Status of ratification of key international instruments and legal framework

Bhutan has ratified several international and regional human rights conventions, including the CRC, and the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children into Prostitution. Bhutan is signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and several articles of CEDAW have been incorporated into national laws and policy documents (National Plan of Action for Gender 2008–2013). Bhutan is also signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), but has yet to ratify it.

Bhutan has not yet signed the 1990 United Nations International Convention on the Protection of Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families, and the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (table 2). Bhutan is not a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO). However, the Labour and Employment Act of Bhutan 2007 allows local workers to form their own associations, facilitating the protection of labour rights.