This study explores the impact of the ethnic composition of society on the violation of human rights in that country. Scholars have found that the ethnic composition of society has an impact on the foreign policy behaviour of countries (Davis and Moore, 1997; Saideman, 2000), on the level of political violence in countries (Muller and Seligson, 1987), on rebellion (Hibbs, 1973) and civil wars (Ellingsen, 2000; Sambanis, 2001). Further, Walker and Poe (2002) explore the impact of ethnic diversity on the provision of a variety of human rights. They find limited support for the proposition that ethnic diversity reduces the provision of human rights. We build on these previous studies and ask whether the ethnic composition of society has an impact on the extent to which governments observe the human rights of their citizens.