Chad Country Overview

Politics

Chad is a presidential republic in central Africa. In 2011, President Idriss Deby was reelected to his fourth term in office in an election that occurred without incident. The terrorist group Boko Haram has been operating within Chad, and the government imposed a state of emergency in the Lake Chad region in 2015 after multiple attacks.[1] The United Nations reported that the extremist group remains a threat in the region in 2017.[2] Over nine million people reportedly needed urgent humanitarian assistance in 2016.[3]

Economy

Chad is classified as a low-income country by the World Bank.[4] The country’s GDP grew by 1.8 percent in 2015. Chad is heavily dependent on oil; the oil price collapse in 2015 combined with a drought and increasing security concerns had major detrimental effects on the country’s economy.[5]

 

Social/Human Development

Chad is ethnically diverse; there are over 18 ethnic groups in Chad, most of which make up small percentages of the population. The most predominant ethnic groups include: Sara (25.9 percent), Arab (12.6 percent). Kanembu/Bornu/Buduma (8.3 percent), Wadai/Maba/Massalit/Mimi (7 percent), and Gorane (6.8 percent). Though French and Arabic are the official languages, there are over 120 different languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. An estimated 58 percent of the population is Muslim, while another 18.5 percent are Catholic and 16 percent are Protestant.[6]

As of 2011, 46.7 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.[7] Chad ranks as one of the least developed countries in the world, with a Human Development Index score of 0.396 for 2016 and a ranking of 186 out of 188 countries.[8]

 

U.S. Department of State TIP Report Summary (2017)

U.S. Department of State TIP Ranking: Tier 2 Watch List

According to the Trafficking in Persons Report, trafficking risk among children may be found in export supply chains including agriculture and livestock (meat and live animals).

Migrant and Other Vulnerable Populations

Chad has positive net immigration. In 2015, the immigrant population of Chad was estimated to be 3.68 percent of the population.[9] The largest source country for migrants is, by far, Sudan. Other source countries include Central African Republic and Cameroon. The UNHCR estimated that there were 474,478 persons of concern in Chad at the end of 2015. The largest percentage of this population were refugees (78 percent), while internally displaced persons constituted 11 percent of the persons of concern.[10]

The top destination countries for migrants from Chad include Sudan, Cameroon, and Nigeria.[11]

 

Exports and Trade

The top exports from Chad in 2016 were mineral fuels, cotton, oil seeds, natural gums and resins, and fertilizers.[12] Mineral fuel was the dominant export by value.

 

The top importers of all goods from Chad were the United States, India, Japan, and China.[12]

 

 

Trafficking in Persons Risk Factors Analysis

Legal/Policy Risk Factors

LEVEL OF LEGAL PROTECTION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS
Freedom of Association

According to the U.S. Department of State, the law provides for the right of all workers to join and form unions except for members of the armed forces. All workers, including foreign and irregular workers, are legally protected from anti-union discrimination.[14]

According to the U.S. Department of State, the government protects the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Over 90 percent of employees in the formal sector belong to unions, though the majority of workers in Chad are not employed in the formal sector. The government has delayed some collective bargaining because of administrative difficulties, and has not given priority to meeting with trade unions.[15]

Working Conditions

The law sets the minimum wage at CFA 60,000 per month, but this is not enforced. The workweek for most employment is set at 39 hours per week, with paid overtime, while agricultural workers are allowed to work 2,400 hours per year (46 hours per week on average). However, the government does not consistently enforce the law or other protections for foreign and irregular workers. The U.S. Department of State has reported that the labor inspectors are insufficient to enforce the law, and that minimum wage laws are ignored in the informal sector.[16]

Discrimination

The law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or membership in a union, but does not prohibit discrimination based on disability, sexual orientation, HIV-positive status, or social origin. Additionally, the government did not effectively enforce these laws.[17]

Forced Labor

The laws do not prohibit all forms of forced labor, particularly forced agricultural labor and domestic servitude, and do not prohibit trafficking and other types of labor exploitation.[18]

Child Labor

The law sets the legal minimum working age at 14, though exceptions for light work in agriculture and domestic work are set at 12. The government did not fully enforce these laws, and no cases of child labor were prosecuted in 2016.[19] Compulsory education in Chad lasts for nine years starting at the age of six.[20] The U.S. Department of State reports that because of a lack of schooling opportunities in some areas, there is a general acceptance of child labor from age 14.[21]

Civil Society Organizations

 The U.S. Department of State has reported that the government is open to human rights groups and local and international NGOs and fostered coordination to protect human rights.[22]

Ratification of ILO Conventions Related to Human Trafficking or Rights of Workers and Migrants

Political Risk Factors

POLITICAL INSTABILITY OR CONFLICT

The terrorist organization Boko Haram has been operating throughout the N’Djamena and Lake Chad regions since 2015. Although the rate of violence appears to have dropped, attacks against civilians continued in 2016 and 2017.[23] In response, Chad has taken on heavy security measures. The Lake Chad region was put under a state of emergency by the government in late 2015 because of terrorist activities[24] and local defense militias formed.[25]  More than 100,000 people have been displaced in the region.[26] Further, security measures have restricted traditional border crossing routes, disrupting trade and livelihoods of local populations. [27]

Chad scored a 110.1 in the 2016 Fragile States Index, placing it in the “Very High Alert” Category, as the seventh most fragile state on the Index. The score went up 1.7 points since 2015, and in all but one indicator, the status was “poor.”[28]

The U.S. Department of State reports that while the most recent election ran smoothly, it was neither free nor fair. The U.S. Department of State has reported acts of violence and repression against members of the opposition.[29] The World Governance Indicators, as run by the World Bank, scores Chad at -0.99 on the “Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism” indicator. This indicator, scored from -2.5 to +2.5 measures governance (stability of governance increasing as the number increasing).[30]

LEVEL OF CRIME AND VIOLENCE

The U.S. Department of State reports that crime is prevalent, particularly in the area of N’Djamena, which borders Cameroon.[31] The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index placed crime and theft among the top ten most problematic factors for doing business in Chad.[32]

 
STATE PERSECUTION

The law within Chad provides for the freedom of movement, travel, emigration, and repatriation of refugees, internally-displaced persons, and stateless persons. There have been reports of acts of violence within refugee camps and the U.S. Department of State has reported a lack of legal protections for refugees and stateless persons in these situations. [33]

The law does not provide for asylum or refugee status, but the government has taken action to systematically protect refugees. The U.S. Department of State reports that there is anti-refugee sentiment throughout communities because of limited resources and refugee-specific aid from humanitarian groups.[34]

 
LEVEL OF CORRUPTION

The Transparency International Corruption Perception Index scores Chad as a 20 out of 100, where a 0 signals “Highly Corrupt” and a 100 signals “Very Clean.” Chad is ranked 159 out of 176 on the index.[35] According to the U.S. Department of State, there was corruption at all levels of government and few investigations, if any, took place.[36] The low salaries for civil servants and the poor record of prosecution contributed to the corruption. The World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators reflected that corruption was a severe problem.[37]

 

Socio-Economic Risk Factors

LEVEL OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Chad is scored in the low human development category, according to the UN Human Development Index, with a rank of 186 out of 188 countries and a score of 0.396. It should be noted that while Chad has one of the lowest rankings on the index, two of its neighboring countries rank lower (Niger and CAR).[38]

LEVEL AND EXTENT OF POVERTY

Chad has a value of 0.238 on the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index.[39] The poverty headcount ratio at the national poverty lines is 46.7 according to the World Bank.[40] This number represents the percentage of the population living below the national poverty lines. Chad has a very high level of poverty, with nearly 87 percent of the population determined to be living in “multi-dimensional poverty” according to the UNDP Human Development Reports Multidimensional Poverty Index. On the Multidimensional Poverty Index, Chad has a value of 0.545.[41]

DEGREE OF GENDER INEQUALITY

The UNDP Human Development Report Gender Inequality Index value for Chad is 0.695, ranking it 157 of 157 countries.[42]

Under customary law in Chad, women are not allowed to inherit property or money from their husbands. Under Islamic law, women can only inherit one fourth of the husband’s property. Women’s rights to land ownership are guaranteed under the Civil Code and the Constitution, but discriminatory inheritance practices post barriers to land ownership. Women are subject to discriminatory practices regarding non-land assets and have limited access to financial services such as bank loans.[43]

Women have been disproportionately subject to domestic violence, and women had limited legal recourse. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting is prohibited by law, but the practice is still widespread. Discrimination against and the exploitation of women in access to employment, housing, and credit is common.[44]

Approximately 1.7 percent of the female population has some secondary education, compared to 9.9 percent of the male population. The percentage of women that were a part of the labor force in 2015 was 64.0 percent, compared to 79.3 percent of the male population.[45]

LANDLESSNESS AND DISPOSSESSION

The Civil Code protects real property rights, though the office in charge of property deeds only has authority in urban areas. The law does not protect traditional use rights of indigenous peoples, tribes, or farmers.[46]

The CIA estimates that 60,000 people from the eastern region of Chad have been internally displaced because of conflict.[47] The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that there were up to 111,500 internally displaced persons in Chad as of 2015.[48]

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

The CIA reports that there is an inadequate supply of potable water and improper waste disposal in rural areas that contributes to soil and water pollution. Additionally, desertification is an increasing problem.[49]

Documented Trafficking and Trafficking Risk in Key Commodity Supply Chains

Livestock

LIVESTOCK OVERVIEW

Approximately 80 percent of the Chadian population relies on some form of agriculture, which includes livestock, although the market is almost entirely domestic. Agriculture including livestock is prioritized in the Government’s national development plan, as a means of diversifying the economy.[50]

 
DOCUMENTED TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS RISK FACTORS IN LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

According to the U.S. Department of State, child herders in Chad may be victims of forced labor. Some are sold in markets. Military or government officials may be implicated in trafficking child herders.[51]

 

Oil and Gas

OIL AND GAS OVERVIEW

Petroleum revenues make up over half of Chad’s national budget and Chad is in the top ten oil reserve holders in Africa. However, the IMF has noted that Chad is likely to be close to peak production. [52]

Oil from Chad supplies the oil for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline. Construction and planning began in the early 2000s, and the oil fields are located in the southern province of Sara near the city of Doba.

DOCUMENTED TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS RISKS FACTORS IN OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION

Oil and gas development is associated with government corruption in Chad. The World Bank and a consortium of oil companies agreed to invest in the exploration and construction of the oil fields under the preconditions that 80 percent of oil revenues would go towards development projects, and that the majority of the oil revenue would be put into a transparent bank account in London.[53] An independent third-party auditing group composed of stakeholders from both the government and civil society was intended to oversee the direct oil revenue. All of these initial measures were taken to limit the state corruption that is associated with the production of oil. However, these preemptive precautions did not succeed in stopping the state’s corrupt use of oil revenues.[54] In 2006 President Deby, pressured by rebel uprisings, amended the agreement with the World Bank, and used oil money to buy weapons for the military.  While some of the oil money has been used to fund infrastructure building, little to none has gone to the promised development projects.[55]  The World Bank pulled out of the project and froze the London account as a result.[56] State corruption has also taken the form of government officials accepting large bribes from oil companies.[57]

Related Resources

Resources for Understanding Legal and Policy-Related Risk Factors

Endnotes

[1] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook. 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cd.html

[2] United Nations. Boko Haram Still Threatens Civilians in Lake Chad Basin, Officials Warn Security Council, Urging United Front to Repair Material, Social Damage. 2017. https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12679.doc.htm

[3] Ashley Hamer. “The human cost of Chad’s war against Boko Haram.” IRIN News. December 5, 2016. http://features.irinnews.org/lake-chad

[4] World Bank. Country Data, Chad. 2015. http://data.worldbank.org/country/chad

[5] World Bank. Country Overview, Chad. 2017. http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/chad/overview

[6] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook. 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cd.html

[7] World Bank. Country Data, Chad. 2015. http://data.worldbank.org/country/chad

[8] United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Reports, Chad. 2016. http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/CHD

[9] International Organization for Migration (IOM). Global Migration Flows. 2016. https://www.iom.int/world-migration

[10] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR Statistics. 2015.  http://popstats.unhcr.org/en/overview

[11] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. International migrant stock. 2015. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/data/estimates2/estimates15.shtml

[12] International Trade Center. Trade Map. www.trademap.org.

[13] International Trade Center. Trade Map. www.trademap.org.

[14] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[15] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[16] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[17] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[18] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[19] U.S. Department of Labor. Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Chad. 2015.  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/resources/reports/child-labor/chad

[20] Right to Education project. National law and minimum ages – Sudan. 2007. http://r2e.gn.apc.org/country-node/319/country-minimum

[21] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[22] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[23] Al-Jazeera. “Boko Haram attacks blamed for deaths in Nigeria, Chad.” June 26, 2017. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/boko-haram-attacks-blamed-deaths-nigeria-chad-170626140339123.html

United Nations Security Council. Boko Haram Still Threatnes Civilians in Lake Chad Basin, Officials Warn Security Council, Urging United Fron to Repair material, Social Damage. 2017. https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12679.doc.htm

[24] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook. 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cd.html

[25] International Crisis Group. Fighting Boko Haram in Chad: Beyond Military Measures. 2017. https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/chad/246-fighting-boko-haram-chad-beyond-military-measures

[26] International Crisis Group. Fighting Boko Haram in Chad: Beyond Military Measures. 2017. https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/chad/246-fighting-boko-haram-chad-beyond-military-measures

[27] International Crisis Group. Fighting Boko Haram in Chad: Beyond Military Measures. 2017. https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/chad/246-fighting-boko-haram-chad-beyond-military-measures

[28] Fund for Peace. Country Data and Trends. 2016 http://fsi.fundforpeace.org/2016-chad

[29] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[30] World Bank. Worldwide Governance Indicators. 2017. http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#home

[31] Overseas Security Advisory Council, U.S. Department of State. Chad 2016 Crime & Safety Report. 2016. https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=21491

[32] World Economic Forum. Global Competitiveness Index, 2016-2017 edition. 2017. http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-index/country-profiles/#economy=TCD

[33] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[34] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[35] Transparency International. Corruptions Perceptions Index. 2016.  https://www.transparency.org/country/TCD

[36] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[37] World Bank. Worldwide Governance Indicators. 2017. http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#home

[38] United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Reports. 2016 http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI

[39] United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Reports. 2016 http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI

[40] World Bank. Country Data, Chad. 2015 http://data.worldbank.org/country/chad

[41] United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Index, Multidimensional Poverty Index. 2015. http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/MPI

[42] United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Index, Gender Inequality Index. 2015. http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/GII

[43] Social Institutions and Gender Index. Chad. 2014. http://www.genderindex.org/country/chad

[44] U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Chad. 2016. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2016&dlid=265238

[45] United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Index, Gender Inequality Index. 2015. http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/GII

[46] Burea of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State. 2016 Investment Climate Statements, Chad. 2016. https://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/investmentclimatestatements/#wrapper

[47] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook. 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cd.html

[48] Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Chad IDP Figures Analysis. 2015. http://www.internal-displacement.org/sub-saharan-africa/chad/figures-analysis

[49] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook. 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cd.html

[50] Export.Gov. Chad – Agricultural Sectors. 2017. https://www.export.gov/article?id=Chad-Agricultural-Sectors

[51] U.S Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report. 2016. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/258876.pdf

[52] Export.Gov. Chad – Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Exploration. 2017. https://www.export.gov/article?id=Chad-Mining-Quarrying-and-Oil-and-Gas-Exploration

[53] “Concept Paper: The Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project.” The World Bank Working for a World Free of Poverty. N.p., 21 Apr. 2000. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.

[54] Brown, Paul. “Chad oil pipeline under attack for harming the poor.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 26 Sept. 2002. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

[55] Hicks, Celeste. “Chad’s oil project 10 years on: has anything changed?” African Arguments. N.p., 31 July 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

[56] Rice, Xan. “World Bank cancels pipeline deal with Chad after revenues misspent.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 11 Sept. 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

[57] “UPDATE 1-U.S. seeks $34 mln for Griffiths Energy bribe scheme of Chad diplomat.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 30 June 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.