Governance and human rights Progress and challenges
Since 2010, all elections have been internationally recognised. With German support, among other things, the framework conditions for the first local elections since 1987 were created. After several postponements, they took place in June 2019. Progress has also been made in the decentralisation process since 2012.
According to its constitution, Togo is a multi-party democracy with separation of powers. However, key decision-making powers lie with the president. Parliamentary and judicial controls are as yet inadequate. The administration of justice is strongly influenced by politics. Moreover, many conflicts are resolved by traditional authorities based on customary law, which contributes to uncertainty about prevailing law.
Corruption and nepotism are widespread. In the Corruption Perceptions Index (External link) compiled by the non-governmental organisation Transparency International, Togo ranks 134th out of the 180 countries evaluated (2020). While a legal basis to fight corruption has been put in place, government authorities are currently unable, due to a lack of both human and financial resources, to enforce compliance with these laws.
The human rights situation has improved significantly since the end of the dictatorship in 2005. However, human rights organisations continue to report individual cases of alleged torture, arbitrary arrests and harsh prison conditions. They also criticise the excessive use of force by security forces at rallies.
For a long time, civil society activities were subject to major restrictions. It was only in the early 1990s that the first civil society organisations were able to form. Today, Togo has numerous initiatives, associations and non-governmental organisations that work on a large number of different issues and are largely free in their activities.