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Chad[1] [print]

Last edited: February 2006

 

Summary and Analysis

 

The voices of children appear to be protected in Chad.  According to legislation, in all proceedings relating to him, a minor capable of discernment may be heard by the judge or person appointed by the judge for that purpose.  He may be heard alone, with a counsel, or with a person of his choice.  If the child's choice does not appear to be consonant with the welfare of the child, the judge may appoint another person.  In cases where a child's interests conflict with those of his parent, the judge shall appoint an ad hoc court-appointed administrator.

 

The Committee on Rights of the Child has noted concern with the implementation of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, though.  It feels that "the need to give due weight to the views of the child in accordance with the age and maturity of the child is excessively constrained by subjective interpretation under existing legislation."[2]  The Committee recommended that Chad increase public awareness of these rights.[3]

 

There are no courts or judges that specialize in child protective proceedings in Chad at this time.  New special criminal courts for children are springing up, but this trend has not yet carried over to the realm of protective proceedings.[4]

 

The government of Chad faces numerous other challenges at this time that may appear more pressing than child protective legislation, including spillover from the Sudanese Darfur conflict.  Chad and Sudan share a border that allows easy movement between the two countries.  Human Right Watch has recently documented an alarming rise in attacks against civilians in Chad by Sudanese government-backed militias and other rebel groups.[5]  Tens of thousands of Chadian civilians have been internally displaced by the violence.[6]  In addition, there has been a new influx of Darfurians into Chad who could no longer survive in displaced persons camps.[7]  Habitable villages are quickly becoming overcrowded with displaced individuals, causing food and water shortages.[8]

 

Like its neighboring countries, Chad also faces significant challenges in human trafficking.  It is a country of origin for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation.  The U.S. State Department has reported that the Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but that it is making a significant effort to do so.[9]

 

Chad signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child on September 30, 1990 and ratified it on October 30, 1990.  It ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child on March 30, 2000 and signed it on December 6, 2004. 

 

Despite our best efforts we were unable to find a contact person for this jurisdiction.

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original Text

 

Constitution

 

Constitution[10]

(Adoptée par référendum du 31 mars 1996)

Article 27:         Les libertés d'opinion et d'expression, de communication, de conscience, de religion, de presse, d'association, de réunion, de circulation, de manifestations et de cortèges sont garanties à tous. 

Elles ne peuvent être limitées que par le respect des libertés et des droits d'autrui et par l'impératif de sauvegarder l'ordre public et les bonnes mours. La loi détermine les conditions de leur exercice. 

.

Article 37:         La famille est la base naturelle et morale de la société. 

L'État et les collectivités territoriales décentralisées ont le devoir de veiller au bien-être de la famille. 

Article 38:         Les parents ont le droit naturel et le devoir d'élever et d'éduquer leurs enfants. Ils sont soutenus dans cette tâche par l'État et les collectivités territoriales décentralisées. 

Les enfants ne peuvent être séparés de leurs parents ou de ceux qui en ont la charge que lorsque ces derniers manquent à leur devoir. 

Article 39:         L'État et les collectivités territoriales décentralisées créent les conditions pour l'épanouissement et le bien-être de la jeunesse. 

.

 

Article 221:       Si le Conseil Constitutionnel, saisi par le Président de la République ou par le Président de l'Assemblée Nationale ou du Sénat, a déclaré qu'un engagement international comporte une clause contraire à la Constitution, l'autorisation de ratification ne peut intervenir qu'après la révision de la Constitution. 

Article 222:       Les traités ou accords régulièrement ratifiés ont, dès leur publication, une autorité supérieure à celle des lois, sous réserve pour chaque accord ou traité de son application par l'autre partie. 

 

International Law

 

Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant[11]

 

Article 12

1. Les Etats parties garantissent à l'enfant qui est capable de discernement le droit d'exprimer librement son opinion sur toute question l'intéressant, les opinions de l'enfant étant dûment prises en considération eu égard à son âge et à son degré de maturité.

2. A cette fin, on donnera notamment à l'enfant la possibilité d'être entendu dans toute procédure judiciaire ou administrative l'intéressant, soit directement, soit par l'intermédiaire d'un représentant ou d'une organisation approprié, de façon compatible avec les règles de procédure de la législation nationale.

 

Regional Agreements

 

Charte africaine des droits et du bien-etre de l'enfant[12]

 

Article 4. Interet superieur de l'enfant

.

2. Dans toute procédure judiciaire ou administrative affectant un enfant qui est capable de communiquer, on fera en sorte que les vues de l'enfant puissent être entendues soit directement, soit par le truchement d'un représentant impartial qui prendra part à la procédure, et ses vues seront

prises en considération par l'autorité compétente, conformément aux dispositions des lois applicables en la matière.

 

Article 7. Liberte d'expression

Tout enfant qui est capable de communiquer se verra garantir le droit d'exprimer ses opinions librement dans tous les domaines et de faire connaître ses opinions, sous réserve des restrictions prévues par la loi.

 

Statutes

 

Code civil français[13]

Titre X
De la minorité, de la tutelle et de l'émancipation


Chapitre Ier - De la minorité

 

Article 388

(Loi du 26 mars 1803 promulguée le 5 avril 1803))

(Loi nº 74-631 du 5 juillet 1974 art. 1 Journal Officiel du 7 juillet 1974)
Le mineur est l'individu de l'un ou l'autre sexe qui n'a point encore l'âge de dix-huit ans accomplis.

Article 388-1

(inséré par Loi nº 93-22 du 8 janvier 1993 art. 53 Journal Officiel du 9 janvier 1993)


Dans toute procédure le concernant, le mineur capable de discernement peut, sans préjudice des dispositions prévoyant son intervention ou son consentement, être entendu par le juge ou la personne désignée par le juge à cet effet.
Lorsque le mineur en fait la demande, son audition ne peut être écartée que par une décision spécialement motivée. Il peut être entendu seul, avec un avocat ou une personne de son choix. Si ce choix n'apparaît pas conforme à l'intérêt du mineur, le juge peut procéder à la désignation d'une autre personne.
L'audition du mineur ne lui confère pas la qualité de partie à la procédure.

Article 388-2

(inséré par Loi nº 93-22 du 8 janvier 1993 art. 56 Journal Officiel du 9 janvier 1993)

 

Lorsque, dans une procédure, les intérêts d'un mineur apparaissent en opposition avec ceux de ses représentants légaux, le juge des tutelles dans les conditions prévues à l'article 389-3 ou, à défaut, le juge saisi de l'instance lui désigne un administrateur ad hoc chargé de le représenter.

 

Translation[14]

 

Constitution

 

Constitution (adopted 31 March 1996)

 

Article 27:         The freedom of opinion and expression, communication, conscience, religion, press, association, reunion, circulation, protests and processions are guaranteed to all.

 

They can only be limited due to respect for the freedoms and rights of others and the need to safeguard the public order and morals. The law determines the conditions of their exercise.

.

Article 37:         The family is the natural and moral basis of society.

The state and the decentralized territorial collectivities have the duty to guard the well-being of the family.

Article 38:         The parents have the natural right and duty to raise and educate their children. They are supported in this task by the state and the decentralized territorial collectivities.

Children can only be separated from their parents or those who care for them if these fail to fulfill their duties.

Article 39:         The state and the decentralized territorial collectivities create the conditions for the development and the well-being of youth.

.

Article 221:       If the Constitutional Council, charged by the President of the Republic or the President of the National Assembly or the Senate, has declared that an international agreement contains a clause contrary to the Constitution, the authorization to ratify can only occur after the revision of the Constitution.

Article 222:       The treaties or agreements ratified in a regular manner have, since their publication, an authority superior to that of laws, under reservation for each agreement or treaty that it be respected by the other party.

 

International Law

 

Convention on the Rights of the Child[15]

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

 

Regional Agreements

 

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child[16]

 

Article 4. Best Interests of the Child

.

2. In all judicial or administrative proceedings affecting a child who is capable of communicating his/her own views, and opportunity shall be provided for the views of the child to be heard either directly or through an impartial representative as a party to the proceedings, and those views shall be taken into consideration by the relevant authority in accordance with the provisions of appropriate law.

 

Article 7. Freedom of Expression

Every child who is capable of communicating his or her own views shall be assured the rights to express his opinions freely in all matters and to disseminate his opinions subject to such restrictions as are prescribed by laws.

 

Statutes

 

The French Civil Code[17]

 

TITLE X

OF MINORITY, OF GUARDIANSHIP AND OF EMANCIPATION

 

CHAPTER I - OF MINORITY

 

Art. 388

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

A minor is an individual of either sex who has not yet reached the full age of eighteen years.

 

Art. 388-1

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

In all proceedings relating to him, a minor capable of discernment may, without prejudice to the provisions as to his intervention or consent, be heard by the judge or the person appointed by the judge for that purpose.           

Where a minor so requests, his hearing may be denied only by a judgment setting out specially the grounds on which it is based.

He may be heard alone, with a counsel or a person of his choice. Where that choice does not appear to be consonant with the welfare of the child, the judge may appoint another person.

The hearing of a minor does not confer on him the status of a party to the proceedings.

 

Art. 388-2

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) 

Where, in a lawsuit, the interests of a minor appear to be in conflict with those of his statutory representatives, the judge of guardianships in the manner provided for in Article 389-3, or, failing which, the judge who is seized of the case shall appoint an ad hoc administrator who has the responsibility to represent him.

 

Additional Resources and Links

 

Human Rights Watch

 

http://www.hrw.org/doc?t=africa&c=chad

 

UNICEF

 

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/chad.html

 

United States Department of State

Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2005

 

http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2005/

 



Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Chad, U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, 21st Sess. at ¶18, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.107 (1999), available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[3] Id.

[4] Ligue Tchadienne Des Droits De L'Homme, Rapport Alternif du Rapport Initial du Gouvernement Tchadien Adresse Au Comite Des Droits De L'enfant, Submitted to the U.N. Committee for the Rights of the Child (1998), available as .pdf Document.

[5] Press Release, Human Rights Watch, Chad: Darfur Conflict Spills Across Border; U.N. and A.U. Must Protect Civilians from Raids (February 21, 2006), available at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/02/16/chad12684.htm.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] U.S. Dept. of State, Trafficking in Person's Report June 2005 107-108, available as .pdf Document.

[10] Chad Const., available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[11] Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant, Art. 12, G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/french/law/crc.htm.

[12] Charte Africaine des Droits et du Bein-etre de l'Enfant, opened for signature July 11, 1990, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49, available at http://www.africa-union.org/.

[13]Code civil français, available at http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/WAspad/ListeCodes.

[14] Unofficial translation by a translator provided by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

[15] United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Art. 12, G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/6/crc/treaties/crc.htm

[16]African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, CAB/LEG/24.9/49 (1990), available at http://www.africa-union.org/.

[17] French Civil Code, available at http://lexinter.net/ENGLISH/civil_code.htm.

 

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