1. Chad is a Sahelian country of the southern Sahara. It lies in the centre of Africa between 8° and 24° north and between 14° and 24° east. It is bounded in the north by Libya, in the east by Sudan, in the west by Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, and in the south by the Central African Republic. It has an area of 1,284,000 km2, stretching 1,700 km from north to south and 1,000 km from east to west. Because of its geographical situation, Chad is a landlocked country, the nearest port being 1,765 km from N'Djaména.
2. Chad's climate is characterized by two seasons - a dry season and a rainy season. The climate is determined by the movements of the inter-tropical front, which regulates the cycle of the seasons. There are three distinct major geographical zones:
3. The results of the General Population and Housing Census (RGPH) of 1993, published in 1994, showed that Chad had 6,279,931 inhabitants, of whom 3,265,565 (approximately 52 per cent) were women. Because of unsafe conditions, part of the population (six cantons of Logone Oriental and five villages of Singnar canton in Ouaddai), accounting for 1.4 per cent of the total, was not included in the census.
4. For administrative purposes, Chad is divided into 14 prefectures. Population density is estimated at 5.1 inhabitants per km2, The population is very unevenly distributed: Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (BET) in the north has 0.1 inhabitant per km2, while Logone Occidental in the south has 52.4 inhabitants per km2. The following table shows the distribution of the population in each prefecture in figures and percentages.
5. The table reveals the following:
Low level of urbanization of the towns.
6. Of Chad's 14 prefectures, only 4 have an urban population of more than 20 per cent - BET, Chari-Baguirmi, Logone Occidental and Moyen-Chari. However, the statistics give fairly high urbanization rates (rural depopulation, insecurity).
7. There are two types of population in Chad - sedentary and nomadic, distributed according to the table below by residential environment and sex.
It emerges from the 1993 general census that nomads account for only 5.7 per cent of the population.
8. Like other countries south of the Sahara, Chad has a larger female than male population. It emerges from the 1993 census that there are 100 women for every 94 men. However, among the nomadic populations, men are more numerous than women: 105 men for every 100 women. A large proportion of men (106 men for every 100 women) are to be found in the towns whereas in the rural environment women are more numerous (94 men for every 100 women).
9. The distribution of the population by age gives the situation summarized in table 3 below:
10. Overall, the population of Chad is young; 48 per cent of Chadians are under 15 years of age - an advantage for the economic growth of the country. The table also shows the small proportion of the population over 65 years of age; this is linked to life expectancy, which is 50.3 years.
11. Chad comprises several ethnic groups; the 12 main groups are distributed as shown in table 4.
The languages known as Chadian Arabic are familiar to a large part of the Chadian population;
14. As in other countries, linguistic diversity is a severe functional constraint. The official languages are French and Arabic.
C. Demographic and health data
Table 5: Main demographic indicators
Source 1992: BSPE (1989 Electoral Census).
Source 1993-1994: Source BCR/RGPH.
15. The following facts emerge from table 5:
Steady population growth;
The crude birth rate is 41 per 1,000;
The crude death rate is 16.3 per 1,000.
16. The economy of Chad is based on agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing. Commerce, which is a very important sector for national development, is dominated by informal trading. The Chadian economy has been disrupted by a long period of political and military crisis which has caused the social situation to deteriorate.
17. The average annual growth of real GDP at current prices was 4 per cent. This growth was very irregular because of climatic factors, which strongly affected a large part of agricultural output, one of the mainstays of the economy.
18. The outstanding public external debt of Chad, made up in 1995 of 83.97 per cent of multilateral debts, 10.91 per cent of bilateral debts, 0.73 per cent of debts to foreign suppliers and 4.36 per cent of debts to the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale and the International Monetary Fund, increased sharply after 1991 when it grew to CFAF 151.6 billion from CFAF 126.5 billion in 1990. Since then, the debt has continued to increase at an average annual rate of 31.9 per cent over the period 1991 to 1995.
19. The outstanding debt for 1994, which was CFAF 411,565 million, or 96.67 per cent of GDP compared with 52.10 per cent in 1993, is obviously linked to the devaluation of the CFA franc.
20. Inflation estimated on the basis of observations of the variation in average prices during the two years following devaluation is far from the initial forecast. All inflation forecasts for these two years were distorted by price fluctuations. The price increases actually experienced by households and evaluated on the basis of prices recorded during this period permitted a forecast of a maximum inflation level of 5.6 per cent, well below the level of 6.5 per cent laid down in the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility programme (ESAF).
21. The fluctuations in inflation rates since those two years are due to a number of causes, the most important of which are:
22. In conclusion, inflation for 1996, measured by the 1996 price index and the accumulated average for the 1995 index, is estimated at 2.9 per cent. To this increase will be added the increase for the year 1996.
23. Under decision No. 23/85-CACEU-435 adopting employment and labour statistics in the Central African Customs and Economic Union (CACEU), the National Office for the Promotion of Employment (ONAPE) drew up a table giving the following indicators for 1990 to 1994:
24. It should be mentioned that ONAPE's method of calculating rates of unemployment is based on registered job seekers plus wage earners.
25. It may also be noted that these rates do not precisely reflect the present situation since the entry job seekers into the civil service was suspended by the Finance Act of March 1992 (except in education and health). Prior to that date an average of 1,000 civil servants were recruited each year; this could increase the rates of unemployment in the table as from 1992 in the two sectors combined.
26. The study of school enrolment following the 1993 census was based on data concerning persons who declared themselves to be “pupils” or “students”. A total of 696,217 pupils and students were counted, 80 per cent of whom were registered in primary schools. This situation reveals the existence of many shortcomings in the Chadian education system.
27. The results of the surveys of school enrolment show low levels for girls. In the first cycle, one pupil out of three is a girl and as education progresses, the number of girls declines.
28. The second type of problem in the education system, according to the data, is the low capacity of secondary education vis-à-vis rapidly increasing demand.
29. In Chad, the illiteracy rate is approximately 86.5 per cent, comprising 77 per cent of men and 94.8 per cent of women.
30. The very high illiteracy rate among women is linked to socio-economic and cultural constraints, and traditional practices which naturally predestine a girl to become an exemplary mother, thus excluding her from any form of schooling. The Government's present concern is to increase the annual numbers of literates and instructors by the end of the century. Literacy training in the mother tongue will be intensified, together with activities in support of women.
Status of women
31. Women are an important component of the population. They play an essential economic role in both rural and urban areas, performing various tasks ranging from the upbringing of children and the production storage and marketing of crops to the preparation of meals and water-carrying. According to the 1993 census, a large number of women are heads of families and play the same roles as men who are in charge of their households. Such women are to be found both in the towns (25.2 per cent) and in the countryside (22.2 per cent).
32. Chad acceded to independence on 11 August 1960. Since that date the country has been trapped in a vicious series of civil wars which have lasted for more than 30 years. To remedy the situation, a Sovereign National Conference comprising all the active forces of the nation was organized from 15 January to 6 April 1993. The purpose of this Conference was to consider the political, economic, social and cultural situation in depth. It led to the establishment of a transitional regime which will end when all the permanent democratic institutions have been established.
33. The Constitution, adopted on 31 March 1996 by referendum and promulgated on 14 April 1996, sanctions the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial powers.
34. According to article 59 of the Constitution, the executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government. The legislative power is exercised by Parliament, which is made up of the National Assembly and the Senate (Constitution, art. 106).
35. The judicial power is independent of the executive and the legislature and is exercised by the Supreme Court, the courts of appeal, the ordinary courts and the magistrates' courts.
36. The National College for Administration and the Magistracy (ENAM) trains judges, justices of the peace and clerks of the court. However, only 82 judges practise in the Chadian courts, which is clearly insufficient for a population of over 6 million.
37. Following the adoption of the Constitution, presidential elections were held to elect the President of the Republic, who was invested on 8 August 1996. General elections are scheduled for November 1996.
A. Judicial, administrative or other competent authorities
with jurisdiction affecting human rights
38. The administrative, legislative and judicial authorities, in the exercise of their duties, ensure compliance with the human rights principles and international standards set out in the international and regional instruments and the Constitution.
39. Under article 82 of the Constitution, Parliament ensures the defence and promotion of human rights and freedoms.
40. Judicial power is exercised by the Court of Appeal, the ordinary courts and the magistrates' courts. The judicial power is the guardian of freedoms and intellectual property (Constitution, art. 148).
41. The courts of general jurisdiction hear cases of human rights violations through criminal indemnification actions coupled with criminal actions against the perpetrators.
42. In order to guarantee and protect human rights in Chad, the Government established a National Commission on Human Rights under Act No. 0031/PR/94 of 9 September 1994. Among the tasks of this independent body is that of submitting opinions to the Government concerning human rights and freedoms, including the status of women, the rights of children and disabled persons.
43. Mention should also be made of the important activities of Chadian NGOs, which are the main protagonists in the sphere of human rights. Since 1990, a number of human rights associations have been established in Chad. These include the Chadian League of Human Rights (LTDH), the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (ATPDH), Chad without Violence (TNV), the Association of Female Jurists (AFJT), the Chadian Association of Jurists (ATJ), etc. which, in the area of human rights, enable individuals to approach the State domain.
44. Internationally, any person who is a victim of a violation of human rights may, once he has exhausted all available domestic remedies, submit a complaint to the Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right of petition is also recognized by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Unfortunately, although Chad has ratified these various Conventions, most Chadians are not familiar with this remedy.
45. Any person who is a victim of a human rights violation may bring his case before the national courts which have jurisdiction. The courts also have jurisdiction to order offenders to provide redress for their offence. In the event of failure to act on the part of the courts of general jurisdiction, the victim may take his case to the National Commission on Human Rights, in accordance with Decree No. 163/PR/96 of 2 February 1996, which established the Commission's rules of procedure.
46. In article 87, the Constitution provides for emergency measures which the President of the Republic can take in the event of imminent danger.
47. In its preamble the 1996 Constitution reasserts Chad's attachment to the principles of human rights as defined by the Charter of the United Nations of 1945, the Universal Declaration of 1948, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights of 1981.
48. The domestic implementation of the international human rights instruments is in keeping with the conditions for treaty implementation set out in article 222 of the Constitution, which provides that the ratification or approval of treaties takes effect nationally as soon as they are promulgated and published.
49. However, the only difficulty lies in the enforcement of a precise penalty given the lack of relevant provisions in the Criminal Code. There is a legal vacuum here which requires an appropriate amendment of the Criminal Code. In this context, Decree No. 055/PR/94 of 30 March 1994 established a Judicial Reform Commission in order to bring national legislation into line with the international human rights instruments.
50. The liberalization of political activity in 1991 enabled the human rights organizations and trade union organizations to come into being. A number of civil society associations (LTDH, ATPDH, AFJT, AJAC, TNV, UST, CLTT) are playing an effective part in the defence and protection of human rights, in the form of training and awareness-raising seminars on the concepts of human rights and trade union freedom. Courses on human rights in the police college, a civic education campaign, lectures, discussions, etc. have been organized in order to give the public a clearer idea of the concepts of human rights.
51. With this in mind, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) has started a radio programme, broadcast every Wednesday, and has published and included the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the school curriculum. CNDH is in the process of preparing similar broadcasts in national languages.
52. As to the publication of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it has been translated into two national languages, dialectal Arabic and Sara Madjingaye. On commemoration days such as 16 June and 30 September, extracts from the Convention are read out in the national languages on radio and television programmes.
53. Note should be taken of the establishment of bodies such as the Higher Council on Communication (HCC) and the Children's Press Committee. Similarly, the political parties and religious institutions contribute to the promotion, publicity and dissemination of human rights concepts through their awareness-raising and education activities. All these activities show that the Government attaches great importance to the observance of human rights in Chad.