The Committee considered the second periodic report of Togo (CCPR/C/63/Add.2)
at its 1325th to 1327th meetings, held on 7 and 8 July 1994, and
adopted 29/ the following comments:
At the 1353rd meeting (fifty-first session), held on 27 July 1994.
thanks Togo for its report (CCPR/C/63/Add.2) and core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.38)
and welcomes the willingness of the Government to pursue the dialogue
with the Committee. However, it notes with regret that the report,
which contained scant information about constitutional and legal
measures giving effect to the Covenant, was not drawn up in accordance
with the Committee's guidelines regarding the form and contents
of periodic reports (CCPR/C/20/Rev.1); in particular, it was characterized
by a lack of information on the practice concerning human rights
as well as on the factors and difficulties affecting the implementation
of the provisions of the Covenant. The Committee nevertheless thanks
the delegation of Togo for endeavouring to reply to some of the
questions raised and thus, to a certain extent, make up for the
2. Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the
notes that Togo is only now emerging from a long and devastating
period of internal disturbances during which grave human rights
violations occurred and that it is still in the process of recovery
and transition to democracy. The lack of awareness of individuals
of their rights under the Covenant and the Optional Protocol impedes
the enjoyment thereof and further contributes to the failure to
provide remedies for violations of those rights. The remnants of
certain traditions and customs also constitute an obstacle to the
effective implementation of the Covenant, particularly with regard
to equality between men and women.
3. Positive aspects
welcomes the adoption of a new Constitution and related legislation
which incorporate a number of provisions of the Covenant and purport
to institute a legal environment favourable to the promotion and
protection of human rights as well as the enactment of the new Electoral
Code. It also takes note of the establishment of the Ministry of
Human Rights which could play an important role in coordinating
the Government's human rights policy.
4. Principal subjects of concern
notes with concern the internal disturbances in Togo during the
period under review which resulted in serious and systematic violations
of the rights guaranteed by the Covenant, particularly articles
4, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 14. It is particularly concerned with the fact
that despite initiation of the democratic process, the rule of law
has not yet been re-established in Togo and violations of human
rights continue to occur. Consequently, a significant gap persists
between constitutional and legal norms and their application in
practice. The Committee also notes with concern in that context
the manifold obstacles faced by the National Human Rights Commission,
which, unfortunately, is no longer operative and which is unable
to contribute to the promotion of respect for human rights.
deplores the large number of cases of summary and arbitrary executions,
enforced or involuntary disappearances, torture and arbitrary or
unlawful detention committed by members of the army, security or
other forces during the period under review. It is deeply concerned
that those violations were not followed by any inquiries or investigations,
that the perpetrators of such acts were neither brought to justice
nor punished and that the victims were not compensated. It notes
that failure to exclude violators of human rights from service in
the military or the security forces seriously undermines the transition
is disturbed by the composition of the army, whose members are almost
exclusively recruited from only one of the ethnic groups in Togo,
depriving other groups of the opportunity for equitable participation.
Such composition, whatever its historical background, together with
the apparent lack of full and effective control by civilian authorities
over the military and security forces is a particular cause of anxiety.
regrets that the State party has not yet embarked on all the necessary
reforms to cope with the factors and difficulties impeding equality
of men and women in order to fully implement article 3 of the Covenant.
The reported cases of traffic of women, the effect of certain customs
and traditions, as well as the lack of effective government measures
aiming at promoting equality of the sexes constitute matters of
regrets the fact that derogations from some of the rights provided
for in the Covenant through proclamation of curfews during the transitional
period have not been notified to the Secretary-General in accordance
with article 4 of the Covenant.
is concerned with the excessive number of offences punishable by
the death penalty in the Togolese legislation which contravenes
the provisions of article 6 of the Covenant.
notes that freedom of expression is not yet fully guaranteed in
Togo owing to censorship and control exercised by the authorities
over the press, radio and television.
notes with concern the restrictive conditions in which the rights
provided for in articles 21 and 22 of the Covenant are to be exercised,
and deplores the severe repression of peaceful demonstrations during
the period under review involving loss of life which has not been
has serious doubts and concerns about the existing electoral system,
as well as the conditions under which the presidential and legislative
elections have recently taken place, which preclude the full guarantee
of free choice by all voters and the participation of all citizens
in the conduct of public affairs, as provided for in article 25
of the Covenant.
of additional concerns remain, including the failure to ensure full
and effective application of the Covenant in matters pertaining
to the enjoyment of the right to a fair trial and the rights of
persons deprived of their liberty.
5. Suggestions and recommendations
urges the Government to proceed with national reconciliation and
to restore the confidence of all ethnic groups.
recommends that the State party take appropriate measures to translate
and disseminate the Covenant, so that all people in Togo become
aware of their rights guaranteed under the Covenant.
urges that the Government take all necessary measures to prevent
summary or arbitrary executions, enforced or involuntary disappearances,
torture and ill-treatment and illegal or arbitrary detention; that
all such cases be systematically investigated in order to bring
those suspected of having committed such acts before the courts;
and that those found guilty be punished and that the victims be
deems it necessary that specific measures be taken to ensure that
human rights are respected by the military and security forces.
Vigorous action should be taken to ensure that persons closely associated
with human rights abuses do not re-enter the police, army or security
forces. Urgent steps should be undertaken to ensure that the composition
of the army equitably represents various ethnic groups of the Togolese
population, including currently under-represented minority groups,
and that the army remains subject to the control of the elected
exhorts the Government to take appropriate action to ensure the
effective application of article 3 of the Covenant, in particular
by adopting administrative and educational measures designed to
break with customs and traditional practices detrimental to the
well-being and status of women in Togolese society.
urges the authorities of Togo to revise the Criminal Code with a
view to diminishing the number of offences carrying the death penalty,
in conformity with article 6 of the Covenant.
emphasizes that measures should be taken to ensure the implementation
in prisons and detention centres of all provisions of article 10
of the Covenant together with the United Nations Standard Minimum
Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. They should be more widely
disseminated and observed, particularly among the personnel of the
armed forces, security and police officers involved in arrest and
detention matters, as well as members of the judiciary.
recommends that necessary measures be taken by the Government to
ensure the independence and the proper functioning of the judiciary
and to provide proper and adequate staffing of courts in accordance
with the provisions of article 14 of the Covenant.
should be taken to allow for a proper resumption of the activities
of the National Human Rights Commission under its statutes, including
the guarantee of safety of its members and proper funding.
recommends that the censorship and control exercised by the authorities
over the press, radio and television should be brought in line with
article 19 of the Covenant.
should be taken to ensure that elections are organized in full conformity
with the requirements of article 25 of the Covenant.
recommends that the Government of Togo avail itself of the advisory
and technical assistance services of the Centre for Human Rights
in order to overcome some technical difficulties in implementing
the Covenant, including the preparation of the third periodic report
in accordance with the Committee's guidelines.