CHAD: HUman Rights Comittee Adopts Recommendations On The Report Of Chad
The Human Rights Committee concluded today its ninety-sixth session, during which it considered and adopted concluding observations and recommendations on the reports submitted by Tanzania, the Netherlands, including the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Chad and Azerbaijan on how those countries implement the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. During this session, it also finalized its concluding observations on the situation of civil and political rights in Grenada, which the Committee reviewed in the absence of a report on July 18, 2007, at its ninetieth session.
Regarding the initial report of Chad, the Committee welcomed that the Chadian Constitution granted the Covenant precedence over domestic law and the adoption of a law prohibiting female genital mutilation, early marriage and domestic and sexual violence. The Committee also noted with interest the establishment of the National Commission to investigate violations of human rights that took place during the events of February 2008, as well as the establishment of the Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Freedom in 2005.
Among the principal concerns of the Committee was the impunity with which serious human rights violations were committed, including murder, rape, forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, destruction of property, forced displacement and attacks against the civilian population. The continuing high level of corruption in Chad also concerned the Committee. Noting that between 2007 and 2008 about 160,000 Chadians had been internally displaced, with most of the displaced under 18 years old, and that displaced women had been victims of rape and other forms of violence by militias and armed groups, the Committee recommended that Chad increase protection for displaced persons, prosecute and punish all perpetrators of sexual violence and create conditions providing durable solutions for displaced persons. The Committee requested Chad to redouble its efforts to bring customary laws and customary practices in line with the Covenant. It should in particular firmly apply the law prohibiting female genital mutilation and bring perpetrators to justice.
The Committee also expressed concern over the reports of many enforced disappearances and regretted that the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on violations of human rights on the incidents of February 2008 had not been implemented. It also noted with concern that the exercise of freedom of association and peaceful assembly was subject to prior authorization and that the state of emergency would be used to control and to censor the free press. Another concern were reports that many human rights defenders could not exercise their activities. Among recommendations, the Committee asked Chad to consider abolishing the death penalty or re-implementing the moratorium on it; to make torture a separate offense in the Criminal Code; and to take appropriate measures to enforce the rights of persons in custody. Chad should also adopt urgent and effective measures to address overcrowding in detention centers. Further, the Committee urged Chad to take the necessary and appropriate measures to eradicate the exploitation of children as domestic servants and cattle herders, as well as put an end to recruitment of child soldiers.
AUTHOR: Lawrence Gist
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