Chad: Forced marriage; application of the law of 2002; the existence of organizations that defend the rights of women who are forced to marry; the family code project (November 2004 - January 2007)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||23 January 2007|
|Citation / Document Symbol||TCD102156.FE|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Chad: Forced marriage; application of the law of 2002; the existence of organizations that defend the rights of women who are forced to marry; the family code project (November 2004 - January 2007), 23 January 2007, TCD102156.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469cd6c81e.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Most of the information contained in this response was provided in correspondence from a program officer of the Chadian Human Rights League (Ligue tchadienne des droits de l'homme, LTDH), which is affiliated with the International Federation of Human Rights (Fédération internationale des ligues des Droits de l'Homme, FIDH) (LTDH 5 Jan. 2007), and from a communications officer of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (Association tchadienne pour la promotion et la défense des droits de l'homme, ATPDH) (13 Dec. 2006).
Forced marriage is still practised in Chad (LTDH 5 Jan. 2007; ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006) despite the efforts of various human rights organizations to raise awareness of the issue (ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006). Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2005 indicates that marriages were arranged for some 12- and 13-year-old girls and that forced marriages occurred in Chad in 2005 (8 Mar. 2006, Sec. 5). An article in the monthly newspaper Tchad et Culture, which is published by the Centre for Education and Training for Development (Centre d'étude et de formation pour la développement, CEFOD) in N'Djamena, cites the example of 13- and 14-year-old schoolgirls being forced into marriage in the village of Modou II, in Fitri department (Mar. 2006).
The LTDH and ATPDH representatives stated that it is the parents who arrange early and forced marriages of their minor daughters (LTDH 5 Jan. 2007; ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006). However, the mother rarely makes the decision (ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006) and, in the event of a disagreement, the father's choice is imposed (LTDH 5 Jan. 2007).
Both sources indicated that Law 006/PR/2002, which contains provisions on the promotion of reproductive health and which came into force on 15 April 2002, has had little impact on the practice of forced marriage (LTDH 5 Jan. 2007; ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006). The reasons cited are [translation] "socio-cultural pressure", the Chadian government's failure to raise the public's awareness of the law (ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006), and the fact that, to date, no implementation order has been drafted, which means that the law cannot be used before the courts (LTDH 7 Jan. 2007).
The two sources noted the existence of women's rights organizations in Chad and made specific reference to national human rights organizations and women's associations, such as the Women's Association's Liaison and Information Unit (Cellule de liaison et d'information des associations féminines, CELIAF) and the Chadian Association of Women Jurists (Association des femmes juristes, AFJT) (ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006; LTDH 5 Jan. 2007), which also provide [translation] "legal advice and legal guidance" (ibid.).
On 8 March 2005, Idriss Déby, the President of Chad, marked International Women's Day by pledging to quickly adopt a new family code making men and women equal (UN 8 Apr. 2005; VOA 15 Apr. 2005). According to the ATPDH, the code bans early and forced marriage and, if it were adopted, would [translation] "curb the forced marriage of minors aged 12 to 15" by raising the minimum age for a [translation] "consensual marriage" (marriage libre) to 16 years for girls and 17 years for boys (13 Dec. 2006). Tradition and the penal code currently allow marriage as early as 13 years of age (ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006). The same source indicated that adoption of the bill has been delayed by [translation] "opposition" to equality for the sexes from within the Muslim community (ATPDH 13 Dec. 2006). Two sources indicate that some Christians also object to the bill for other reasons (UN 8 Apr. 2006; VOA 15 Apr. 2006).
According to the LTDH, the new family code will have a positive impact on women, especially since it [translation] "raises the minimum marriage age for women to 17" and bans forced marriage (5 Jan. 2007). However, this bill is currently stalled and will improve the situation of women only if its adoption is followed by an implementation order (LTDH, 5 Jan. 2007.).
No other information on forced marriages in Chad could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Association tchadienne pour la promotion et la défense des droits de l'homme (ATPDH). 13 December 2006. Correspondence from a program officer.
Centre d'étude et de formation pour le développement (CEFOD). March 2006."Le mariage précoce, un frein à l'éducation des filles." Tchad et Culture nº245
Ligue tchadienne des droits de la personne (LTDH). 5 January 2007. Correspondence from a communications officer.
United Nations (UN). 8 April 2005. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: Uproar over Introducing Law to Make Women Equal."
United States (US). 8 March 2006. Department of State. "Chad." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2005.
Voice of America (VOA). 15 April 2005. Joe Bavier. "Chad Struggles to Pass New Family Law."
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources, including: The branch manager of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Chad could not provide information within the time constraints of this response. Attempts to contact the Chadian Association of Women Jurists (Association des femmes juristes du Tchad, AFJT) were unsuccessful.
Internet sites, including: AllAfrica, Amnesty International (AI), Center for Reproductive Rights, Demographic and Health Surveys, Feminia, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Fédération internationale des ligues des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), Save the Children, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML).