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Chad continued to be governed by a transitional Government
headed by President Idriss Deby, who in a 1990 coup overthrew
dictator Hussein Habre. President Deby and his Patriotic
Salvation Movement (MPS) are supported by a large military
establishment. A sovereign National Conference was convened
between January and April, bringing together a diverse group of
government, political, economic, military, and special interest
representatives from Chadian society. The National Conference
confirmed Deby as Chief of State, established a new
transitional Government under Prime Minister Fidel Moungar
(later Kassire Coumakoye) with a Cabinet of 16 Ministers,
elected 57 counselors to a quasi-legislative body, the
Transitional Council (CST), and adopted the Transitional
Charter as an interim constitutional document. The Conference
gave the transitional Government a 1-year mandate, i.e., until
April 6, 1994, but the CST may extend this mandate once, for a
period left unspecified, before elections for a new Government
take place.

The 31,800 person army, gendarmerie, and police are responsible
for internal security. The National Conference recognized the
need to reduce and reorganize the army, and it dissolved the
Center for Research and Intelligence Coordination (CRCR), the
intelligence organization, which had continued to employ
persons known to have committed serious abuses under the Habre
regime. The Government announced its replacement by a National
Security Agency (ANS), the staffing and oversight of which fall
under the purview of the Presidency. With financial and
military assistance from France, the Government demobilized
thousands of soldiers. Nevertheless, military forces,
principally Republican Guard units, were responsible for
serious human rights abuses, including massacres of civilians
in southern Chad and in N'Djamena, the capital.

Chad, with a population of 6.3 million, has an estimated per
capita income of only $190 per annum. Over 78 percent of the
population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, fishing, and
stock raising. Cotton is the most important export. The
Government relies heavily on external financial support,
especially from France, to meet recurring budgetary costs and
almost all government investment. Pervasive corruption at all
levels and a heavy black-market trade in fuel, sugar, oil,
cloth, and soap served to limit severely government customs
receipts, discourage local production and marketing, and
restrict the cash economy.

While the National Conference held out the hope of a real
transition to a democratic system, the transitional Government
stalled and implemented few Conference decisions. As of year's
end, it had set no dates for promised 1994 elections. However,
a technical commission of jurists constituted at the end of the
year began work on drafts of a constitution, electoral code,
and charter of political parties. The Deby Government
continued to be responsible for serious human rights abuses,
particularly those committed by Republican Guard units in the
south and in N'Djamena and other cities. At times, the
security forces operated independently of the Government, and
certain units, particularly those from President Deby's ethnic
group, seemed immune from prosecution. Combined with military
threats against the judiciary and a magistrates' strike, there
was a breakdown in the criminal justice system. The Government
by year's end had prosecuted none of those responsible for such
abuses. A number of killings remained unexplained and were not
investigated, including those of several labor leaders.
Domestic violence and discrimination against women remained


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
Freedom from:

a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

The President's Republican Guard and other units of the
National Army (ANT) carried out a series of massacres of
civilians and other killings. Despite assurances by the
President, there was no real progress in investigating and
punishing those responsible (see Section 1.g.).

On October 22, security forces shot and killed dissident leader
Abbas Koty, who fled Chad in 1992 after attempting a coup.
Koty had returned under a trilateral agreement between Chad,
Libya, and Sudan guaranteeing his safety. He was murdered in
October by security forces in broad daylight in front of
witnesses. There is strong evidence that this was a political
killing and not incident to resisting arrest for coup plotting
as reported by the Government. The Government arrested at
least eight persons in connection with the alleged coup attempt.

There were several unexplained and uninvestigated murders of
labor leaders, including Mbailao Mianbe, head of a civil
service union (see Section 6.a.).

b. Disappearance

The status of approximately 100 followers of former rebel
leader Abbas Koty, who were allegedly captured following a June
1992 coup attempt, was not known by year's end. A number of
close associates of Abbas Koty were arrested following his
assassination on October 22, 1993. Three persons believed to
have been arrested at that time have not been accounted for:
Adoum Acyl, Yacoub Isak Koty, and Isak Kochi.

According to reliable observers, there were credible reports of
a small number of politically motivated, incommunicado
detentions in unidentified places of detention.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment

The Transition Charter specifically prohibits the practice of
torture and degrading or humiliating treatment, but the
Government did not or could not intervene effectively to stop
torture practices by security forces. Reliable reports
indicated that military personnel engaged in torture and other
cruel mistreatment of prisoners, civilian and military, in
government custody, most commonly by severe beatings, but also
by immersion in water to the point of near drowning.
Interrogators also reportedly used mock executions to
intimidate detainees. There was no indication that
investigations were conducted or arrests made as a result of
the many reports, including in the media, of torture.

Prison conditions continued to be abysmal and life threatening,
characterized by overcrowding, poor sanitation, lack of medical
facilities, inadequate food, and mixing of male and female
prisoners. Prisoners were almost totally dependent on their
families for food. The authorities allowed nonpolitical
prisoners to have visitors. In a departure from previous
practice, the authorities allowed prisoners arrested for
apparent political reasons subsequent to the August killings to
have visitors. The Government authorized independent human
rights groups access to selected prisons and prisoners and
allowed private physicians to examine and treat prisoners. It
granted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
permission to visit detainees, but for administrative reasons
this had not taken place by year's end.

On October 23, the Foreign Minister convoked the diplomatic
corps and promised that the eight persons arrested in
connection with the alleged Koty coup plot would not be
mistreated and would be given a fair trial. The Government
denied the eight persons visits by their families and lawyers
but permitted human rights groups and doctors access on two
occasions. There was no evidence of their physical

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Penal Code and the Transitional Charter provide formal
safeguards against arbitrary arrest, but in practice these
provisions were not uniformly respected, notably after the
August demonstrations and killings (see Section 1.a.). Most
military or security organizations had the de facto authority
to arrest or detain citizens without warrant and without
remanding the detainee for an early trial. As a result,
large-scale arbitrary arrests took place on orders of senior
members of the Government subsequent to the August violence.
The authorities released all detainees after protests by legal
groups. No charges were made nor trials conducted.

There were credible reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions
of political activists in rural areas. These arrests were in
some cases attributed to local leaders of the Patriotic
Salvation Movement (MPS) and were directed against opposition
party leaders. No investigations or judicial action was taken.

At year's end, best estimates indicated that the Government
held approximately eight political or security detainees.
Arrested the day of his assassination, the eight members of
Abbas Koty's group (see Section 1.a.), remained in prison at
year's end, without formal charge and without any indication
when they would be brought to trial.

The Government did not use exile as a political weapon in 1993.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judicial system was unable to contend with more than civil
actions due to a breakdown of law and judicial process.
Significant interference by the Government and the military in
the judicial system contributed to the breakdown. Even major
incidents of mass murder, as in the case of atrocities in the
south during April, did not go to trial. As in 1991 and 1992,
there were strong indications that members of the security
forces, particularly those belonging to northern ethnic groups
and those in the Republican Guard, had de facto immunity from

In June armed troops physically threatened the principal
judicial offices in the capital when there were rumors that
soldiers involved in killings at the Customs Administration
headquarters might be charged. Subsequently, magistrates went
on strike in July to protest threats from the military after
the judicial system adjudicated in favor of a southern official
who killed several northern soldiers during violence in June at
the Customs Administration. None of those responsible for the
violence was tried. Legal professionals complained that
threats of violence and interference prevented adequate and
fair administration of justice.

Other factors also affected the judiciary. In November and
December, magistrates again went on strike along with most
members of the Ministry of Justice to protest nonpayment of
salaries. Magistrates, as well as other legal professionals,
were not paid for at least half of the year, and there was a
shortage of trained personnel, the most basic supplies,
equipment, and courtroom space.

In civil cases, in which the judiciary still operated to a
limited extent, there were a number of suits for libel and
slander. The Government, most notably the Republican Guard,
along with individual members of the Government took advantage
of the court system to defend their records.

Despite substantial emphasis placed on the justice system by
the National Conference, there was no overhaul of the justice
system in 1993, although legal professionals created three
private, independent associations to study reform. Chad's
highest court is the Appellate Court of N'Djamena which, under
the Transitional Charter, assumes in theory constitutional
review responsibilities in the absence of a Supreme Court. It
also reviews decisions of lower courts and adjudicates all
cases calling for more than a 20-year penalty. District courts
exist in major cities, and justices of the peace preside in
larger townships. Special courts were inactive, including the
military courts-martial system, instituted in 1991 to try
soldiers and civilians for crimes of violence committed in
uniform or with military weapons.

Most rural areas do not have access to formal judicial
institutions and rely on traditional courts presided over by
village chiefs and sheikhs in most civil cases. Their
decisions, which in most cases are respected by the population,
may be appealed to a formal court.

At year's end, the number of political and security prisoners
(as distinct from pretrial political and security detainees)
was unknown.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or

The Transitional Charter precisely states citizens' rights to
privacy of home and correspondence, freedom from arbitrary
arrest and search, and liberties of association. The Penal
Code stipulates that searches of homes will be conducted only
during daylight hours and only under legal warrant. In
practice, security forces conducted frequent searches for
weapons without legal warrant, day or night, especially during
the second half of 1993. In some cases these searches resulted
in mistreatment of individuals and extortion of money.

The National Conference's Letters of Instruction to the
transitional Government stipulated that roadblocks manned by
government forces, often responsible for extortion of travelers
and an impediment to free travel, would be removed. This was
successfully accomplished in midyear for most of the country.

Membership in the MPS is not required for employment or
appointment to high position. However, MPS membership has been
solicited by coercive means in rural areas, and members of
other political parties have been detained and mistreated by
MPS and government officials.

g. Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian
Law in Internal Conflicts

The ANT in late January and early February launched a military
campaign in the south to neutralize the rebel force of the
National Awakening Committee for Peace and Democracy (CSNPD) of
Lieutenant Moise Kette. The ANT attacked more than 13 villages
between the towns of Doba and Gore, burning and looting
villages, destroying crops, and driving over 12,000 refugees
into the Central African Republic. The ANT killed at least 29
civilians in its initial attacks. Though rebels had attacked
and killed government forces in the region, government claims
to the effect that the civilian deaths occurred as a result of
fighting between government forces and rebels were
unconvincing. The ANT, principally units of the Republican
Guard, cordoned off the region, restricted travel, and
prevented independent investigations from taking place. No
credible government inquiry of any value was conducted, nor
were there arrests or punishments of those responsible for the
excessive use of force.

The ANT committed further excesses in February and March, with
deaths and injuries reported. Republican Guard units committed
atrocities in a number of villages in the region of
Kou-Mouabe. A government investigating committee, which
included members of human rights groups, went to the region and
reported that, within the space of a few days in April, the
Republican Guard summarily executed over 200 persons.
According to the commission, over 300 civilians in the region
had been killed by the Republican Guard since the beginning of

The committee identified six Republican Guard officers and one
former member of the CSNPD rebels, who acted as a guide to the
villages, as responsible for the killings and other abuses. As
of year's end, the authorities had arrested only two persons,
and one was allowed full freedom of movement to and from the
prison, even though there was no indication of a pretrial
hearing or setting of bail. The status of the other prisoner,
a southerner, was unknown. He allegedly was tortured by the
Republican Guard and forced to guide units to the villages.
The remaining five officers escaped arrest. None had been
brought to trial by year's end.

The armed opposition group, the CSNPD, said the massacres were
perpetrated against civilians suspected of collusion or
sympathy with the opposition. However, the Government alleged
that the CSNPD committed abuses against civilians in the
region, including killing and robbery. Credible sources
reported that rebels stole goods and extorted money from
villagers in the region.

In June Republican Guard army units fired indiscriminately
during a clash over control of the Customs Administration in
N'Djamena, killing at least two innocent civilians. There was
no credible investigation, and no one was arrested.

On August 4, armed men fired at crowds in a market in
Gniguilim, near Abeche in eastern Chad, killing at least 82
persons and wounding 105. The Government conducted an
investigation and reportedly arrested several persons, but it
had not released any details by the end of the year, including
the identities of the killers, which reportedly had not been
satisfactorily established. No trials had been conducted, nor
had those responsible been punished.

On August 5, army units suppressed a demonstration, a protest
against the killings in Gniguilim, in Abeche, killing at least
two civilians and wounding several.

On August 8, members of the Ouaddaian community in N'Djamena
sought to hold a prayer meeting to protest the Gniguilim
massacre. After being turned away by gendarmes and police,
some Ouaddaian members attacked the police and gendarmes,
killing five. Senior officials called in the Republican Guard
which used massive force--heavy weapons and automatic
rifles--against the remainder of the Ouaddain crowd and on
bystanders, including in neighborhoods far removed from the
scene of the riot. The Republican Guard killed at least 61
civilians and wounded over 100. The Government failed to take
any disciplinary action against the Republican Guard.

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The Transitional Charter provides for freedom of speech and
press, and the small private press published articles
criticizing the Government. The Government controlled access
to radio, the most important medium, and to the sole television
station. It permitted only government-approved programming and
commentary but often included nonpartisan coverage of
opposition activities and statements. However, in September,
during a political crisis between the President and Prime
Minister, the President denied the Prime Minister radio air

Foreign publications were available. There were no reports of
censorship of these publications or of issues withdrawn from

The academic system is primarily state supported, and the
teachers at all levels are state employees. Reportedly
students and teachers practice self-censorship in discussions
with a political content.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Transitional Charter provides for freedom of association,
assembly, press, and publication.

Political and civil groups conducted meetings and press
conferences for the most part without government interference.
However, the Government restricted assembly on several
occasions. In August it banned religious and ethnic
demonstrations, and in September it prevented leaders of
political parties and associations from having access to a
private conference hall by bringing pressure on the owner.
Permits are required for public gatherings of all sorts.

New political parties continued to appear and, as of the end of
1993, 43 parties were authorized to function. Parties and
associations issued political and civic-oriented tracts of all
sorts, many critical of the Government, without interference
from the Government.

c. Freedom of Religion

Chad is officially and in practice a secular state. Islam,
Christianity, and other religions are practiced without
constraint. Missionaries of all religions are permitt d to
enter Chad to proselytize and to perform public assistance

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

No special permission was required of Chadians or foreigners to
travel within most areas, but access to areas designated
military zones was not permitted. The Government set up
military cordons to restrict acccess to areas of southern Chad
near the towns of Gore and Kou-Mouabe, both sites of human
rights abuses. Most of the government roadblocks were removed
in June on orders of the transitional Government. Although
there was significant improvement, members of the security
forces continued to operate some roadblocks around the country,
asked for domestic travel documents, and extorted money from
travelers. The transitional Government revoked the requirement
for government authorization for international travel.

Chadians were free to emigrate. Several thousand bona fide
refugees, a product of mid-1992 fighting between the Government
and rebels in the Lake Chad region, remained in Niger and had
valid concerns as to their reception back in Chad. Similarly,
approximately 12,000 refugees in camps in the Central African
Republic, who fled southern Chad when their villages were
attacked by the Republican Guard, had valid concerns about
their safety if they returned to their villages. The presence
in southern Chad of large units of soldiers of northern ethnic
groups, some already responsible for atrocities in the south,
discouraged reentry of refugees from the Central African

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens
to Change Their Government

Citizens do not have this right, and President Deby and his
MPS, backed by the military, dominate the political process.
Nevertheless, positive movement towards political pluralism was
noted in 1993.

The National Conference held from January to April established
that elections would take place in 1994. The Conference
consisted of approximately 800 delegates drawn from the
Government, traditional leadership such as sheikhs and sultans,
opposition political parties, human rights groups, unions,
students, women's groups, farming cooperatives, and other
groups. The balance of representation was equitable, and the
discussions and debates were open and uninhibited. The
Transitional Charter and the Letters of Instruction to the
transitional Government were drafted in committee and presented
to a floor vote. The Conference elected the Prime Minister
from a slate of 13 candidates. It also elected from the floor
57 Transitional Council (CST) counselors, who in turn selected
their president for a term of 6 months.

The CST utilized its authority to require key cabinet
ministers, including the Prime Minister, to explain their
programs to the Council. The CST exercised its legislative
authority in refusing to ratify a treaty with Libya presented
by the Presidency and directed the Prime Minister to reduce the
Cabinet from 31 ministers to 16 to bring the Government into
conformance with the Letters of Instruction.

During the year, there was increasing conflict between
President Deby and Prime Minister Fidel Moungar over a variety
of issues. Eventually the Transitional Council replaced
Moungar in November with Kassire Coumakoye.

The creation of a tripartite system of government, each
institution with separate powers, represented a major advance
in the Chadian political system. Though preponderant authority
remained with the executive, the other two government
institutions in the face of difficult problems persisted in
consolidating their respective and separate powers. A
technical commission of jurists constituted at the end of the
year began work on drafts of a constitution, electoral code,
and charter of political parties.

Chadian women have political equality and protection under the
law and were active in the National Conference. Several hold
high office in the transitional Government and are represented
in leadership positions of the political parties. Nevertheless,
women are underrepresented in government, and cultural biases
prevent their full integration into political life. There are
one female cabinet minister and four female CST counselors.

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations
of Human Rights

Four Chadian human rights organizations operated legally: the
Chadian League of Human Rights, the Convention for the Defense
of Human and Citizens Rights, the Chadian Association for the
Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, and the Chadian
Association for the Struggle Against Human Rights Violations.
These organizations were active in the National Conference, and
some members are represented in the transitional Government.
Several of these organizations took part in commissions
investigating human rights abuses. The reports of these
organizations were published without constraint. Reports on
human rights abuses in the south were critical of the army
(Republican Guard units) and persons who committed them. The
political opposition and civil associations regularly criticize
the Government on human rights issues.

The transitional Government, as one of its first official acts,
commissioned a special government/human rights commission to
investigate massacres that were carried out in southern
villages near Kou-Mouabe. The commision's report was accurate
and unbiased but in the end had little effect in disciplining
those responsible. A similar commission to investigate
atrocities in eastern Chad also had little impact (see Section

An international organization, the Association for Victims of
Repression in Exile (AVRE), visited Chad in midyear and again
in December to treat torture victims and investigate the human
rights situation. Representatives had access to high level
government officials. A delegation of the International Human
Rights Federation (FIDH) conducted a seminar and investigated
human rights conditions in December under the auspices of the
Chadian League of Human Rights. The Government gave several
independent human rights organizations permission to visit
prisons and regular access to most prisoners (see Section 1.c.).

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion,
Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Transitional Charter provides for equal rights to all
citizens, regardless of sex, race, religion, or origin.


According to the Transitional Charter and the Letters of
Instruction, women have equal rights with men. The
Transitional Charter provides that Chadians of both sexes have
the same rights and obligations.

In practice, however, culture and tradition among Chad's
various ethnic groups perpetuate the de facto subordinate
status of women, especially in rural areas where women do much
of the heavy farm labor and have little opportunity for
education or wage employment. The literacy rate for women is
signficantly lower than for men: A 1991 United Nations study
indicated that on the average females receive one-third of the
education of males. In 1993 there were fewer girls in school
than boys. Women are not discriminated against in property and
inheritance rights under the law. However, in traditional
practice males are favored in inheritance matters.

The transitional Government gave some attention to women's
issues. A new family code, on which work had begun in 1992,
was not completed by the end of 1993, largely because of
frequent cabinet changes, government reorganizations, and lack
of initiative on the part of employees who went for long
periods without pay. The Transitional Council passed a
contraception law, which allows Chadian women to make their own
choices in family planning. Several women hold high positions
in the Government as well as in commerce, the professions, and
the military, and women's advocacy groups have begun to form,
notably the Association of Women in Distress in Chad and the
Association of Women Jurists. The latter group was instrumental
in pressing for improvements in womens rights at the National
Conference and throughout 1993.

Domestic violence directed against women, including wife
beating, is common, and women have only limited legal recourse
against abusive spouses. Police rarely intervene, and women
usually rely on family or ethnic group to resolve such cases.


The Government and Chadian society are supportive of children's
human rights. Nevertheless, there are few active programs to
address children's rights.

Female genital mutilation (circumcision) is widespread and
performed on females at a young age. The practice is deeply
rooted in tradition, both in the north and the south, and is
strongly advocated by many Chadians, women as much as men,
despite its severe adverse consequences for women's physical
and mental health. According to a recent survey sponsored by
the U.S. Agency for International Development in Moyen Chari
prefecture, the percentage of women who have undergone this
procedure is extremely high and depends to an extent on
religious affinity. Some 96 percent of rural Catholic women in
Moyen Chari were found to be circumcised as compared to 86
percent of animist, 83 percent of Protestant, and 55 percent of
Muslim women. Urban statistics range from a low of 53 percent
for Protestants to 63 percent for Muslims, 75 percent for
animists, and 86 percent for Catholics. The Government took no
action to prohibit the practice.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

There are approximately 200 ethnic groups. They are roughly
divided among Saharan and Arab Muslims in the northern,
central, and eastern regions, and Sudanian zone ethnic groups,
who practice Christianity or animist religions, in the south.
Sustained civil conflict since independence in 1960, revolving
primarily around ethnic differences, has prevented development
of a solid sense of national identity. Ethnic and regional
friction continues to trouble the country, despite efforts to
ensure wide ethnic and regional representation in government.
Well-armed minority ethnic groups close to the President, which
represent a small fraction of the population, exercised
authority over military and civilian government decisions.

People with Disabilities

Against a background of civil conflict and inadequate funding,
the Government has not developed policies, including
legislation on accessibility to buildings, to assist the
disabled. Resources and medical expertise are sorely lacking.
There is no official discrimination directed against the
disabled, but they have little opportunity for wage employment
or special education.

Section 6 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

Some 78 percent of all workers are involved in subsistence
agriculture, animal husbandry, or fishing. Government
employees and workers in the few state-owned enterprises
constitute the bulk of union members.

The Transitional Charter and Letters of Instruction
specifically recognize labor's right to organize. Workers are
free to join or form unions of their choosing. Only the
military are prohibited from joining unions. Government
authorization is required before unions can commence operation,
but this procedure was not tested in 1993. The dominant union
federation remained the Federation of Chadian Unions (UST). A
second, smaller federation, the Free Federation of Chadian
Workers (CLTT), continued to operate. Neither union had
organizational, financial, or procedural ties to the

While Ordinance No. 30 of 1975 suspending all strike action has
not yet been repealed, the Government respected labor's right
to strike. Teachers unions maintained almost continuous
strikes in 1993, resulting in loss of the 1992-93 academic year
for primary and secondary students. Health workers struck in
September and again in December. Strikes in December affected
12 of the 16 government ministries. Subsequent to the National
Conference, most organized labor had agreed to observe a social
truce with the transitional Government, but the continued
failure of the Government to pay civil servants eroded worker
confidence and provoked an almost total work stoppage at the
end of the year. Labor/government relations, good for much of
1993, deteriorated in later months.

International Labor Organization (ILO) bodies reviewed
complaints against the Government stemming from the arrests,
antiunion discrimination, and other actions taken against the
UST and individual unions in 1992 and deplored these actions as
inconsistent with the requirements of freedom of association.
In addition to Ordinance No. 30, organized labor remained under
the authority of several outdated laws, such as Ordinance No. 1
of 1976 prohibiting public employees from exercising the right
to organize and a provision in the Labor Code prohibiting all
political activity of trade unionists. A new labor code
finalized in draft in 1992, but not released and implemented
prior to the end of 1993, was to serve as a revocation of the
old laws. The new code was not enacted into law because the
Government reasoned that the document needed a final review by
a special commission. Funding for the commission was not

There was no government restriction on labor union
participation in international labor conferences. There were
no incidents of government interference in union activities.
However, several union members were murdered, leading many to
presume that they were targeted for labor activisim. There was
no indication that these allegations were true. In the case of
Mbailao Mianbe, head of a civil service union in the UST, who
was murdered in June, evidence pointed to his activities in
army reorganization, not union work, as the motive behind his

b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The law does not specifically protect collective bargaining;
both the Transitional Charter and the Labor Code still in
effect contain only generalized provisions for the rights of
labor. The new labor code is expected to provide more
precision and be in accordance with international conventions.
The Government sets wages in the public sector, but in a
departure from past practice the transitional Government has
actively negotiated employment and wage issues with the UST and
the CLTT. A case in point was the agreement of the Government
to restore to service employees fired for striking in 1992. A
new wage rate was negotiated. When the Government attempted to
reduce wages further than the 1992 reduction, organized labor
successfully negotiated a retraction of the decision. The
Government is under heavy pressure from the International
Monetary Fund and other international donors to cut spending
and increase revenue.

The law does not specifically prohibit antiunion
discrimination, and there is no formal mechanism for resolving
complaints of such discrimination. In practice, however, this
was not a problem.

There are no export processing zones.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

There is no specific legal prohibition on forced or compulsory
labor. No strong evidence was presented to indicate forced or
compulsory labor took place. There were allegations that
unpaid soldiers stationed in the far north were required to
work as domestics and field workers in order to survive, in
some instances for years. The Government did not respond to
these allegations.

d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The minimum age for employment of children is 14 in the wage
sector, but there is only limited enforcement of this law by
the Ministry of Civil Service and Labor. In practice,
employment of children is almost nonexistent except on family
subsistence farms.

Approximately 600 minors between the ages of 14 and 17 were
reported to be in the army at the end of 1992. The Commission
for Defense and Security of the National Conference reported
that 293 minors had been demobilized as of April 1993.
Children continued to serve in the army throughout the year.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

The draft labor and social welfare code, which was prepared in
1988 with ILO assistance, continued to be reviewed but was not
approved for issuance due to government insistence on
appointment of a commission to study the document.

Meanwhile, minimum wages established under previous governments
remained unchanged. An ILO committee expressed concern that
the legal minimum wage has not been revised since 1978. A new
minimum wage law which doubled the hourly rate was negotiated
between the Government and labor in midyear. The minimum
monthly wage is scheduled to increase to approximately $60
(18,000 CFA francs) in early 1994. Minimum wages are
insufficient to support subsistence, much less maintain an
adequate standard of living. Salary arrearages of 4 to 5
months in N'Djamena and up to 8 months in rural areas for civil
servants, combined with no pay for some soldiers for up to 24
months, have obligated most employees to seek other employment,
engage in subsistence agriculture, or rely on the extended

Most nonagricultural work is limited by law to 48 hours per
week with overtime paid for supplementary hours. Agricultural
workers are statutorily limited to 2,400 work hours per year.
All workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per
week. The Labor Code recognizes the need for occupational
health and safety standards, including labor inspectors with
the authority to enforce them. There is no indication that
such health and safety standards exist in practice, nor that
inspectors have been appointed. (###)

Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

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Why did you join CPSR?

The growing importance of civil liberties in a paranoid world: we need organizations like CPSR.