The prevalence of malnourishment in Madagascar is higher than it was in 1992, and acute child malnutrition is on the rise. The Malagasy people also face low and unequal access to safe water, sanitation and health treatment. These problems suggest possible failures on the part of the government to give priority to the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights according to maximum available resources.
Making human rights accountability more graphic
CESR's fact sheet (ici en Français) on Madagascar provides a graphic overview of selected elements of the human rights to food, health and water, seeking to highlight areas where government efforts to realize these rights may be inadequate. It was prepared in light of Madagascar's appearance before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in November 2009.
The 43rd Session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
CESCR is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Part of CESCR's 43rd session (November 2-20, 2009 in Geneva) focused on the consideration of the state reports submitted by Madagascar. The discussion of this meeting can be found here.
In light of its consideration of Madagascar's reports, and the subsequent discussion, the Committee adopted its concluding observations. These concluding observations list principal subjects of concern along with suggestions and recommendations to the state party. Some listed concerns that were highlighted by CESR's fact sheet include:
- Concerns about Law No. 2007-037 allowing property acquisition by foreign investors, especially for agricultural purposes, which have an adverse impact on people's right to food;
- Concerns that the majority of Malagasy people live in poverty and that half of the population does not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation facilities;
- Concerns about the high child mortality rates and the lack of adequate maternal health care;
- Issues related to the high malnutrition prevalence among children and the general population and the generally insufficient budget allocations for health care.