Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018
Madagascar is a semipresidential democratic republic with a popularly elected president, a bicameral legislature (Senate and National Assembly), prime minister, and cabinet. A presidential election was held November 7, with a two-candidate run-off on December 19. Independent observers judged the election as generally free and fair, despite irregularities in the campaign including allegations of voter suppression. The winner was not formally announced before year’s end. The National Assembly was elected in 2013. Nationwide municipal elections in 2015 allowed for the subsequent indirect election of the Senate. These elections were peaceful and deemed generally free and fair by international observers.
Civilian authorities at times did not maintain effective control over the security forces.
Human rights issues included arbitrary or unlawful killings by government security force agents; torture by government agents; arbitrary detention by government agents; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention center conditions; political prisoners; substantial interference with the right of peaceful assembly; pervasive corruption; trafficking in persons; lack of accountability in cases involving violence against women and children, in part from government negligence; and use of child labor.
The government rarely prosecuted or punished officials who committed abuses, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government, and impunity remained a problem.