the role of the Equal Opportunities
Commission and the role of NGOs in the promotion and protection of human rights, amongst others. It is being conducted by resource
persons from the National Human Rights Commission, the Attorney-General’s Office and the Ombudsperson for Children. At the end of
the training, participants will receive a certificate of participation.
In her address at the launching ceremony, the Acting Principal Assistant Secretary of the PMO, Mrs B. Rajahbalee-Cader, underlined the
importance of building a human rights-friendly society by inculcating the spirit of human rights among all sections of the population,
including vulnerable groups.
Government, she said, is fully committed to its role in the promotion and protection of human rights through collaborative arrangements
and the development of a synergy with all stakeholders. Mrs Cader pointed out that the role of the PMO is multidimensional, with focus
on legislative framework and human rights commitments of Mauritius at international level. It also caters for the implementation of
appropriate policies and programmes to drive Government human rights agenda and provide training so as to ensure that people are made
aware of these policies.
In 2011, some 500 people have been sensitised in 10 Citizen Advice Bureaux (CAB) around the island. This year, some 800 people have
already been trained in 15 CAB offices. The programme will be extended to 10 other CAB offices so as to reach out another batch of
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15 June 2012
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE OMBUDSMAN
JANUARY – DECEMBER 2011
Year under review
This is the 38th Annual Report of the Ombudsman. It concerns the discharge of my functions during the year 2011 in the course of
which we registered a total of 352 new cases. Otherwise our Office also received 225 “miscellaneous” complaints against numerous
bodies that fall outside our jurisdiction. In a helping spirit we referred such cases to the appropriate bodies or else assisted the
complainants as best we could.
We also received 39 copies of complaints against parastatal bodies and 136 that were directed against other institutions. In the same vein
and in deserving cases we endeavoured to follow up such complaints with the authorities concerned with a view to finding solutions to
the problems faced by the writers.
What the Ombudsman is about
Anywhere in the world where there is a sense of injustice or a lack of trust in the administration of the country, there is a feeling of
frustration among the citizens of that country. It is therefore of paramount importance that officials of the administration , be they at
central, municipal or local levels, show that they are worthy of trust in their day-to-day work and in their dealings with their fellow-
citizens. Mauritius is no exception.
However, human nature being what it is, errors or irregularities do creep infrom time to time in the decision-making process. When that
happens it is open to any aggrieved citizen to lodge a complaint before the appropriate institution for redress. As far as administrative
action is concerned the proper authority in Mauritius to receive such complaints is the Ombudsman.
It can be seen from the above Section that the Ombudsman may not only open an investigation as a result of a complaint made to him
but he can also, of his own free will, acting in his own discretion, start an investigation in the absence of any complaint whenever he is
in presence through other means of an act of maladministration.
At a time when society is demanding more and more openness and probity in the sphere of public administration it is important for the
Ombudsman to re-emphasize the importance and independence of his own Office.
It is important for me to underline that our Office has been fairly successful in instilling a culture of integrity and fairness in the public
service. I therefore call upon public officers to uphold and maintain such values like honesty and trustworthiness as they are fundamental
in establishing a just society. On our part we shall endeavour to bring about a culture of confidence in the public service, as citizens are
too often wary of officials who fail to live up to their expectations. It is a matter of reconciling the citizens with the State.
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Rajkeswur Kailash Purryag
President since 21 July 2012
Vice President since 13 November 2010