Human rights in Botswana are protected under the constitution. The 2009 Human Rights Report by the United States Department of State noted that in general the government of Botswana has respected the rights of its citizens.
The constitution addresses the notion of freedom of speech and this is generally respected by the government.
The High Court in Johannesburg, South Africa has described Botswana as a "pariah state not synchronized with the majority of African countries that have either abandoned or are refusing to implement the death penalty". Thirty-two people were hanged in Botswana between independence in 1966 and 1998 and a further six were executed between 2001 and 2006.
Many of the indigenous San people have been forcibly relocated from their land onto reservations. To make them relocate, they were denied from accessing water from their land and faced arrest if they hunted, which was their primary source of food. Their lands lie in the middle of the world’s richest diamond field. Officially, the government denies that there is any link to mining and claims the relocation is to preserve the wildlife and ecosystem, even though the San people have lived sustainably on the land for millennia. On the reservations, they struggle to find employment and alcoholism is rampant.
|Year||Political Rights||Civil Liberties||Status||President[b]|
|1972||3||4||Partly Free||Seretse Khama|
Botswana's stances on international human rights treaties are as follows:
|Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide||United Nations||1948||-||-|
|International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination||United Nations||1966||-||1974|
|International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights||United Nations||1966||-||-|
|International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights||United Nations||1966||2000||2000|
|First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights||United Nations||1966||-||-|
|Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity||United Nations||1968||-||-|
|International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid||United Nations||1973||-||-|
|Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women||United Nations||1979||-||1996|
|Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment||United Nations||1984||2000||2000|
|Convention on the Rights of the Child||United Nations||1989||-||1995|
|Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty||United Nations||1989||-||-|
|International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families||United Nations||1990||-||-|
|Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women||United Nations||1999||-||2007|
|Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict||United Nations||2000||2003||2004|
|Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography||United Nations||2000||-||2003|
|Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities||United Nations||2006||-||-|
|Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities||United Nations||2006||-||-|
|International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance||United Nations||2006||-||-|
|Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights||United Nations||2008||-||-|
|Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure||United Nations||2011||-||-|