The Human Rights Advisor Unit was established in 2011 within the UN Country Team in Chad. In September 2016, the Government Chad and OHCHR agreed to establish a Country Office in Chad. The Chad Country Office advises and assists the Chadian Government in the development and implementation of human rights and gender policies, strategies, programs and measures to promote and protect human rights. It also provides consultancy services and technical assistance to the government and partners for the implementation of both regional and international human rights standards and monitors the human rights situation throughout the country.
In 2019, OHCHR expects to scale-up the Country Office (that will continue to be based in N’Djamena), by setting-up three sub-offices in Bol (West), Abeché (East) and Moundou (South-West) between 2019 and 2021. The Country Office will continue to provide technical assistance and capacity-building to the Government of Chad and relevant stakeholders, advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights, and also conduct human rights monitoring activities.
In addition, OHCHR will be deploying a G5 Sahel team composed of 6 staff to support the implementation of the compliance framework, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 2391 of 8 December 2017 that will be embedded in the Chad Country Office. The compliance framework represents a new form of engagement by OHCHR to reduce the risks of harm to civilians that could be committed by the G5 Sahel Joint force (FC-G5S) during the conduct of its operations in all G5 Sahel countries, including Chad. The work of the country office and of the G5 Sahel team will be mutually supporting.
Human Rights Situation
- Restrictions of economic, social and cultural rights: The lack of understanding of their rights and obligations leads populations in Chad to recourse to violence when conflicts arise. Several communal conflicts, including conflict between farmers and pastoralists, have resulted in the loss of human life, damage to property and the culture of private justice.
- Impunity and the weakness of the judiciary: The lack of judicial independence remains a major concern. Reform of the legislation to ensure its alignment with international human rights instruments has been pending for several years. Many person continues to be arrested and to be in detention without fair trials.
- Terrorism and anti-terrorism concerns: The human rights situation in Chad has deteriorated since 2015, following attacks on civilians by the Boko Haram terrorist group that have caused widespread displacement and the deterioration of economic opportunities, in particular in the Lake Chad Basin area. Approximately 20,000 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram since 2009 and more than 100,000 persons have been internally displaced in Chad due to Boko Haram activities. Based on information gathered from judicial sources, 559 presumed members of Boko Haram were arrested and referred to the Tribunal de Grande Instance of N’Djamena between 2015 and 2018. Chad has adopted restrictive legislation to address the Boko Haram threat, which include the re-introduction of the death penalty.
- Violence and discrimination against women: In Chad, women are faced with many economic, socio and cultural inequality. Early and forced marriages are especially widespread in Chad. The percentage of women married before 18 years old in the capital N'Djamena is estimated to 51.8% and 84% in the Lake Chad region. According to tradition, only men have parental authority. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is still practiced throughout the country. As a result of the last legislative elections in 2018, women represent 12 % of members of the Parliament (i.e. 23 women out 188) parliamentarians).
The Chad Country Office:
- Provided capacity-building support to the Chadian Government for the promulgation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Reform in accordance with the Paris principles. The law on the reform of the NHRC was adopted by the Chad National Assembly on 29 October 2018.
- Contributed through several advocacy actions to the ratification by Chad of the Convention against Torture (CAT), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);
- Supported the government of Chad in submitting reports to the UN Human Rights mechanisms, including reports on CEDAW, the ICCPR, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as well as reports to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR).
- Supported the civil society in drafting shadow reports on ACHPR and CRC.
- Provided technical expertise to the government, national institutions and civil society organizations through workshop, fora for discussions and consultations, for the elaboration of the first, second and third reports to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the alternative report of civil society and the development of a follow up action plan to the recommendation of second UPR cycle.
- Organised and facilitated the field missions of two United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders, i.e. the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (A/HRC/38/46/Add.2), and the Working Group on the use of mercenaries (forthcoming report).
- Conducted monitoring and reporting activities in Chad including in the Lake region were terrorist attacks continue to be reported.
- Conducted several prisons visits and participated to the release of more than 612 detainees including 212 minors, 140 women and 260 men.
- Organised training on human rights and, in particular, on UN treaty bodies, CEDAW, special sexual violence, national human rights institutions, for more than 1280 people including 340 women, judges, civil society representatives and UN staff.
- Mainstreamed gender and human rights aspects in the Chad 2017-2021 UNDAF document.
- The Chad County Office leads the UN inter-agencies Gender and Human Rights thematic group.
Source: UN Human Rights Country factsheet/March 2019