Chad

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Persistent violations
  • Discrimination against girls, particularly in relation to education[1]
  • Female genital mutilation[2]
  • Juvenile justice: Detention of children with adults in poor conditions[3]
  • Birth registration[4]
  • Trafficking of children[5]
  • Sexual violence, exploitation and abuse affecting children[6]
  • Children involved in armed conflict[7]
  • Child labour[8]
  • Poverty/Low standard of living[9]
  • Education: High drop out rates and high levels of illiteracy[10]
  • Corporal punishment[11]
  • Early marriage[12]

For more details, go here

Footnotes
  1. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Chad, Universal Periodic Review
  2. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN Committee on Torture, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Chad, Universal Periodic Review
  3. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee against Torture, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Chad
  4. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons
  5. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN Committee against Torture, Universal Periodic Review
  6. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN Committee against Torture, Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Universal Periodic Review
  7. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Committee against Torture, Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict
  8. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Committee against Torture, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Chad, Universal Periodic Review
  9. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons
  10. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Chad, Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Universal Periodic Review
  11. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee against Torture, Universal Periodic Review
  12. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Chad



Introduction

Français

Chad is landlocked in central Africa, surrounded by mountains on three sides with a largely desert terrain. The State has had a turbulent political history since independence in 1960, and has been under the leadership of President, and former General, Idriss Déby since 1990. A wide range of human rights violations persist in Chad: the national standard of living is very low, with high levels of infant mortality and chronic malnutrition, while the recruitment of children for armed conflict is an ongoing problem.


Geography

Chad is a landlocked country in central Africa, and shares borders with Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan. The country is surrounded by mountains on three sides and, with the exception of the fertile lowlands in the south, is largely desert. The capital city is N'Djamena.


Population and language

Chad has a population of around 11.5 million. This figure has increased rapidly over the last 30 years, more than doubling since 1980. Population growth has slowed slightly over the past decade, however, the annual growth rate remains high at more than 2.5 per cent[1].

The official languages are French and Arabic[2].


History and Politics

Since gaining its independence from France in 1960, Chad has had a turbulent political history. The initial Constitution lasted only two years, before it was replaced with a second that instituted a one-party system. Following a military coup in 1975, a Transitional Government of National Unity took power only to be deposed in 1982 and replaced by an authoritarian regime. In 1990, this regime was toppled, and a gradual process of constitutional reform resulted in the passage of the current Constitution in 1996[3].

Under the current political system, legislative power is divided between an elected unitary parliament (the National Assembly) and the Government appointed by the President. The Government is accountable to the National Assembly (NA), in the sense that a vote of no confidence would oblige the Government to resign, but the President could dissolve the NA if it were persistently in conflict with the Government. General Idriss Déby won the first Presidential elections in 1996, but has been in power since the 1990 coup. In 2005, he secured an amendment to the Constitution removing the two-term limit for the presidency, successfully secured a third term in 2006 and a fourth in 2011. Opposition parties boycotted elections in 2006 and 2011, however, amid allegations of corruption and fraud on the part of the President[4]

Anti-government militias continue to operate in Chad, though fighting has now moved away from the capital towards the Sudanese border[5].


Economy

The Chadian economy is dominated by the oil industry, though cotton growing and other parts of the agricultural sector provide a great deal of employment. The country has substantial oil reserves, but faces significant obstacles in developing these resources, not least as a result of its lack of access to a port. The World Bank halted a project to connect Chad's oil fields to the sea in 2008, following the Government's failure to allocate oil revenues to education, health, infrastructure, rural development and improving governance[6]. Commentators have emphasised the need for Chad to diversify its economy, which is particularly vulnerable to drops in the price of crude oil. Figures relating to the national budget are not readily available, but it is known that defence accounts for a particularly high proportion as a result of ongoing insecurity.


Media and Civil Society

In its concluding observations on Chad's report, the Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed the involvement of civil society in the formation of Government policy, but raised concerns over reports that human rights advocates “have experienced intimidation, threats and violence at the hands of government agencies”[7].

Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has highlighted Chad as a country with “noticeable problems” with regards to press freedom. There are a number of offences in national law for which journalists can be imprisoned. In 2010, a media bill repealed penalties for the crime of “insulting the President”, but introduced new penalties of up to twelve months imprisonment for inciting racial or ethnic hatred”, and “condoning violence”. RWB, commenting on these reforms, noted this provision “is insufficiently clear and leaves room for broad interpretation that can be used against journalists”[8].

Reporters Without Borders rated Chad 112th out of 178 countries in its 2010 Press Freedom World Report[9].


Human Rights and Children's Rights

A wide range of human rights violations persist in Chad. The national standard of living is very low, with high levels of infant mortality and chronic malnutrition. Recruitment of children for armed conflict is an ongoing problem, and children continue to die as a result of land mines and unexploded ordinance. Female genital mutilation is also highly prevalent (around 45 per cent of girls are victims of the practice), despite the existence of legal prohibitions[10].


Footnotes:

  1. UNDESA 2011
  2. Constitution of Chad, Article 9
  3. Hauser Global Law School Programme, Nadjita F. Ngarhodjiman Introduction to the Legal System and Legal Research in Chad
  4. BBC, "Chad leader's victory confirmed" 14 May 2006 and "Chad's President Idriss Deby re-elected amid boycott" 10 May 2011.
  5. BBC, "UN gives support to Chad leader" 5 February 2008 and "Chad says rebel attack defeated" 7 May 2009
  6. The Guardian, "World Bank cancels pipeline deal with Chad after revenues misspent" 12 September 2008
  7. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations, February 2009
  8. Reporters Without Borders, "Parliament adopts new media law that is still too oppressive" 19 August 2010
  9. Reporters Without Borders, World Report 2010: Chad
  10. Supra. 7

Sources:



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