The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Chad

By Vexen Crabtree 2022

#Chad #chad_human_rights #christianity #human_rights #islam #religion_in_Chad

Republic of Chad

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index191st best
Land Area1 259 200km21
Life Expectancy52.53yrs (2017)3
GNI$1 364 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesTD, TCD, 1485
Internet Domain.td6
CurrencyFranc (XAF)7

Chad is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Chad does worse than average for its nominal commitment to Human Rights9, LGBT equality10 (still good for Africa) with homosexual relations being illegal11, speed of uptake of HR treaties12, supporting press freedom13 and in freethought14. And finally, it falls into the worst-performing 20 in supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms15 and in opposing gender inequality16 (one of the worst in Africa) with the horrendous practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) having been enacted upon half of all women, both Muslim and Christian11. Although the Constitution says the state should be secular, some policies favor Islam17

1. Chad's Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #gender_equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Compared to Africa (2020)18
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank18
1S. Africa56.1
43Congo, DR126.7
44Equatorial Guinea128.4
Africa Avg108.2
Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)18
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank18
169Equatorial Guinea128.4
171Myanmar (Burma)128.5
World Avg87.9

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Sweden, Norway and Denmark19. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are The Solomon Islands, Somalia and Tuvalu19.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the rate of gender bias (from 7 indicators), the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice, LGBT equality and freethought. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe19, whereas the worst are Melanesia, Micronesia and Australasia19.

For more, see:

Amnesty International's 2023-23 summary on human rights in Chad stated:

The authorities used excessive force to disperse peaceful protesters and violated the right to freedom of assembly. Government critics continued to be arbitrarily detained. Dozens of people were killed in attacks by armed groups or in inter-communal violence. The Observatory for the Promotion of Gender Equality and Equity was created amid continued violations of women’s and girls’ rights. More than 2 million people faced food insecurity.

"The State of the World's Human Rights 2022/23" by Amnesty International (2023)20

2. Human Rights & Tolerance

2.1. Nominal Commitment to HR


Nominal Commitment to HR
Higher is better9
2=Costa Rica23
99San Marino16
101Sierra Leone15
102=St Vincent & Grenadines15
Africa Avg14.8
World Avg15.1
Chad comes 101st in the world in terms of its nominal commitment to Human Rights.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.2. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag
Lower is better12
Avg Yrs/Treaty12
120Vatican City11.34
Africa Avg9.88
World Avg10.02
With regard to speed of uptake of HR treaties, Chad ranks 116th in the world.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

For more, see:

2.3. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom
Lower is better15
1Hong Kong1
3New Zealand3
144=Saudi Arabia144
Africa Avg114.2
World Avg79.7
Regarding supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, Chad ranks 14th-worst in the world.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)21

2.4. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #Freedom_of_Speech #Good_Governance #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom
Lower is better13
123S. Sudan3620
Africa Avg3511
World Avg3249
Chad ranks 120th in the world in terms of supporting press freedom.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world, and is linked with Freedom of Speech and Good Governance. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted". The rankings are used as one of the datasets of the Social and Moral Development Index22

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

2.5. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Lower is better
% Victims23
150Myanmar (Burma)1.10
156Congo, DR1.37
Africa Avg0.96
World Avg0.65
Chad comes 15th-worst in the world regarding eliminating modern slavery.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory24. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends25. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life26. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves27.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery28. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity29. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.30. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi31, Eritrea31, Indonesia32) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery33.

For more, see:

3. Gender Equality

The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Chad and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Chad culture has a severe problem with gender equality, with male rights dominating those of women. Things need to change. Traditional Islamic beliefs are the cause of this situation.

4.3. FGM

#chad #islam

Despite it being illegal in Chad, the horrendous practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been enacted upon 44% to 50% of the women there, with 4-5 thousand more being mutilated each year. about half are Muslim and half Christian; only a third (31%) of them agree that it is a religious requirement.11

[FGM] is officially illegal in Chad and carries a jail sentence of up to five years. However, no example of recent procedures involving the law against practitioners of FGM has been found. According to the Ministry of Social Action and Justice, trials are underway in certain regions, but no detail nor evidence of them has been published. As cases of FGM continue to rise in Chad, the National Commission of Human rights has opened an investigation to analyze the growth of the phenomenon and the government's response.

"The Freedom of Thought Report" by Humanists International (2021)11


3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality
Lower is better
153Congo, DR0.66
155Ivory Coast0.67
Africa Avg0.54
World Avg0.36
Chad comes 3rd-worst in the world in terms of opposing gender inequality.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchalism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

For more, see:

3.2. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Lower is better
1New Zealand1893
116=Burkina Faso1958
Africa Avg1961
World Avg1930
Chad comes 116th in the world regarding the year from which women could participate in democracy.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

For more, see:

4. Prejudice

4.1. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #ICCPR #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

Homosexual relations are illegal in Chad. The former Prime Minister, Delwa Coumakoye, who remains an MP, excused Governmental failure to promote tolerance of LGBT folk, saying that "Homosexuality is condemned by all religions"11.

Same-sex relations are illegal in Chad under the Penal Code revised in 2017 and are punished by two years´ imprisonment and a fine. [...] There is no evidence that this law has been enforced, but the lack of investigation after the death of an openly gay man, Ahmat Fraicheur, in 2020, has shown how the public authorities treat LGBTI+ victims of crime differently. In addition, LGBTI+ people are stigmatized and marginalized, which forces them to "conceal their sexual orientation and gender identity".

"The Freedom of Thought Report" by Humanists International (2021)11

LGBT Equality
Higher is better
115=Congo, (Brazzaville)5
119=Ivory Coast1
Africa Avg-10.4
World Avg12.6
(still high for Africa)Chad is 115th in the world in terms of LGBT equality.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence34. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws35. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries34. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

For more, see:

4.2. Freedom of Thought

#europe #freedom_of_belief #freethought #human_rights #netherlands #religion #religious_tolerance #secularism #the_enlightenment

Freedom of Thought
Lower is better
162=Congo, DR4.0
Africa Avg3.1
World Avg3.0
With regard to freethought, Chad comes 149th in the world.

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief are upheld in Article 18 the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights36. It affirms that it is a basic human right that all people are free to change their beliefs and religion as they wish37. No countries voted against this (although eight abstained). This right was first recognized clearly in the policies of religious toleration of the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe in the post-enlightenment era38 of the 19th century. In democratic countries, freedom of belief and religion is now taken for granted39. In 2016 a study found that over 180 countries in the world had come to guarantee freedom of religion and belief40. The best countries at doing so are Taiwan, Belgium and The Netherlands14,41 and the worst: Afghanistan, N. Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia14,42.

Long-term studies have shown that religious violence and persecution both decrease in cultures where religious freedom is guaranteed43. Despite this, there still are many who are strongly against freedom of belief37, including entire cultures and many individual communities of religious believers. Their alternative is that you are not free to believe what you want and they often state that you cannot change religion without being punished (often including the death penalty): this is bemoaned as one of the most dangerous elements of religion44 and "the denial of religious freedoms is inevitably intertwined with the denial of other freedoms"45 and the solution is, everywhere, to allow religious freedom and the freedom of belief.

For more, see:

Although the Constitution says the state should be secular, some policies favor Islam17, for example, in the use of public lands for building places of worship46.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)46, in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Chad states:

[T]he High Council for Islamic Affairs (HCIA) and the Directorate of Religious and Traditional Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) organized trips to Mecca for the Hajj [and] Umrah (pilgrimage). The Director of Religious and Traditional Affairs oversees religious matters. The HCIA oversees Islamic religious activities, including the supervision of some Arabic-language schools and higher institutions of learning, and the representation of the country in international Islamic meetings. The HCIA, in coordination with the president, appoints the grand imam, a spiritual leader for Muslims, who oversees each region's high imam and serves as head of the council. In principle, although not consistently in practice, the grand imam has the authority to restrict proselytizing by Islamic groups, regulate the content of mosque sermons, and exert control over activities of Islamic charities. Religious leaders are involved in managing the country's wealth. A representative of the religious community sits on the Revenue Management College, the body that oversees use of Chad's oil revenues. The seat rotates between Muslim and Christian leaders every four years.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)46