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TITLE:  MADAGASCAR HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                           MADAGASCAR


Madagascar's 2-year transition from the 16-year authoritarian 
Socialist rule of Didier Ratsiraka officially ended in 1993 
with the fair election of Albert Zafy as President in February 
and the selection by the new National Assembly in August of 
Francisque Ravony as Prime Minister.  Under the 1992 
Constitution, power is divided between the President, the Prime 
Minister and his Government, and the National Assembly.  The 
year was dominated by the failure of the new leadership to 
agree on the pace and scope of a coherent economic reform 
(structural adjustment) program in order to come to an 
agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the 
World Bank.  The Ravony Government's decision to devalue the 
Malagasy franc in May was an important step in the direction of 
an agreement.  Absent appropriate accompanying measures, 
however, and with the printing of new money, the resulting 
inflation increased resistance to further structural adjustment 
measures.  An impasse between opponents and advocates of the 
structural adjustment program led in July to a vote on a motion 
of censure against the Government in the National Assembly.  
The motion failed, but provoked, nonetheless, a cabinet 
reshuffle in August, and at year's end the leadership had still 
not agreed upon a firm course of action.

The Government further increased civilian control over the 
military.  Under the new leadership, mixed commands of 
military, gendarmerie, and the National Police are responsible 
for internal security.  The Government did not reduce the 
overall size of the security forces but did change some of the 
key personnel in the 1,800-man Presidential Security Guard, 
which had been loyal to Ratsiraka and responsible for violence 
aimed at upsetting the electoral process in 1992.  The 
intelligence wing, the Directorate General of Internal and 
External Investigations and Documentation (DGIDIE), reports to 
the President.  There were occasional reports of police 
brutality of detainees in 1994, and village-level law 
enforcement arrangements known as "dina" were also responsible 
for some abuses.

Living standards remained extremely low.  The decision to float 
the exchange rate, effectively devaluing the Malagasy franc by 
50 percent in May, and the excessive printing of money sharply 
reduced consumer buying power.  The economy remains highly 
dependent on agriculture, and cash crops such as vanilla and 
coffee did relatively well.  However, the major crop, rice, 
suffered a larger than usual shortfall because of extensive 
cyclone damage early in the year.  Tourism, manufacturing, 
mining, and fishing had respectable performances, but these 
activities, so far, play a less important role in the economy.  
The smuggling of national resources, such as vanilla, gold, 
precious stones, and cattle, continued to be a major concern.  
Unemployment and underemployment also remained serious 
problems, especially among the young (about 60 percent of the 
population is under age 25).

The human rights situation generally improved in 1994 with the 
absence of violence between "federalist" (pro-Ratsiraka) and 
"active forces" (pro-Zafy) militants that punctuated the 
previous several years.  Citizens widely exercised freedoms of 
speech and assembly.  The democratically elected National 
Assembly consolidated its new constitutional role and was a 
forum for public and wide-ranging debate.  Over objections of 
the Government, the National Assembly voted in October to make 
the Office of the Mediator the official constitutional promoter 
and protector of human rights.  Advances in press 
professionalism and in civic education also contributed to a 
wider awareness and public discussion of human rights issues.

However, there continued to be human rights abuses, notably in 
the law enforcement and judicial systems.  Traditional local 
law enforcement groups were responsible for at least two 
incidents of summary executions.  In the overburdened formal 
court system, the accused continued to remain in prison for 
lengthy pretrial periods, often exceeding the maximum penalty 
for the alleged offense.  Prison conditions are deplorable, and 
in some prisons women may experience physical abuse, including 
rape.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no known political or extrajudicial killings by 
government forces.  However, to combat rising crime, 
traditional law enforcement groups at the village level, known 
as dina, continued to mete out summary justice, including at 
least two summary executions (see Section 1.e.).  For example, 
in October in the village of Ambalakely (province of 
Fianarantsoa), a dina posse forcibly seized, and reportedly 
executed a known thief who was in police custody for his latest 
alleged offense.  In response, the Government arrested six 
members of the posse on manslaughter charges.  At the end of 
the year, the posse members were being held pending trial.

There was speculation that the beating death of radio 
journalist Victor Randrianirina in August was linked to 
Randrianirina's reporting on sapphire smuggling in Madagascar.  
The authorities continued to investigate but had not made any 
arrests by year's end.

While ostensibly still pending, there has been no progress in 
the Government's investigation into serious 1991, 1992, and 
1993 incidents in which Government security forces killed or 
injured unarmed civilians.  At year's end, the Government had 
not released any official report or made arrests in a case 
involving the deaths of more than 30 demonstrators who were 
killed by then president Ratsiraka's guards at the Iavoloha 
palace on August 10, 1991.  However, the Government named a 
formal commission in September to investigate this incident, 
and public hearings were planned for early 1995.  There was no 
progress on an investigation into the March 31, 1992, shooting 
incident in which soldiers killed six pro-Ratsiraka supporters 
at the National Forum (constitutional convention).  The 
Government had also not brought to trial 14 soldiers arrested 
in April 1993 for alleged involvement in politically motivated 
violence in Antsiranana; however, the Prime Minister publicly 
announced a trial was expected to start by April 1995.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no permanent disappearances in 1994 and no 
acknowledged cases of unsolved abductions or disappearances.  
The government commission named in September to investigate the 
1991 incident at Iavoloha palace was, by year's end, seeking 
testimony related to disappearances in connection with the 
incident.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution provides for the inviolability of the person;  
however, there were occasional reports of police or other 
forces mistreating prisoners or detainees.  There were also 
isolated instances of dina trials using torture or other forced 
means to solicit confessions from criminal suspects.  Suspected 
thieves are sometimes subject to summary mob retribution that 
occasionally results in severe injury or death.

Government officials acknowledge that conditions in Malagasy 
prisons are harsh and potentially life-threatening.  The diet 
provided is inadequate, and family members must augment 
inmates' daily food rations.  Prisoners without relatives 
nearby sometimes go for days without food.  Each prisoner has 
on average less than 1 square meter of space.  The prison 
population, estimated at 25,000, suffer a wide range of medical 
problems that are not routinely treated, including 
malnutrition, infections, malaria, and tuberculosis.  These 
conditions have caused an unknown number of deaths.

Women in prison suffer abuses, as do the children who are 
sometimes confined with them.  Gender segregation is not 
absolute, and there were some reported cases of rape.  The 
Government permits prison visits by the International Committee 
of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Malagasy Red Cross, and religious 
and charitable organizations.  The media also have access to 
prisons.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Constitution provides for due process for accused persons, 
but in practice these rights are not always respected.  
Existing legal safeguards against arbitrary arrest and 
detention are frequently not observed.

According to the law, in a criminal case the detainee must be 
charged, bound over, or released within 3 days after arrest.  
An arrest warrant may be obtained but is not always required.  
According to the Penal Code, which provides for the right of a 
person to be informed of the charges against him, defendants in 
ordinary criminal cases are to be charged formally within the 
specified time frame and, upon being charged, to be allowed to 
obtain an attorney.  Court-appointed counsel is provided for 
indigents accused of crimes which carry a 5-year jail sentence.

Bail may be requested by the accused or by his attorney 
immediately after arrest, after being formally charged, or 
during the appeal process, but it is rarely granted at any 
stage for violent crimes.

Despite existing legal protections, the average pretrial 
detention time exceeds 1 year, and 3 or 4 years of detention is 
common, even for crimes for which the maximum penalty may be 2 
years or less.  Prisoners may wait years in prison only to be 
found not guilty, with no recourse.  Nearly 65 percent of 
Madagascar's prisoners (i.e., 16,000) are in pretrial 
detention.  By law, persons suspected of activity against the 
State may be detained incommunicado for 15 days, subject to 
indefinite extension if considered necessary by the Government; 
however, this provision is not used regularly.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The Constitution adopted in 1992 provides for an independent 
judiciary, and the National Assembly was debating implementing 
legislation at year's end.  Meanwhile, the judiciary remains 
under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice; lack of internal 
controls and relatively low salaries for magistrates encourage 
corruption.  Excessive pretrial detention of the accused 
results in the denial of due process.  Trials are public, and 
defendants have the right to an attorney, to be present at the 
trial, to confront witnesses, and to present evidence.  
Defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence under the Penal 
Code.

The judiciary has three levels of courts:  lower courts for 
civil and criminal cases carrying limited fines and sentences; 
a Court of Appeals, which includes a criminal court for cases 
carrying sentences of 5 years or more; and a Supreme Court.  
The judiciary also has special courts designed to handle 
specific kinds of cases (e.g., cattle rustling) under the 
jurisdiction of the higher courts.  A Constitutional High 
Court, with a separate and autonomous status, is a body for 
review of laws, decrees, and ordinances, and for certifying 
election results.

Traditional institutions, known as dina, handle civil matters 
within and between villages; in practice, the dina are 
increasingly being used in some criminal cases because of the 
practical inadequacies of the formal police and judicial 
systems.  Dina punishments can be severe, in some cases 
including capital punishment.  In November the National 
Assembly, formally recognizing the role of the dina in reducing 
crime and insecurity in the countryside, adopted legislation 
giving dina verdicts the same weight as judgments handed down 
by lower courts and increasing fines and prison sentences to 
those refusing to abide by dina decisions.  Decisions by dina 
are not subject to codified due process protections, but, 
according to the new legislation, they can be challenged at the 
appeals court level.  Some cases have also been brought to the 
attention of the Office of the Mediator (Ombudsman) which 
investigates and seeks redress from formal judicial authorities.

Military courts have some jurisdiction over cases involving 
national security, such as acts constituting a threat to the 
nation and its political leaders, invasion by foreign forces, 
and riots that could lead to overthrow of the Government.  
Military courts, like civilian courts, provide for an appeal, 
or cassation, process to reexamine interpretations of law 
rather than the facts of the case.  They are presided over by a 
civilian magistrate who is joined on the bench by military 
officers.

Approximately 25 political prisoners convicted for their roles 
in federalist versus active forces troubles in Antsiranana in 
late 1992 and early 1993 are still serving out their sentences.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The home is inviolable by tradition and law, and the State does 
not intervene in the private aspects of the lives of the 
people.  The law requires judicially issued warrants to search 
houses, but there were reportedly some instances in which 
private citizens used police acquaintances to intimidate others 
without proper warrants.  Telephones and correspondence are not 
monitored.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of expression, 
communication, and press and forbids press censorship; these 
provisions were largely respected.  People generally speak 
freely, and debate in the National Assembly was open and 
lively.  The print media openly criticized both the Government 
and the opposition.  Opposition groups, trade unions, 
professional associations, and others have regular access to 
the press.

There is still a legacy of self-censorship among certain 
journalists who fear reprisals from the Government or others 
for aggressive investigative reporting.  Some journalists seek 
to avoid identification in their bylines, and the names of 
private citizens are rarely cited.  Journalists employ these 
tactics in part because Malagasy culture aspires to be 
nonconfrontational, and in part because journalists cannot 
regularly count on effective backing by their editors and 
publishers.  The situation improved somewhat, but many 
journalists lack professional training and experience, and 
resource constraints limit the effectiveness of the press.  
There is also a persistent reluctance by government officials 
and others to share information with the press.

In May a court ordered the expulsion of a longtime resident, a 
French citizen, after she allegedly made slanderous public 
statements against the Malagasy people in an editorial letter 
published in a local newspaper.  She appealed her expulsion to 
the official Ombudsman, was eventually expelled, despite having 
published a retraction as ordered by the courts, but was 
quietly allowed to return.

State-owned radio-television (RTM), the most important means of 
reaching the public, continued to feature discussion programs 
and debates on topics of public policy, although it rarely 
included editorial comment.  Malagasy television broadcasts 
French network news via satellite each evening.  Along with 
state radio, there are at least five private radio stations in 
the capital city, and private radio stations in Fianarantsoa 
and Tamatave.  The private stations cover political subjects 
and are sometimes critical of the Government.

Although a law dating from the previous republic requires 
Ministry of Interior approval for films and videotapes shown in 
public, in practice this regulation is rarely enforced.

There have been no reports of threats to academic freedom.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Some legal restrictions remain on the right of assembly and 
association.  Municipal permits, usually granted, are required 
before holding public meetings but may be denied if government 
officials believe that the meeting poses a threat to the State, 
endangers national security, or significantly encumbers public 
thoroughfares.  Officially established security zones are 
off-limits to demonstrators.  The proliferation of political 
and nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) continues and is 
indicative of recent relaxations on free association rights.  
There are more than 60 political parties and some 900 NGO's.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Government does not infringe the constitutional right of 
freedom of religion.  Missionaries and clergy are permitted to 
operate freely.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

There is no formal restriction on travel within the country; 
however, domestic security concerns do effectively restrict 
travel in some places, especially at night.  All Malagasy must 
obtain official approval for trips outside the country.  All 
residents of Madagascar (Malagasy and foreign) require exit 
visas issued by the Ministry of Interior.  There are 
approximately 70 Ethiopian refugees in Madagascar.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

In 1993 Madagascar concluded more than 2 years of political 
transition which were initiated by largely peaceful mass 
demonstrations against the previous regime of Didier Ratsiraka 
in 1991.  Generally free and fair elections, by direct 
universal suffrage and secret ballot, elected Albert Zafy 
President in early 1993 to a 5-year term, renewable once.  The 
new President's primary constitutional responsibilities are 
national defense and foreign policy.  A general election was 
held in June 1993 for a 138-member National Assembly whose term 
is for 4 years.  For the first time in Malagasy history, the 
National Assembly in July 1994 produced and voted on a motion 
of censure against a sitting government.  In reaction, the 65 
pro-Zafy active forces parliamentarians joined with defectors 
from the former majority alliance, known as the Group-of-6, to 
block the censure motion against the Government of Prime 
Minister Ravony.

The Prime Minister and his Cabinet, not the President, execute 
legislation.  A Prime Minister is elected by each new National 
Assembly every 4 years, or upon vacancy.  The President and the 
Government, provided they act in concert, may dissolve the 
National Assembly.  If the National Assembly passes a motion of 
censure, the Prime Minister and his Government are required to 
step down.  The Constitutional High Court reviews the 
constitutionality of every law before it is promulgated.  The 
selection of the Senate must await the formation of local 
governments in 1995 since two-thirds of the Senate will be 
elected by local legislatures, and one-third appointed by the 
President, all for 4-year terms.

There are no legal restrictions against women participating in 
politics, but in practice men dominate the political process.  
One cabinet position is held by a woman, and women hold only 6 
percent of the legislative seats; in the judiciary they have 
significantly higher representation.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

By law, human rights groups are considered to be political 
groups and must register with the Government.  Some 
nongovernmental human rights groups exist and are increasingly 
active, for example in such issues as defending press 
freedoms.  They have been joined by civic education 
organizations that have much the same agenda.

The new Constitution provides for the establishment of an 
independent organization charged with promoting and protecting 
human rights.  In October the National Assembly designated the 
Office of the Mediator--a kind of public ombudsman created by 
the transitional government before the institution of the 
Constitution--to assume that constitutional role.  This action 
reversed an earlier decision by the Ravony government to 
abolish the Mediator on the grounds that it was redundant given 
the President's constitutional role as public arbiter vis-a-vis 
government administration.  The power of the Office of the 
Mediator rests in moral suasion.  The Office may publish its 
investigative findings but has yet to try to enlist public 
opinion in support of a particular cause.

The Government did not penalize or repress anyone for 
criticizing its human rights record.  While slow to carry out 
investigations of major cases of violence, notably the August 
1991 killings at Iavoloha palace, the Government was, at year's 
end, actively addressing this particular case (see Section 
1.a.).

The Government is receptive to visits by international human 
rights groups, just as it was to the presence of international 
election observation groups during the four nationwide 
elections in 1992 and 1993.  The ICRC made periodic visits 
again in 1994 and was regularly granted access to prisoners.  
United Nations organizations, including the International Labor 
Organization (ILO), operated freely and extensively in 
Madagascar.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution prohibits all forms of discrimination and 
groups that advocate ethnic or religious segregation.

     Women

There is societal discrimination against women, although less 
so in urban areas where women have an important, if secondary, 
role in the business and economic life of the country, with 
many of them managing or owning businesses or filling 
management positions in state industries.  However, women in 
rural areas face greater hardship, bearing the responsibilities 
of raising a family while also engaging in farm labor or other 
subsistence activities.

Under the 1990 conjugal law, wives have an equal say in 
choosing where a married couple will reside, and they receive 
generally equitable distribution of marital property in 
instances of divorce.  Widows inherit one-half of joint marital 
wealth.  In practice, some parts of the island still observe a 
tradition known as "the customary third" whereby the wife has a 
right to only a third of a couple's joint holdings.  However, a 
widow receives a pension, and a widower does not.

According to various sources, including magistrates, 
journalists, and women doctors, violence against women is not 
widespread.  In the rare cases where physical abuse is 
detected, police and legal authorities do intervene, although 
there is no law dealing specifically with violence against 
women, except in cases of rape.  Spouses can be tried for 
nonrape abuses, but generally under civil law.  Some women 
prisoners have been victims of rape.

     Children

There is no pattern of official or societal abuse against 
children.  While official expenditures on children's welfare 
are relatively low, the Government has decided to maintain 
spending levels for the Ministries of Health and Education 
despite an overall climate of increasing budget austerity.  
These levels are insufficient, however, to halt the decline of 
public services in the high-inflation environment.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Madagascar is inhabited by over 12 million people.  The 
Malagasy are of mixed Malayo-Indonesian and African origins and 
are made up of 18 distinct groups based on regional and 
ancestral affiliation.  Although there are some linguistic 
differences among them, nearly all speak Malagasy, which is of 
Malayo-Polynesian origin.  No one of these groups constitutes a 
majority of the population.  Long-term historical processes of 
military conquest, ethnic domination, and political 
consolidation, however, have traditionally favored the 
political and economic status of highland ethnic groups of 
Asian origin over the coastal groups of more African descent.  
The centralized planned economy of the previous regime 
reinforced the concentration of economic and political power in 
the highland, capital area.  This situation has contributed to 
ethnic tensions between the two groups.  Ethnic or regional 
solidarity may also be a determining factor in hiring practices.

An Indo-Pakistani community of about 20,000, primarily engaged 
in commerce, has been in Madagascar since the early part of 
this century.  Few, however, have been able to obtain Malagasy 
citizenship, since it is customarily bestowed matrilineally 
through native Malagasy women.  The Indo-Paskistanis are 
frequent targets of mistrust and criticism, and their shops 
have often been targets for violent attack during civil 
disturbances.  In one such incident in the town of Antsirabe in 
January, mobs destroyed 10 Indo-Pakistani stores and a dozen 
residences.  Three Malagasy died and several were wounded in 
the melee as police tried to restore order.

     People With Disabilities

Physically disabled people are not subject to discrimination in 
education and in the provision of other state services, but nor 
are they the beneficiaries of special enabling or protecting 
legislation.  The Government has not enacted legislation or 
otherwise provided for accessibility for the disabled.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The Malagasy in both the public and private sectors have the 
right in law (the 1975 Labor Code and the 1992 Constitution) 
and in practice to establish and join labor unions of their own 
choosing without prior authorization.  However, essential 
service workers, including police and military, may not form 
unions.  Unions are required to register with the Government, 
and registration is routinely granted.  About 80 percent of the 
labor force of 5 million is agrarian.  Unionized labor accounts 
for only about 5 percent of wage labor.

There are a number of trade union federations, and many are 
affiliated with political parties.  In practice, however, 
formal public and private sector unions have not played a major 
role politically or economically in recent years.  The 
Government exercised very limited control over organized labor.

The 1975 Labor Code and the new Constitution provide for the 
right to strike, even in export processing ("free trade") 
zones.  Those providing essential services--police, fire 
fighters, hospital workers--have only a limited right to 
strike.  In November the National Assembly voted to adopt a 
controversial new Labor Code which could have the practical 
effect of discouraging strikes and limiting collective 
bargaining.  At year's end, the Constitutional High Court had 
not approved the new Code.

There were occasional strikes in 1994, but none was officially 
declared illegal, including a taxi strike which barricaded 
roads in the capital city.  Most were resolved by negotiations 
or by informal arbitration by high government officials, 
including the President.  Laws and regulations prohibit 
retribution against strikers who adhere to legal procedures for 
striking.  Unions and workers were not directly targeted for 
human rights abuses, nor was there any apparent retribution 
against strikers and leaders.

Unions may and do freely affiliate with and participate in 
international bodies and may form federations or 
confederations.  The Government of Madagascar is party to the 
ILO Conventions.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Both the 1975 Labor Code and the 1992 Constitution provide for 
the right to bargain collectively.  The Code states that 
collective bargaining may be undertaken between management and 
labor at either party's behest.  Collective bargaining 
agreements exist but are not common, and the Government is 
often involved in the bargaining process, in part because of 
the large number of public sector employees in organized 
labor.  The minimum wage is set by the Government.  Other wages 
are set by the employers with individual employees, sometimes 
below the minimum wage.  When there is a failure to reach 
agreement, the Ministry of Labor convenes a Committee of 
Employment Inspectors who attempt to resolve the matter.  If 
this process fails, the Committee refers the matter to the 
Chairman of the Court of Appeals for final arbitration.  No 
such cases reached the Court of Appeals in 1994.

The 1975 Labor Code formally prohibits antiunion discrimination 
by employers against union members and organizers.  In the case 
of antiunion activity, the union or its members may file a 
petition in civil court challenging the employer.  Labor laws 
apply uniformly throughout the country, including in free trade 
zones.  However, the Government has difficulty effectively 
enforcing labor laws and regulations due to lack of basic 
resources.  Ministry of Labor inspectors, who number only 27, 
visit industrial work sites with some regularity, but mostly in 
the capital region.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Forced labor is explicitly prohibited by the 1975 Labor Code 
and is not practiced.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The 1975 Labor Code describes a child as any person under the 
age of 18.  The legal minimum age for employment is 14, and the 
use of child labor is prohibited in those areas where there is 
apparent and imminent danger.  The Government tries to enforce 
these child labor laws in the small wage sector through 
inspectors from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.  
However, in the large subsistence sector, many young children 
work with their parents on family farms at much earlier ages.  
Similarly, in the urban areas many children earn money hawking 
parking spaces, newspapers or other wares, and by carrying 
water and begging.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The 1975 Labor Code and its enforcing legislation prescribe the 
working conditions and wage scales for employees, which are 
enforced by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.  The law 
distinguishes between agricultural and nonagricultural work.

There are several administratively determined minimum-wage 
rates in Madagascar, depending upon employment skills, starting 
with $17 a month (63,000 Malagasy francs) for unskilled 
workers.  This wage is inadequate to ensure a decent standard 
of living for a worker and family, and workers must supplement 
their incomes through subsistence agriculture, petty trade, or 
reliance on the extended family structure.  Given insufficient 
enforcement measures, official wage rates are sometimes ignored 
as high unemployment and extreme poverty lead workers to accept 
salaries below the legal wage.

There is a 44-hour workweek in nonagricultural and service 
industries.  There are also provisions for holiday pay, sick 
and maternity leave, and insurance.

The 1975 Labor Code has rules concerning building and 
operational safety, machinery and moving engines, lifting 
weight limits, and sanitation standards.  Ministry of Labor and 
Social Security inspectors visit industrial work sites, and 
violations of Labor Code rules are subject to inspection 
reports.  Lack of resources effectively inhibit inspectors 
traveling regularly beyond the capital region.  If cited 
violations are not remedied within the specified time frame, 
the violators may be legally charged and subject to penalties.  
Nevertheless, in some sectors protective measures are lacking 
due to the expense of even minimal protective clothing and 
other protective devices.  To date, there have been no 
published reports on occupational health hazards and accidents, 
although there is clear evidence that these hazards exist.

There is no explicit right allowing workers to remove 
themselves from dangerous work without jeopardizing their 
continued employment.  The ILO has cited the Government within 
the past year for failure to observe ILO conventions and 
standards in workplace safety and weight limits.


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[end of document]

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