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Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights : initial reports submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : Algeria.

Extracted Text

Economic and Social
17 October 1994
Original: FRENCH
Substantial session of 1995
Initial reports submitted by States parties under
articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant
[27 September 1994]
Paragraphs Page
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 - 10 2
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE COVENANT . . . . . . . . 11 - 25 4
Article 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 4
Article 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 - 25 4
II. SPECIFIC RIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 - 285 7
Article 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 - 63 7
Article 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 - 74 16
Article 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 - 81 23
Article 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 - 122 27
Article 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 - 142 36
Article 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 - 181 40
Article 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 - 222 46
Article 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 - 264 56
Article 15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 - 285 66
GE.94-19382 (E)
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1. Pursuant to article 122 of the Constitution, which provides that treaties
concerned with the status of persons shall be ratified by the President of the
Republic after being explicitly approved by the National People’s Assembly;
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was
ratified by Presidential Decree No. 89-67 of 16 May 1989 after approval by the
National People’s Assembly (Act No. 89-88 of 25 April 1989, published in
Official Journal No. 17 of 26 April 1989). The Covenant entered into force on
12 December 1989.
2. The present initial report of Algeria, submitted in accordance with
articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant, will describe the measures adopted in the
economic, social and cultural fields and the progress achieved by the policy
of ensuring protection and promotion of the rights laid down in the Covenant.
Similarly it will list the main provisions of Algerian legislation that
guarantee observance and promotion of the rights set forth in articles 6 to 15
of the Covenant.
3. When it submitted its initial reports to the Committee against Torture
and the Human Rights Committee in the course of 1991 and 1992, Algeria made
preliminary statements on the reforms in progress, so as to enable those to
whom the reports were addressed to obtain a better grasp of the latest
developments inside Algeria, which are designed to strengthen the democratic
structures set in place, improve the functioning of national institutions and
consolidate a State based on the rule of law.
4. The reforms undertaken throughout the 1980s affected the economic, social
and political life of the country. The economic sphere was given prime
attention with a view to attaining the objective of establishing a sounder
system of national production in order to gain a better comprehension of
management methods and their adaptation to social, economic and technical
progress. In setting out on this vast enterprise of transformation, Algeria’s
prime purpose was to give effect to the deep-felt aspirations of Algerian
5. Political life has undergone profound changes, brought about by the
adoption of the multi-party system given expression in the Constitution
adopted by popular referendum on 23 February 1989.
6. This report is being presented at a time when Algeria is experiencing an
acceleration of the process of economic, social and cultural reform begun
during the 1980s, an acceleration brought about by the major political changes
that have taken place with the adoption of a new Constitution. This basic law
reaffirms in particular Algeria’s attachment to the cardinal principles
concerning human rights contained in the United Nations Charter.
7. Thus it is emphasized in the preamble to the Constitution that "the
people intend, through this Constitution, to provide itself with institutions
which are based on the participation of citizens in the management of public
affairs and which give effect to social justice, equality and the freedom of
each and every one. The preamble also states: "The Constitution is above
everybody; it is the Fundamental Law that guarantees individual and collective
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rights and freedoms, protects the principle of free choice of the people and
legitimizes the exercise of authority. It makes it possible to ensure legal
protection and to supervise the acts of the public authorities in a society
given over to the rule of law and the flourishing of Man in every possible
8. The need to overhaul the whole legal framework that regulates both the
functioning of the national institutions and the exercise of fundamental human
rights and freedoms quickly became obvious. This overhaul consisted
essentially in strengthening the democratic structures and consolidating the
State based on the rule of law.
9. The actions undertaken with a view to strengthening a State under the
rule of law and consolidating democratic institutions have been backed up by
various measures taken to give legal and material effect to the constitutional
principles adopted and to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. The
1989 Constitution extends the scope of human rights and freedoms. The rights
recognized by the 1976 Constitution have been reaffirmed and ways of
exercising them strengthened and guaranteed by new constitutional provisions.
10. Thus, a whole chapter is devoted to rights and freedoms, as follows:
(a) Article 30: The purpose of the institutions is to ensure equality
of rights and obligations for all citizens, whether men or women, by removing
the obstacles to the full development of the human personality that prevent
the effective participation of all in political, economic, social and cultural
(b) Article 31: The fundamental rights and freedoms of the human being
and the citizen are guaranteed. They represent the shared heritage of all
Algerian men and women, whose duty it is to transmit them intact and inviolate
from generation to generation.
(c) Article 32: Individual or collective defence of fundamental human
rights and individual and collective freedoms is guaranteed.
(d) Article 34: Infringements of rights and freedoms and attempts to
undermine the physical or moral integrity of the human being are punishable by
the law.
(e) Article 36: The citizen is guaranteed freedom of artistic and
scientific intellectual creation, and his or her intellectual property rights
are protected by the law.
(f) Article 39: The freedoms of expression, association and assembly
are guaranteed.
(g) Article 40: All citizens are guaranteed equal access to posts and
employment within the State with no conditions other than those laid down by
the law.
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(h) Article 50: The right to education is guaranteed. Education shall
be free of charge under the conditions laid down by the law. Primary
education shall be compulsory. The State shall organize the educational
system. The State shall ensure equal access to education and vocational
(i) Article 51: All citizens have the right to protection of their
health. The State shall take steps to prevent and combat epidemic and endemic
(j) Article 52: All citizens have the right to work. The right to
protection, safety and healthy conditions at work is guaranteed by the law.
The right to rest is guaranteed; the law shall determine the ways in which
this right is exercised.
(k) Article 53: All citizens shall have the right to organize.
(l) Article 54: The right to strike is recognized. It shall be
exercised within the framework of the law, which may prohibit or limit its
exercise in the sphere of national defence and security or in public services
and activities of vital interest to the community.
(m) Article 55: The family shall be given the protection of the State
and society.
(n) Article 56: The living conditions of citizens who cannot yet work,
can no longer work or will never be able to work are guaranteed.
(o) Article 60: All the freedoms of each individual shall be exercised
with due regard for rights conferred on others by the Constitution,
particularly the right to honour, privacy, and protection of the family, young
persons and children.
Article 1
11. Algeria’s position regarding enjoyment of the right recognized in
article 1 of the Covenant was stated at length in the initial report submitted
to the Human Rights Committee and considered by that body at its forty-third
session in New York from 23 March to 10 April 1992. The relevant extracts
will be found in document CCPR/C/62/Add.1.
Article 2
12. This report will describe the efforts made by Algeria gradually to make
possible full exercise of the various rights laid down in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It must be remembered that these
efforts, which have been made both internally and in respect of international
economic relations, tend to encourage a type of evolution whose main features
are growth and social harmony.
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13. It goes without saying that Algeria’s resolute commitment to the cause of
human rights implies that the enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural
rights which are the subject of this report should be guaranteed for all, as
mentioned in Algeria’s initial report on the exercise of civil and political
rights. One of the first acts of independent Algeria was to remove from the
national legislation all the laws and regulations of a discriminatory nature
inherited from the colonial period. Since then, a profusion of new laws
covering all domains of political, economic, social and cultural life in
perfect harmony with the basic principles of non-discrimination and respect
for human rights has thus shaped the legal system that has been gradually
established in Algeria.
14. Universal access to the enjoyment of human rights is, moreover, specified
in the Algerian Constitution, which underlines in its article 28 that
"citizens are equal before the law without distinction on the ground of birth,
race, sex, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance".
15. In the same way it is stated explicitly that "Any foreigner who is
legitimately on Algerian territory shall enjoy the protection of the law for
his person and his property" (Constitution, art. 64).
16. As already mentioned in other national reports submitted by Algeria under
the obligations arising from its accession to other international human rights
instruments, many of the rights recognized in those instruments are guaranteed
by the Constitution and now form an integral part of national legislation.
17. It is worth recalling that, under the terms of the Constitution itself,
international agreements ratified by Algeria have an authority higher than
that of the law. Thus, the Constitutional Council, in its decision No. 1 of
20 August 1989, considered that "once it has been ratified and published, any
Convention shall form an integral part of national law and, under the terms of
article 123 of the Constitution, shall acquire an authority higher than that
of the laws, thus authorizing any Algerian citizen to cite it in his favour
before the courts" and that "this shall apply in particular to the
United Nations Covenants of 1966".
18. The cardinal principle of non-discrimination has been dealt with at
length in the various reports submitted regularly by Algeria to the Committee
on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; the ninth and tenth periodic
reports, submitted together in a single document, are shortly to be considered
by that body.
19. This rejection of any discriminatory practice may be deduced from a
reading of the whole set of laws designed to ensure the immediate or
progressive exercise of human rights. Thus Act No. 78-12 of 5 August 1978
making general provision for workers’ conditions of employment states:
"Workers’ rights are guaranteed by law. Workers shall have equal rights and
obligations. They shall be entitled to the same remuneration and advantages
for the same work if they have equal skills and output". The same Act
provides: "Disabled persons who cannot be employed in normal working
conditions shall be entitled to sheltered work or, where necessary, places in
sheltered workshops and to special training".
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20. Act No. 75-35 of 16 April 1976 relating to the organization of education
and training, states that the Algerian educational system must:
(a) Inculcate in young people the principles of justice and equality
between citizens and peoples, and encourage them to fight against any form of
(b) Provide an education that encourages understanding and cooperation
between peoples to ensure universal peace and understanding among nations;
(c) Develop an education that is in accord with human rights and
fundamental freedoms.
21. In the same way, the laws that regulate the freedoms of association,
opinion, expression and assembly contain specific provisions that forbid any
practices likely to infringe human rights. Moreover, the terms of reference
of the Constitutional Council confer on that body the authority to monitor,
inter alia, laws and regulations concerned with human rights. Thus, if the
Constitutional Council considers that a provision in an Act or regulation is
unconstitutional, that provision will become null and void as soon as the
Council publishes its decision. In this respect, it should be noted that the
Council ensures scrupulous respect for the principle of non-discrimination
that is laid down, in particular, in the Constitution.
22. In addition to its decision No. 1, discussed earlier, the Constitutional
Council, in its decision No. 2 (D.L.CC.89) of 30 August 1989, declared that
article 8 of Act No. 14 of 8 August 1989 regarding the status of deputy ran
counter to article 28 of the Constitution. Article 8 of that Act was
concerned with the compatibility of the posts of professor in higher education
and physician in the public sector with the status of deputy. The Council
considered that "The law, which expresses the general will, cannot create
situations of inequity between citizens and that the exclusion of
incompatibility in favour of certain holders of public posts, as provided for
in article 8, creates a discriminatory situation vis-à-vis those holding
identical posts under different legal conditions".
23. The judicial, administrative and other authorities are for their part
bound to respect the law and the international commitments of Algeria, since
the Constitution contains numerous provisions concerning those commitments.
24. The equal right of men and women to enjoy the economic, social and
cultural rights laid down in the Covenant is recognized and protected. This
right to equality arises in particular from article 28 of the Constitution,
which provides that "All citizens are equal before the law without distinction
on the ground of birth, race, sex, opinion or any other personal or social
condition or circumstance".
25. Moreover, Algeria ratified ILO’s Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100)
when it joined the International Labour Organization in the first few months
after its independence.
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Article 6
26. Algeria is a party to:
ILO Convention No. 89 concerning night work by women;
ILO Convention No. 100 concerning equal remuneration for men and women
for work of equal value;
ILO Convention No. 122 concerning employment policy;
ILO Convention No. 111 concerning discrimination (employment and
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination of 21 December 1965.
27. The Algerian Constitution states in article 52: "All citizens have the
right to work. The right to protection, safety and healthy conditions at work
is guaranteed by the law. The right to rest is guaranteed; the law shall
determine the ways in which this right is exercised".
28. Employed persons, in both the public and private sectors, are subject to
the General Provision for Workers’ Conditions of Employment (Act No. 78-12) of
5 August 1978, which contains the following provisions:
(a) Article 1 defines "the rights enjoyed by workers and the
corresponding obligations that they are required to discharge, in either case
irrespective of the sector in which they are employed";
(b) Article 4 states that "work is the essential factor in the
economic, social and cultural development of the nation and the source from
which a worker derives his means of subsistence. Algerian society is based on
(c) Article 6: "The right to work is guaranteed in accordance with the
(d) Article 7: "Workers’ rights are guaranteed by law";
(e) Article 10: "The State shall guarantee all workers stability and
security of employment, subject to the conditions specified in this Act and
the regulations made thereunder";
(f) Article 11: "Every worker shall have the right to the physical,
spiritual, cultural and occupational development of his personality";
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(g) Article 16: "Workers shall enjoy all the rights conferred on them
by law in connection with welfare schemes. Undertakings shall provide the
necessary conditions for the exercise of such rights. Such conditions shall
be fully suited to enabling workers to achieve physical, spiritual and
cultural well-being";
(h) Article 48: "Jobs shall be assigned in accordance with the
requirements of the national development plan and with due regard for the
skills, aptitudes, wishes and preferences of the workers concerned".
29. The protection of persons considered vulnerable is explicitly provided
for in national legislation, as shown by the following developments.
Disabled persons
30. Disabled persons are viewed as integral members of society and therefore
enjoy all established economic, social and cultural rights. In addition,
their vulnerability is regularly taken into account when welfare projects are
31. As part of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,
Algeria has established statutory and legislative machinery designed to ensure
genuine social and occupational integration for the disabled. The
Constitution stipulates in article 56 that "The living conditions of citizens
who cannot yet work, can no longer work or will never be able to work are
guaranteed". On the basis of this general principle, a number of steps have
been taken to achieve the key aim of improving the living conditions of
disabled persons by giving them as many advantages as possible. This
legislative and statutory machinery provides the practical framework for
looking after some of the vital interests of disabled persons.
32. The rights thus recognized and promoted, other than the right whose
enjoyment is described in this section, such as the right to health, social
welfare and education, will be covered in the relevant sections of this
33. The occupational and social integration of disabled persons is covered by
the terms of the Apprenticeship Act (No. 81-07) of 7 June 1981, which gives
young disabled persons access to an apprenticeship, with the possibility of
raising the upper age-limit to 20 years. In addition, in the area of
vocational training there are centres that cater for disabled persons, in
particular, the National Vocational Training Centre for the Physically
Disabled (Decree No. 81/397 of 26 December 1981).
34. Incentives have also been introduced for the employment of disabled
persons in the form of tax exemption on industrial and commercial profits and
exemption from the lump-sum payment for enterprises employing at least one
disabled person or enterprises attached to associations. Confirming the
State’s position on the matter, the Labour Relations Act (No. 90-11) of
21 April 1990 requires employers to reserve jobs for disabled persons.
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35. Discrimination of any kind on grounds of sex is prohibited, as evidenced
in particular by the relevant provisions of the Constitution quoted above.
36. The broad lines of policy that have governed the country’s economic and
social life tend to enhance equality between citizens, in terms of rights and
obligations, without distinction on the ground of sex.
37. With specific reference to the right to work, the existing legislation
confirms the equal rights of workers. The Individual Employment Relation Act
(No. 82-06) of 27 February 1982 states, in article 8: "Workers shall enjoy
the same rights and incur the same obligations, regardless of their sex and
age, when they occupy the same posts. Subject to equal qualifications and
performance, they shall enjoy the same remuneration and allowances for the
same work".
38. In addition, labour legislation includes special protective provisions
designed, in particular:
(a) To prohibit night work for women under 19 years of age; for women
over 19, night work is limited to certain jobs or certain production units;
(b) To prohibit the dismissal of women during pregnancy;
(c) To make provision for and grant leave of absence for women with a
dependent child of preschool age or with a disorder requiring continuous
(d) To allow a working woman who is nursing her child two hours’
absence per day for the first six months after delivery and one hour per day
for the following six months.
39. The following table shows the trend in the active female population
from 1977 to 1989 (in thousands):
1977 1982 1983 1984 1985 1988 1989
203 348 360 404 523 511 542
40. A recent study by the National Statistics Office showed a marked increase
in female employment, which rose from 523,000 in 1985 to 542,000 in 1989,
representing an annual average increase of 0.9 per cent. The active female
population now represents 10 per cent of the total. A total of 140,000 women,
or 25.9 per cent of the active female population, engage in an activity at
home. This type of employment is steadily expanding, as shown by the increase
of 82,000 persons recorded over a three-year period.
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41. While it is true that female employment may be subject to social,
religious and, of course, economic constraints, recent surveys have clearly
shown that female employment has to be viewed increasingly in
socio-educational terms, given that female employment is more common in
households where the level of education is higher.
42. Act No. 78-12 of 5 August 1978 making general provision for workers’
conditions of employment contains the following articles:
(a) Article 171: Training is a factor in workers’ social advancement
and career prospects and affords a guarantee of the country’s economic
development. Training schemes shall be prepared and carried out with the
participation of the workers’ representatives;
(b) Article 173: A pre-employment wage may be granted by the State or
any undertaking to a future worker engaged under contract to work for a
minimum period with that undertaking. The procedures for financing and
organizing training for which a socialist undertaking has assumed
responsibility shall be laid down by decree;
(c) Article 172: In accordance with the provisions contained in the
National Charter and the Constitution, all forms of training are a national
obligation for workers, undertakings and the State;
(d) Article 176: Every undertaking, acting in cooperation with the
workers’ representatives, shall make arrangements to promote and carry out the
training and further training schemes corresponding to its needs and to
provide recurrent training for all its workers, with the object of promoting
their personal development and self-expression. The training schemes
organized by each undertaking shall take account of the general trends in the
undertaking itself, the training schemes run by other undertakings and sectors
and the existence of training facilities provided by other undertakings either
individually or jointly and those available at the national level;
(e) Article 178: Every worker shall be required to follow training or
further training courses, seminars or schemes organized in the light of the
undertaking’s needs, with the object of updating or increasing the general,
vocational and technical knowledge that he requires for the normal performance
of the duties entrusted to him or which his undertaking intends to entrust to
him in connection with his promotion.
43. Act No. 90 of 31 December 1990 establishing the national plan for 1991
states, in article 13, that the aim of providing more effectively for
citizens’ basic social needs shall be pursued in 1991 with a view to
preserving social balance and shall constitute a key element of all activities
mentioned under this Act. In practical terms, it will be pursued more
specifically through:
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(a) The development of productive employment, in activities related to
market integration or adjustment to demand, based in particular on the
development of subcontracting and maintenance, with more effective
exploitation of existing capacities and stimulating activities by small and
medium-sized enterprises;
(b) The safeguarding of existing overall employment by ensuring better
use of production and training capacities and by promoting the reorientation
of enterprises towards areas of inadequate supply or strong demand.
44. Among the general aims and priorities of Act No. 91-26
of 18 December 1991 establishing the national plan for 1992, mention
should be made of:
(a) The safeguarding of existing overall employment and the promotion
of training and retraining activities based on a better knowledge of the
labour market;
(b) The gradual reform of the systems of education, training and
research, in particular basic and applied educational research, with a view to
improving their performance and ensuring better coordination between their
45. As already mentioned in this chapter, the Algerian State has undertaken
to ensure stability and security of employment for all workers under
article 10 of the Act making general provision for workers’ conditions of
employment and other relevant legal provisions. To that end, the Algerian
Government has adopted a series of measures aimed at the provision of
vocational guidance and training and the formulation of programmes, policies
and techniques designed to ensure steady economic, social and cultural
development and productive full employment.
46. With regard to vocational guidance and training, activities to which
Algeria accords high priority, the strong demand for skilled labour called for
action based on the following principles:
(a) Organization and development of in-plant vocational training;
(b) Introduction of national training through apprenticeship;
(c) An increase in the number of vocational training centres;
(d) Launching of a system of training by correspondence;
(e) Coordination of all vocational training bodies constituting the
national training system.
47. Mention should also be made of the adoption of laws and decrees on the
subject, including the Apprenticeship Act (No. 81-07) and numerous decrees
aimed at:
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(a) Organizing and promoting vocational training by standardizing the
conditions of access to, and funding and duration of, training and the
procedures for issuing diplomas and certificates (Decree No. 83-573 of
15 October 1983);
(b) Organizing in-plant vocational training (Decree No. 82-299 of
4 September 1982 concerning the promotion of in-plant vocational training;
Decree No. 82-298 of 4 September 1982 concerning the organization and
financing of in-plant vocational training);
(c) Organizing the bodies responsible for the training of instructors
by establishing four institutes (Médéa: mechanics and graphic arts; Sétif:
buildings, equipment; Birkhadem: office jobs, chemistry; Sidi Bel Abbes:
electricity, industrial refrigeration);
(d) Organizing the institution responsible for the promotion and
development of in-plant training (Decree No. 81-394 of 26 December 1981
setting up the National Vocational Training Institute).
48. As a result, Algeria now has a national vocational training system
with 697 residential training institutions covering public works,
construction, mechanics, metallurgy, electricity, furniture, agriculture,
chemistry, handicrafts, etc. In addition, it has the national system of
training by apprenticeship and training by correspondence. In all, 250,000
training slots covering 140 specialized fields are available. Emphasis is
currently placed on adaptation of the training system to the country’s
economic needs and the technical development of occupations.
49. Provision is also made for coordination between trainers and users. In
addition, new courses of studies have been introduced, such as the training of
3,200 computer programmers (late 1989), the training of systems maintenance
technicians and the introduction of an office automation unit into certain
specialized courses. Enterprises may in turn take advantage of the vocational
training institutes, which organize officially recognized vocational
development or retraining courses. The private sector provides 42 per cent of
the training courses, chiefly in the form of in-plant schemes. These
activities are accompanied by technical and pedagogical assistance from the
vocational training centres and administrative and financial assistance from
the State.
50. Secondly, special mention should be made of the agricultural training
programme launched in 1985, in view of the role assigned to agriculture in the
development process and in the effort to achieve self-sufficiency in food.
The programme involves development of the training system and its orientation
towards production, apprenticeship activities, adaptation of the workforce,
and the further training of technicians and managers.
51. Algeria currently has 5 higher training institutes, 14 intermediate
agricultural technology institutes, 30 agricultural training and extension
centres, and 1 national agricultural education centre responsible for research
and teaching aids, training of instructors and curriculum design.
page 13
52. Lastly, to complete this overview of technical and vocational training
programmes in Algeria, reference should be made to recent legislation in the
(a) Executive Decree No. 91-54 of 23 February 1991 concerning the
tasks, organization and functioning of the National Vocational Training
Institute which, according to article 2 of the Executive Decree, is
responsible for:
(i) Carrying out studies and research related to the development
of the training and vocational qualification system;
(ii) Designing and producing training programmes tailored to the
various training and vocational qualification systems;
(iii) Gathering, processing and distributing to training
establishments and instructors all important information on
technical, technological and pedagogical developments in the
field of vocational training;
(iv) Designing, producing and running, on the basis of a plan
extending over several years, the training, retraining and
professional or pedagogical development programmes designed
to establish and maintain the professional competence of the
training and management staff of training establishments;
(v) Providing for the retraining and professional development of
specialized vocational education teachers, vocational
training inspectors and directors of vocational training
(b) Executive Decree No. 91-55 of 23 February 1991 amending and
supplementing Executive Decree No. 90-164 of 2 June 1990 concerning the
organization of the central administration of the Ministries of Social Affairs
and Employment. Article 1 of the Executive Decree states that under the
authority of the Minister for Social Affairs and of the Minister for
Employment, the Central Department of Social Affairs and Employment shall
comprise the following branches: employment regulation, employment promotion,
labour relations, social security and welfare;
(c) Executive Decree No. 90-244 of 4 August 1990 laying down the rules
governing the organization and functioning of the wilaya employment and
vocational training services. Under article 3, the wilaya employment and
vocational training services are required to develop and implement measures
designed to promote and stimulate employment and vocational training. To that
end, they will be responsible for:
(i) Stimulating, coordinating and periodically evaluating
developments in the labour market;
(ii) Identifying and putting forward measures designed to protect
existing employment and promote job creation, and
implementing the activities approved in that regard;
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(iii) Promoting coordination between vocational training
establishments, local employment agencies, economic
operators, and the authorities responsible for education and
youth affairs;
(iv) Stimulating and invigorating the voluntary organization
movement with a view to promoting employment and vocational
53. Similarly, in accordance with the Wilaya Act (No. 90-09) of 7 April 1990,
the wilaya people’s assembly may, in cooperation with the communes and
economic operators initiate, promote or participate in job-creation programmes
aimed at young people or development regions.
54. Among the most noteworthy aspects are the mobilization of the sector’s
research and analysis potential, relations with the economic world and
intersectoral cooperation, whose structures and mechanisms were set up in 1990
through the specialized vocational committees and the wilaya vocational
training committees. This system has been supplemented by the reorganization
of the local employment and vocational training structures, aimed at improving
the integration of employment and training.
55. For 1991, the programme presented early in the year by the Minister
responsible for vocational training provided for a sustained rate of increase
in the number of trainees (approximately 23 per cent more trainees in 1991
than in 1990). The programme provided for the training of 284,000 persons
using different methods (residential training: 120,000; apprenticeship:
100,000; distance teaching: 50,000; evening courses: 100,000; in-plant
training: 4,000).
56. In terms of teaching capacity, a quantitative increase of 54,000 posts
was envisaged. This increase will facilitate the attainment of a number of
objectives, namely, expanding level 4 (technical) training, redressing the
imbalance in the distribution of teaching staff in favour of levels 4 and 5
(technical and higher technical), and at the same time continuing to expand
capacity for providing training at levels 1, 2 and 3 (skilled and highly
skilled workers). This increase should also fulfil the objective of promoting
certain neglected fields of specialization or launching promising new fields,
such as agriculture and fisheries, arts and crafts, tourism, the plastics
industry, servicing of elevators, clocks and watches, information technology,
public relations and occupations in the area of communications.
57. Discrimination in employment is prohibited in Algeria. This is a
cardinal constitutional principle enshrined, in particular, in article 28 of
the Constitution, which provides that "citizens are equal before the law
without distinction on the ground of birth, race, sex, opinion or any other
personal or social condition or circumstance". In addition, article 48 of the
Constitution establishes the principle of "equal access to posts and
employment within the State, which shall be guaranteed to all citizens, with
no conditions other than those laid down by the law".
page 15
58. A number of measures designed to promote economic, social and cultural
development and full productive employment in conditions which protect
the right of individuals to fundamental political and economic freedoms
have been put into effect following the adoption of the Constitution of
23 February 1989. The main thrust of those measures has been to combat the
underlying causes of inflation, and to promote activities in priority areas
and sound economic management. This has required:
(a) The introduction of a method for the short, medium and long-term
management of external financial balances to enable the productive sector to
fulfil its role more effectively by making the necessary investments;
(b) More efficient management of the money supply;
(c) Modernization of commercial regulations.
59. Public enterprise reform is the last element of the reform package. In
Algeria public enterprises have so far been the main vehicle of development
policy. The reform of such enterprises is aimed, first of all, at ensuring
their autonomy, and freedom of management and initiative, thereby enabling
them to operate in accordance with the commercial regulations in force, the
market henceforth being the sole arbiter of their efficiency.
60. Public economic enterprises (EPEs) have now been incorporated as bodies
corporate persons subject to the rules of commercial law (Act No. 88-01
of 12 January 1988 containing guidelines for public economic enterprises).
The EPEs represent limited liability companies all of whose shares and/or
capital contributions are held directly or indirectly by the State and/or the
local communities. The EPE has responsibility for its own assets and for
assets to which it is entitled by law and which may be subject to recovery in
accordance with the laws in force.
61. The autonomy of enterprises has also been strengthened by the
establishment of equity funds. These are joint-stock companies operating
under a specific juridical regime which are the financial agents of the State,
from which they receive the portfolio of share capital issued by the EPEs as a
set-off against payment for equity. The equity is held by the State, which
transfers its rights therein to the fund.
62. Decree No. 88-02 of 12 January 1988 governing equity funds which are
responsible for placing investments in the form of capital shares in the EPEs
in order to secure dividends assigns to such funds a development and
supervisory role. The number of shares which the funds may hold in an
enterprise varies but may not exceed 40 per cent of the total. The equity
fund is managed by a board of directors composed of five to nine members who
are appointed by the Government.
63. There are currently eight equity funds in the following sectors: mining,
capital goods; chemical and petrochemical industries, pharmaceuticals;
construction; services; miscellaneous industries; electronics,
telecommunications and information science; food and agriculture.
page 16
Article 7
64. In addition to the fact that Algeria is party to most of the ILO
conventions, the right to work is protected by a comprehensive set of laws
based on the constitutional principles mentioned above, which guarantee, in
conditions of equality for all citizens, employment and remuneration geared to
qualifications and the real value of work performed.
65. Algeria’s wages policy is based on the principles of a guaranteed minimum
wage. The criteria used to determine the wage level are the cost of living
and the growth in national output. The policy is also based on additional
remuneration determined by the productivity of the enterprise thus giving
workers a stake in its performance.
66. The equality of men and women in this area is provided for in,
inter alia, article 8 of the Act making general provision for workers’
conditions of employment, which stipulates: "Workers’ rights are guaranteed
by law. Workers shall have equal rights and obligations. They shall be
entitled to the same remuneration and advantages for the same work if they
have equal skills and output".
67. Articles 128 to 138 of the same Act spell out the objectives of wages
"Article 128: The levels and scales of wages and the overall level
of the wage bill shall be fixed in the light of development requirements,
the economic, cultural and social objectives laid down in the plan, the
growth of production and added value, the policy of assuring fair shares
in national income and the effects of economic growth.
Article 129: The national guaranteed minimum wage applicable in
all sectors of activity shall be fixed by decree in the light of the
workers’ vital needs and the country’s economic possibilities.
Account shall be taken, in fixing the national guaranteed minimum
wage, of trends in the prices of essential goods and services forming
part of a standard family budget to be fixed in regulations.
Movements in the level of the national guaranteed minimum wage
shall be linked to development requirements and to national objectives in
the economic, cultural and social fields.
It shall be the purpose of wages policy, subject to the
requirements and objectives referred to in the preceding paragraph, to
eliminate the disparity between the national guaranteed minimum wage for
agriculture and those for other sectors.
Article 130: Overall trends in wages shall be linked to the trends
in the national guaranteed minimum wage within the limits of the national
wage scales laid down by the Government.
page 17
Article 131: It shall be the purpose of wages policy, subject to
the requirements and objectives referred to in the third paragraph of
section 129, to progressively reduce and finally eliminate the wage
disparities between agriculture and the other sectors."
Safe and healthy working conditions
68. The right of everyone to fair and satisfactory working conditions that,
in particular, ensure safety and hygiene is guaranteed by article 52 of the
Constitution, which stipulates that "The right to protection, safety and
healthy conditions at work is guaranteed by the law". Moreover, article 13 of
the Act making general provision for workers’ conditions of employment
stipulates: "An undertaking shall guarantee its workers the health and safety
conditions specified in the legislation currently in force". Article 88 of
the Act makes it mandatory for employers to draw up work rules covering,
inter alia, occupational health and safety standards.
69. Act No. 88-07 of 26 January 1988 relating to occupational health, safety,
and medicine defines ways and means of ensuring that workers enjoy the best
possible conditions in these areas, and designates the individuals and
employers responsible for the execution of the measures provided for. In
particular, the Act stipulates that employers are responsible for ensuring
workers’ health and safety and for integrating safety considerations in
technical and managerial decisions. Installations must be suitable for the
type of work to be performed and must eliminate risks. They must be
periodically inspected and maintained so as to ensure workers’ safety.
Employers are required to pay for health and safety-related activities.
Statutory responsibility for ensuring that these provisions are enforced lies
with the Labour Inspectorate.
Equal opportunities for promotion
70. The right to be promoted to an appropriate higher category, on the basis
of no other criterion than length of service and ability, is guaranteed and
protected. This right is duly provided for and spelt out in the specific
regulations applicable to the personnel of State bodies and in the collective
agreements of enterprises.
Rest, leisure, limitation of working hours and holidays with pay
71. The right to holidays is enshrined in article 52 of the Constitution.
Furthermore, article 17 of the Act making general provision for workers’
conditions of employment guarantees the right of all workers to rest, and
specifies that they may exercise this right under the conditions of
articles 79 to 87 of the Act:
"Article 79: Every worker shall have the right to a full day of
rest each week. The normal day for the weekly rest, which shall
correspond to the ordinary conditions of work, shall be prescribed by
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Where the needs of the general public or the organization of
production and work so require, the weekly rest may be postponed or taken
on some other day, in the manner prescribed in regulations.
Article 80: The various public holidays with pay shall be those
prescribed in the legislation currently in force.
Article 81: The weekly rest days and the various public holidays
with pay shall be statutory days of rest.
Article 82: A worker who has been employed on a statutory day of
rest shall be entitled to a compensatory rest of equal length and to the
overtime supplement provided for in regulations.
Article 83: All workers shall be entitled to the same arrangements
for annual leave.
Entitlement to annual leave shall be based on the work done in the
course of an annual base period running from the first day of July of the
year preceding the leave to the thirtieth day of June of the current
This base period for the assessment of entitlement to, and the
period of, leave shall remain fixed, irrespective of the date on which
the worker takes his leave and of the date on which he took his leave for
the previous year.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the starting date for the base
period in the case of workers who are recruited in the course of the
leave year defined above shall be the date of their recruitment.
Article 84: Leave arrangements, and specifically the length of
annual leave and the bases for calculating leave entitlements and leave
remuneration, shall be prescribed by law.
Article 85: The period for taking annual leave with pay shall be
prescribed by decree.
It shall be chosen with due regard for the needs of the general
public, production and productivity and the workers’ own interests.
Article 86: Annual leave with pay may be taken in instalments if
the requirements of service so warrant or permit.
The procedure for taking such instalments shall be prescribed in
the model conditions of employment issued for the sector of activity
Article 87: Every worker shall be under an obligation to take his
leave each year. In no circumstances may remuneration be paid in lieu of
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Only in exceptional cases shall a worker be permitted to carry over
all or part of his annual leave from one year to another."
72. Decree No. 82-184, dated 15 May 1982, relating to statutory rest periods,
stipulates as follows:
"Article 1: The purpose of this Decree is to fix the rules
applicable to weekly rest and paid public holidays.
Article 2: Every worker shall be entitled to a weekly rest period
of at least 24 consecutive hours.
Article 3: The normal weekly rest day under normal conditions of
employment is set as Friday.
Article 4: In those sectors in which the working week is spread
over five days, in conformity with article 9 of Act No. 8103 of
21 February 1981 establishing statutory working hours, the weekly rest
days shall be set on the basis of economic requirements and of the social
needs of citizens and workers.
The second weekly rest day for administrative departments open to
the public shall be Thursday;
The second weekly rest day for economic production units shall be
73. As regards the length of the working day, articles 67 to 71 of the Act
making general provision for workers’ conditions of employment set out the
applicable general rules:
"Article 67: The daily and/or weekly hours of work shall be
prescribed by law.
Timetables shall be laid down by each undertaking with due regard
for the basic timetables issued in regulations at the national level.
Timetables shall be designed and fixed in consultation with the
workers’ representatives and with due regard for the requirements of the
general public, production and development and for the specific features
of the place or region where the job is done.
Article 68: The working day shall not in any circumstances be
spread over more than 12 hours.
Article 69: Where the activity carried on by an undertaking
requires extra work to be done either on specified occasions or from time
to time, the undertaking may, after having exhausted all possibilities
compatible with the rational and optimum use of its available manpower
page 20
during the normal hours of work, require any worker to work overtime
beyond the statutory limits either laid down for the hours of work or
embodied in the timetables.
Article 70: Recourse to overtime shall be had only in exceptional
cases, and must then correspond to an absolute need, be compatible with
the requirements of full employment policy and be dictated by an effort
to achieve higher output. The following conditions, inter alia, shall
apply to overtime:
Except in cases of force majeure every worker shall be required to
work overtime if called upon to do so by his undertaking;
The number of hours of overtime worked by any given worker shall
not exceed a limit to be fixed in the model conditions of
employment issued for the sector of activity concerned;
Overtime shall entitle a worker to compensation calculated and paid
in the manner prescribed in the model conditions of employment
issued for the sector of activity concerned.
Article 71: In cases where the normal hours of work correspond to
a system of continuous working, the undertaking shall arrange for a
half-hour break to be given at an appropriate time near the middle of the
working day; this break shall be reckoned as time worked for the purpose
of determining the actual hours of work."
74. Act No. 81-03 of 21 February 1981, which prescribes the statutory hours
of work and is applicable to all sectors of activity, provides:
"Article 1: The purpose of this Act is to set forth the provisions
relative to the daily and weekly hours of work.
Subject to the provisions of article 212 of Act No. 78-12
of 5 August 1978 making general provision for workers’ conditions of
employment, this Act shall apply to all sectors of activity.
Article 2: The term ’statutory hours of work’ shall mean the time
during which a worker is at the disposal of the undertaking, either at
the worksite or in some other place, for the purpose of preparing or
performing the tasks for which he is responsible.
Article 3: The hours of work shall be fixed with due regard for
the development requirements of the nation and its economic, cultural and
social objectives.
The hours of work shall be determined by the pace at which
production advances, improvements in productivity, and scientific and
technical progress.
As a general rule, the hours of work shall permit the development
of the worker.
page 21
Article 4: The duration of the working week shall be set
at 44 hours.
Article 5: Article 4 above notwithstanding, the hours of work may
be reduced in the case of persons performing work which is particularly
difficult with regard to the physical, intellectual or mental effort
involved, which is unhealthy or hazardous, or which entails particular
The types of work falling within the scope of the first paragraph
of this article shall be fixed by decree.
The reduction in the hours of work, as provided for in the first
paragraph of this article, may consist of a reduction in the daily or
weekly statutory hours of work or of breaks reckoned as time worked
during that period. The reduction may in no circumstances exceed six
hours a week.
The model conditions of employment issued for the various sectors
of activity shall determine the procedures for implementation of this
Article 6: Female workers, other than those performing civilian
service, may choose to work part-time.
Article 7: The exact times at which the statutory hours, as
provided for under article 2 above are to be worked, shall be determined
by the standard conditions of employment for the sector of activity
Article 8: In the agricultural sector, the hours of work shall be
prescribed by law.
Article 9: The weekly hours of work shall be distributed in one of
the following ways:
Four working days of nine hours each and a fifth working day of
eight hours;
Five working days of eight hours each and a sixth working day of
four hours;
Unequal length of working days, limited to a maximum of 10 hours
per day.
The weekly hours of work, distributed according to one of the ways
mentioned above, may be worked continuously or in shifts.
Workers’ representatives shall in all cases participate in the
choice of method of distribution.
In cases where the normal working hours correspond to a system of
continuous working, the undertaking shall arrange for a half-hour break
page 22
to be given near the middle of the working day; this break shall be
reckoned as time worked for the purpose of determining the actual hours
of work.
Article 10: As a general rule, the working day shall be
between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Nevertheless, for certain activities, the working day may extend
beyond 9 p.m., in which case the provisions relating to night work shall
apply to any work performed after 9 p.m.
Article 11: Pursuant to the above articles, a basic national work
schedule shall be fixed by decree so that rational and harmonious
coordination may be ensured between the country’s various economic
activities and social and cultural requirements, due regard being had for
the geographical area in which the work is being performed, the
conditions of production, the supply of goods and services to the public,
and transport and other features of working life, including team work.
Article 12: In accordance with article 68 of Act No. 78-12
of 5 August 1978 making general provision for workers’ conditions of
employment, the time between the beginning and the end of the working
day, including rest breaks, shall not exceed 12 hours for any worker.
Overtime worked in accordance with the provisions of the articles
below shall be included within this limit.
Article 13: Any work performed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. shall be
considered to be night work.
Article 14: No night work may be performed by workers, of either
sex, under 19 years of age.
Article 15: Night work shall be prohibited for women over 19 years
of age except in certain production and service units or other posts
which shall be fixed by decree.
Article 16: The undertaking may have recourse to night work after
consultation with workers’ representatives.
The undertaking is required to declare such work to the local
office of the Labour Inspectorate.
Article 17: In accordance with the provisions of article 153
of Act No. 78-12 of 5 August 1978, making general provision for workers’
conditions of employment, the undertaking may have recourse to work in
successive shifts.
Article 18: Authorization to perform overtime work is required in
accordance with the provisions of articles 69 and 70 of Act No. 78-12
making general provision for workers’ conditions of employment.
page 23
Such authorization shall be granted by the local office of the
Labour Inspectorate in respect of the first four hours of overtime work
per week, and may not extend beyond a period of six months.
Beyond this limit, authorization shall be granted by the Labour
Minister following an inquiry by the local office of the Labour
Recourse to overtime may not, in any circumstances, be had without
prior consultation with workers’ representatives.
The sectors of activity which are not subject to the two
authorizations referred to above shall be defined by decree.
Article 19: Notwithstanding the provisions of article 18 above,
recourse may be had to overtime without authorization in the case of:
Certain types of work whose interruption may, because of the nature
of that work, cause serious damage in the course of the execution
of works or projects;
Work performed by workers either individually or collectively and
which is of an unforeseeable, exceptional and limited nature.
The undertaking is required to inform the local office of the
Labour Inspectorate within 48 hours following the commencement of the
work performed.
Work performed under these conditions shall be subject to the
provisions relating to overtime.
Article 20: The number of overtime hours worked by a worker may
not exceed the limit fixed by the standard conditions of employment for
the sector of activity concerned.
Article 21: Every worker, except in cases of force majeure, shall
be required to work overtime within the limits of the provisions of this
Article 8
Right to form trade unions and to join the trade union of one’s choice
75. Article 53 of the Algerian Constitution extends the right to organize to
all citizens, stipulating: "All citizens shall have the right to organize".
Article 39 provides that "The freedoms of expression, association and assembly
are guaranteed".
76. Act No. 90-14 of 2 June 1990 relating to procedures for the exercise of
the right to organize reaffirms the principles embodied in the Constitution
and ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98, and guarantees to both workers and
employers the right freely to form associations for the purpose of defending
their occupational interests. This Act governs the establishment,
page 24
organization, functioning, intervention and resource management of workers’
and employers’ associations. It protects the exercise of the right to
organize, ensures its independence, and incorporates the provisions of
Convention No. 98 on the right to organize and collective bargaining. Since
the promulgation of the aforementioned instruments, numerous independent trade
union organizations for workers and employers have been formed.
77. Act No. 90-14 of 2 June 1990 relating to procedures for the exercise of
the right to organize contains the following provisions:
"Article 2: Workers and employers in the same occupations, trades
or sectors of economic activity shall have the right to set up trade
unions for the purpose of defending their material and moral interests.
Article 3: Accordingly, workers and employers shall have the right
to establish such trade unions, or to join existing trade unions, freely
and voluntarily, conditional only on their conformity with the laws and
regulations in force and with the statutes of the said trade unions.
Article 12: The rights and obligations of the members of a trade
union shall be determined by the laws and regulations in force and by the
statutes of the union itself.
Article 22: Trade unions shall not include in their statutes or
practise any form of discrimination among their members likely to
interfere with their fundamental rights.
Article 63: Workers engaged in national defence and security shall
be governed by separate provisions."
Right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations, and
to form or join international trade-union organizations
78. Under Algerian legislation, trade unions have the right to join
international, continental and regional trade union organizations pursuing the
same or similar aims (Act No. 90-14, art. 18). Trade union associations,
federations and confederations are subject to the same provisions as those
applying to trade unions (ibid., art. 4).
Right of trade unions to function freely
79. This right is also protected by Act No. 90-14 of 2 June 1990 relating to
procedures for the exercise of the right to organize:
"Article 5: Trade unions shall, in their object, appellation and
operation, be distinct from associations of a political nature and shall
neither entertain any substantive or structural relations with them nor
receive subsidies, donations or bequests of any description from them,
nor yet contribute to their finances.
However, members of a trade union shall be free individually to
join associations of a political nature.
page 25
Article 15: Except in cases expressly provided for by law, no
natural or legal person shall interfere in the functioning of a trade
union organization.
Article 16: A trade union shall acquire legal personality and
civil law status as from the date of its establishment in conformity with
article 8 above and shall thus be entitled to:
Go to law and exercise before the competent courts the rights
reserved to the plaintiff in a civil action on grounds pertaining
to its objects, where injury has been done to the individual or
collective, moral or material interests of its members;
Represent the workers before all public authorities;
Enter into any contract, agreement or accord on matters pertaining
to its objects.
Article 19: Subject to the laws and regulations in force, trade
unions shall have the right to publish and circulate bulletins, reviews,
newsletters and brochures relating to their objects.
Article 30: A request for judicial dissolution of a trade union
may be submitted to the competent legal authority where the union carries
on activities other than those provided for in its statutes or in
violation of the laws and regulations in force."
Exercise of the right to strike
80. Article 54 of the Constitution recognizes the right to strike, within the
framework laid down by national legislation.
81. Act No. 90-02 of 6 February 1990, relating to the prevention and
settlement of collective labour disputes and exercise of the right to strike,
defines procedures and methods for the exercise of the right to strike as laid
down in the Constitution and in ILO Convention No. 87 (Freedom of Association
and Protection of the Right to Organize). It institutes the requirement of
prior approval by the collective organization of workers concerned by strike
action. It introduces the requirement of prior notice and sets forth a number
of principles providing guarantees relating to exercise of the right to
strike, the settlement of strikes and labour freedoms:
"Article 24: The right of workers to strike shall be exercised
under the conditions and according to the procedures defined by the
provisions of this Act.
Article 32: The right to strike in accordance with the provisions
of this Act is protected by law. A strike begun under such conditions
shall not sever the labour relationship.
page 26
Article 33: Except in the case of requisitions ordered by the
administrative authorities or refusal of workers to fulfil obligations to
provide the minimum service referred to in articles 39 and 40 below,
workers may not be recruited or in any other way assigned to replace
workers on strike.
Likewise, no penalty may be imposed on workers for having
participated in a strike conducted in accordance with the conditions set
forth in this Act.
Article 37: When the strike involves activities whose complete
interruption is liable to jeopardize the continuity of essential public
services, vital economic activities, the provision of supplies to the
public or the protection of existing facilities and property, the
continued operation of indispensable activities shall be organized in the
form of a mandatory minimum service or on the basis of negotiations,
conventions or agreements as laid down in articles 38 and 39 below.
Article 39: Without prejudice to the provisions of article 38,
minimum service shall be specified for areas of activity covered in a
convention or collective agreement.
Where minimum service has not been designated, the employer or
administrative authority concerned shall specify, after consultation with
workers’ representatives, the areas of activity in which minimum service
shall be provided and the workers absolutely indispensable for those
Article 40: Refusal by a worker to provide the minimum service
incumbent upon him shall constitute a serious misdemeanour.
Article 41: In conformity with the legislation in force,
conscription may be ordered in respect of those striking workers who, in
public institutions or departments or in enterprises, hold positions
essential for the safety of individuals, installations or property, or
for the continuity of public services necessary for meeting the country’s
vital needs, or individuals who perform activities essential for public
Article 42: Without prejudice to the penalties laid down in the
Penal Code, refusal to carry out a conscription order shall constitute a
serious misdemeanour.
Article 43: Strike action shall be prohibited in essential areas
of activity whose interruption could endanger the life, safety or health
of citizens or is liable to cause a serious economic crisis.
Accordingly, the following may not engage in strike action:
1. Judges;
2. Government officials appointed by decree or serving abroad;
page 27
3. Members of the security forces;
4. Members of the civil defence forces;
5. Employees of the national communications networks of the
Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs;
6. Customs officials;
7. Staff of the external services of the prison administration.
Article 49: The National Arbitration Commission has competence to
deal with collective labour disputes:
Involving individuals forbidden to take strike action;
Submitted to it under the conditions stipulated in article 48 of
the present Act.
In the event of the continuation of a strike and the failure of
mediation, this Commission will be consulted when pressing economic or
social needs so require (art. 48)."
Article 9
82. While article 56 of the Constitution provides that "The living conditions
of citizens who cannot work yet, can no longer work or will never be able to
work are guaranteed", article 9 of Act No. 78-12 of 5 August 1978 deals with
the question of social welfare in the following terms: "the State shall
guarantee social protection for every worker and the dependent members of his
family against the contingencies of old age, sickness, accident and death".
The same Act later states:
"Article 187: All workers shall be entitled to social security
coverage. Provision for the unification of the various social security
schemes and the standardization of the various social security benefits
shall be made by law for all workers.
Article 188: Provision shall be made by labour law to guarantee a
decent standard of living commensurate with a worker’s income whenever he
is either temporarily or permanently unable to work on account of a duly
confirmed accident or illness.
Article 189: Where a worker is disabled, he shall be entitled to a
pension as provided in articles 190 and 191.
He shall also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation preparing
him, wherever possible, for a resumption of his previous activity or, if
this is not possible, for the performance of some other activity suited
to his aptitudes and skills.
Provision shall be made by decree for the measures to be taken to
facilitate a disabled worker’s resettlement in appropriate employment.
page 28
Article 190: Provision shall be made in regulations for the
conditions and procedures to be observed by undertakings in giving effect
to the basic lines of policy laid down in the National Charter and to the
relevant legislation in connection with the provision of social
protection for workers and the members of their families adversely
affected by the contingencies of life.
Article 191: Provision shall be made by law to define the
temporary or permanent effects on a worker’s remuneration of sickness,
accident and consequent disability.
Provision shall likewise be made by law for the procedures to be
followed by a worker when claiming his entitlements.
Article 192: The age of retirement shall be fixed for each sector
of activity. It may be postponed if necessary in the interests of the
undertaking and subject to the worker’s consent.
The conditions and procedures for retirement shall be laid down by
Article 193: Every worker shall be required to pay retirement
contributions throughout his working life.
An undertaking shall also pay a share towards its workers’
Article 194: The rate of retirement contributions shall be fixed
by law.
Article 195: The level of a retirement pension shall depend on the
beneficiary’s wage before his retirement and his number of years of
Where the number of years of service reaches a level to be
prescribed by law, the retirement pension shall not differ from the wage
received by the worker for his job at the time of his retirement, less
such elements of the wage as are referred to in the third and fourth
clauses of article 146.
In no circumstances shall the level of a retirement pension be less
than the national guaranteed minimum wage.
Retirement pensions shall be adjusted to take account of wage
trends, with the object of maintaining the pensioner’s purchasing power.
Article 196: In the event of a worker’s death the persons legally
dependent on him shall be guaranteed a pension, except in cases where
overlapping entitlements occur that are prohibited by regulations.
page 29
Where a worker dies during the performance of his duties, the
members of his family who were legally dependent on him shall be
guaranteed a pension assuring them of a decent standard of living
commensurate with the wage for the worker’s job on the date of his death.
This pension shall be adjusted to take account of wage trends, with
the object of maintaining the purchasing power of the members of the
worker’s family who were legally dependent on him.
Article 197: Retirement and disability pensions shall be
transmissible to survivors, subject to the conditions laid down by law.
Article 198: In addition to the rights provided for in article 46,
the State shall guarantee protection for all the rights enjoyed by
ex-servicemen and their dependants.
The law shall likewise guarantee a decent and worthy life for
ex-servicemen who are disabled or no longer able to work and for the
survivors of war victims.
Ex-servicemen shall enjoy specific rights in matters of retirement.
Ex-servicemen and their dependants shall continue to be subject to
the legislation applicable to them."
83. We should mention that the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of
Algeria’s independence provided the opportunity for revision of the disability
pensions of members of the National Liberation Army and of the National
Liberation Front War Victims Office whose disability is equivalent to or more
than 85 per cent.
84. Act No. 91-26 of 18 December 1991 establishing the National Plan for 1992
incorporates among its general objectives and priorities "the implementation
of measures to consolidate the social security system aiming at the
transparency of its functioning and the rationalization of its
85. In 1963 and 1985 a number of laws were enacted for the purpose of
strengthening and standardizing the social security system. There are two
social security institutions: the National Fund for Social Insurance against
Work-related Accidents and Diseases (CNASAT) and the National Retirement Fund
86. In terms of contributions, it should be noted that Executive
Decree No. 91-56 of 23 September 1991, which amends and supplements
Decree No. 85-30 of 9 February 1985, establishes the rates of social security
contributions as follows:
(a) Social security: 14 per cent, 12.5 per cent to be paid by the
employer and 1.5 per cent by the beneficiary;
(b) Retirement: 11 per cent, 7.5 per cent to be paid by the employer
and 3.5 per cent by the beneficiary;
page 30
(c) Industrial accidents: 1 per cent, to be paid solely by the
(d) Family benefits: 3 per cent, to be paid solely by the employer.
87. Act No. 87-18 of 1 August 1987 relating to mutual benefit societies
provides as follows:
"Article 2: The mutual benefit movement is an institution which,
in return for the payment of contributions, provides social benefits for
its members who are grouped in mutual benefit organizations hereinafter
referred to as ’mutual benefit societies’.
Article 18: In their statutes the mutual benefit societies shall
provide for at least one of the following collective benefits and
Social action on behalf of disabled members and dependants;
Action taken in accordance with the laws and regulations in force
in the field of health benefits.
Article 38: Contributions shall be assessed, as appropriate, on
the basis of:
The wages of a worker required to pay social security
The income of a non-employee required to pay social security
The pension or annuity paid by social security or the State.
Article 39: The contribution rate shall be fixed by the statutes
of the mutual benefit society and may not exceed 1.5 per cent of the
basis of assessment of the contribution ...".
88. The Social Insurance Act (No. 83-11) of 2 July 1983 provides for:
(a) The institution of a single social insurance scheme (art. 1);
(b) Comprehensive social coverage of the following risks: sickness,
maternity, disability, death (art. 2);
(c) The provisions of the Act apply to all workers, irrespective of the
sector, public or private, to which they belong (art. 3);
(d) Insurance shall be compulsory for all workers, whether or not
employees, working in Algeria, irrespective of nationality (art. 6).
page 31
Sickness insurance
89. According to article 7 of the above-mentioned Act, benefits under
sickness insurance include:
(a) Benefits in kind: Coverage of preventive and curative health care
for the insured person and his dependants, for an unlimited duration
(art. 12);
(b) Benefits in cash: Payment of a daily allowance to a worker who is
obliged to stop working temporarily owing to illness. According to
article 14, the daily allowance for physical or mental incapacity is
determined as 50 per cent of the daily wage from the first to the fifteenth
day following interruption of work and 100 per cent of that wage from the
sixteenth day. In the event of a long-term illness or hospitalization, the
rate of 100 per cent applies from the first day. The maximum duration is
three years.
90. According to article 21, daily allowances are revised to take into
account any changes in the worker’s wage.
91. The question of maternity insurance is dealt with in the part of this
report devoted to article 10, paragraph 2, of the Covenant.
Disability insurance
92. The purpose of disability insurance is to provide a pension to an insured
person who is obliged to stop working owing to disability (art. 31).
93. An insured person is entitled to a disability pension if he submits proof
of disability reducing his working or earning capacity by one half or more
(art. 32).
94. At the end of the period in which cash benefits under sickness insurance
have been paid (three years), the social security institution automatically
checks whether the person concerned is entitled to benefit under disability
insurance, without waiting for him to claim such entitlement (art. 35).
95. The yearly amount of the pension is calculated as follows:
(a) Sixty per cent of the last yearly wage received or, if it is more
favourable, the average yearly wage for the three years in which the person
concerned received the highest remuneration of his career, when the disabled
person is still able to engage in a gainful activity (art. 37);
(b) Eighty per cent of the wage defined in article 37, when the
disabled person is totally unable to engage in a gainful activity (art. 38);
(c) Eighty per cent of the wage defined in article 37 plus 40 per cent,
when the disabled person, in addition to being totally unable to engage in a
gainful activity, also requires the assistance of another person (art. 39).
page 32
96. The spouse, children and ascendants who are dependent on a recipient of a
disability pension shall be entitled to a reversionary disability pension
granted under the same conditions as the pensions for dependants under
retirement insurance (art. 40) (see chapter concerning the retirement
97. At the age of retirement, the disability pension is replaced by a
retirement pension of at least the same amount (art. 46). Disability pensions
follow the trend of the basic wage of workers and, in any event, the trend of
the guaranteed minimum wage (arts. 41 and 42).
Survivors’ insurance
98. The purpose of survivors’ insurance is to grant a survivors’ allowance to
the dependants of an insured person. The amount of the allowance is fixed at
12 times the amount of the insured’s last monthly wage and, in any event, must
be at least equal to 12 times the monthly amount of the guaranteed minimum
wage (art. 48).
99. The dependants of the recipient of a disability, retirement or
work-related accident pension are entitled to a survivors’ allowance amounting
to the yearly disability, retirement or work-related accident pension
(art. 51).
100. Expenses under social insurance are financed by a compulsory contribution
share to be paid by employers and beneficiaries (art. 72).
101. The following are exempt from payment of contributions: ex-servicemen,
persons entitled to pensions (disability, retirement, compensation for
work-related accident or occupational disease) and students (art. 73).
102. The social security institutions may not argue from failure on the part
of employers to fulfil their obligations in order to refuse to grant benefits
to the insured. They are obliged to pay benefits and to claim their due
subsequently from the employer (art. 85).
103. An assistance and relief fund financed by part of the social security
contributions has been set up for persons who do not meet the conditions of
entitlement to social insurance benefits and for persons on low incomes
(art. 90).
104. Supplements to the benefits provided for by Act No. 83-11 of 2 July 1983
may be granted in the form of voluntary insurance in mutual benefit societies
(art. 91).
105. The social security institutions undertake activities in the form of
health and social work to provide collective benefits for workers and their
page 33
106. Article 3 of Act No. 83-16 of 2 July 1983 states:
"The social work equalization fund has the following principal
To help eliminate the various disparities in social projects
through the implementation of the agreed social and cultural policy
with a view to achieving an equitable distribution of social work;
To develop complete solidarity between workers in all sectors of
107. Act No. 83-12 of 2 July 1983 provides:
(a) For the institution of a single retirement scheme (art. 1);
(b) That the retirement pension shall consist of a lifelong personal
financial benefit (art. 3);
(c) That beneficiaries shall be all Algerian workers, whether or not
they are employees, and irrespective of the sector in which they work
(art. 4);
(d) That the retirement pension shall include the following (art. 5):
(i) A direct pension in respect of the worker’s own activity,
which shall be increased for a dependent spouse;
(ii) Reversionary pensions including: a widow or widower’s
pension; an orphan’s pension; an ascendant’s pension.
108. According to article 6 of this Act, to be entitled to a direct pension a
worker must:
(a) Be aged at least 60 years (for men);
(b) Be aged at least 55 years (for women);
(c) Have worked for at least 15 years, during at least half of which
the worker must have actually worked and paid social security contributions.
109. Workers employed in particularly unhealthy conditions are entitled to
draw a pension before the age specified in article 6 (art. 7).
110. For working women who have raised one or more children over a period of
at least nine years, the age of retirement shall be lowered by one year for
each child up to a maximum of three years (art. 8).
111. The age requirements are waived in the case of workers suffering from
total and irreversible incapacity for work who do not meet the conditions of
entitlement to a disability pension (art. 9).
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112. In the event of the death of a pensioner or worker, each of his
dependants shall be entitled to a reversionary pension (art. 30).
113. According to article 31, the following persons are considered to be
dependent: the spouse; children below the age of 21 years if following a
course of study or vocational training; dependent ascendants.
114. The amount of the pension shall be fixed according to article 34, as
(a) Seventy-five per cent of the deceased’s pension for a surviving
spouse without children or ascendants;
(b) Fifty per cent of the deceased’s pension where there is one other
dependant, who then receives 30 per cent of the deceased’s pension.
Where there are two or more dependants, the spouse is entitled to 50 per cent
of the pension, 40 per cent being divided equally among the other dependants.
Where there is no spouse, the dependants share a pension equal to 90 per cent
of the deceased’s pension.
115. The wages used as a basis for calculating pensions, together with
pensions which are already being paid are revised with each change in the
workers’ basic wage, which may not be less than the guaranteed minimum wage
(art. 43).
116. Expenses related to retirement pensions are financed by the social
security institution by means of a compulsory contribution payable by
employers and beneficiaries (art. 48).
Work-related accidents and diseases
117. Act No. 83-13 of 2 July 1983 concerning work-related accidents and
diseases institutes a single scheme of benefits for such accidents and
diseases (art. 1). Beneficiaries are:
(a) Any worker who suffers a work-related accident or disease,
irrespective of the sector in which he works (arts. 3, 4, 7 and 8);
(b) Any worker covered by social insurance;
(c) Students of technical and vocational teaching establishments;
(d) Persons following a functional re-education or vocational
readaptation course;
(e) Volunteer participants in the work of social security institutions;
(f) Wards of the youth protection system in the case of accidents
occurring during special work;
(g) Detainees performing jobs while serving their sentence;
page 35
(h) Students;
(i) Victims of an accident that occurred during the following:
(i) Assignment outside their place of work, on instructions from
their employer;
(ii) The exercise of a political electoral mandate;
(iii) Studies regularly attended outside working hours;
(iv) Acts and activities ordered and organized by professional
(v) Sports activities organized by associations;
(vi) A selfless act in the public interest or to rescue a person
in danger.
118. If the employer fails to do so, it is possible for the declaration to the
social security institution to be made by the victim, persons entitled to act
on his behalf, the trade union organization or the Labour Inspectorate
(art. 14).
119. In the event of temporary incapacity, the following provisions are
(a) Article 28 - benefits in kind: temporary incapacity benefits are
identical to those provided under social insurance;
(b) Article 37 - daily allowances: conditions for payment are the same
as those for the sickness allowance.
120. In case of permanent incapacity, articles 38 to 47 provide that the
victim is entitled to an income calculated on the basis of his or her average
reference wage over the past 12 months, and of the work incapacity rate duly
established by the social security institution’s medical adviser, increased by
between 1 and 10 per cent as a social adjustment designed to take account of
the age, skills, vocational qualifications, and family and social situation of
the victim. The minimum incapacity rate is 10 per cent. The amount of the
income is equal to the reference wage multiplied by the incapacity rate. That
amount is increased by 40 per cent if the victim needs the assistance of a
third party in order to perform everyday acts.
121. In the event of death, articles 52 to 57 provide that dependants shall
receive an income in accordance with the terms laid down by the Retirement
Pensions Act (No. 83-12), of 2 July 1983.
122. The benefits are financed exclusively through a contribution paid in full
by the employer (art. 76).
page 36
Article 10
123. The definition of the family used in Algeria, like that contained in the
Covenants, makes the family the basic unit of society and, as such, deserving
of special attention. This concept is set forth in article 2 of the Family
Code (Act No. 84-11) of 9 June 1984, which reads: "The family is the basic
cell of society, and is made up of persons united by bonds of marriage and
124. A number of legislative acts guarantee the protection of the family.
125. The Constitution refers to it in these terms: "The family shall receive
the protection of the State and society." Similarly, article 60 of the
Constitution provides that "All the freedoms of each individual shall be
exercised with due regard for the rights conferred on others by the
Constitution, particularly the right to honour, privacy, and protection of the
family, young persons and children." Article 62 provides that "The duty of
parents with regard to the upbringing and protection of their children, and
the duty of children to aid and assist their parents, shall be sanctioned by
126. Mention should be made of the following provisions of Act No. 78-12
of 5 August 1978 making general provision for workers’ conditions of
"Article 9: In accordance with the principles laid down by the
National Charter in connection with the social protection of workers, the
State shall guarantee social protection for every worker and the
dependent members of his family against the contingencies of old age,
sickness, accident and death.
Article 180: The purpose of welfare schemes is to help to improve
the standard of living of the workers and their families and to
contribute to the development of their personalities by:
Facilitating their daily lives;
Improving their physical and moral well-being by supplementing
their remuneration in the form of health, housing and cultural and
recreational benefits."
127. Reference should also be made to the Health Protection and Promotion Act
No. 85-05 of 16 February 1985. Article 67 of this Act provides that "The
family shall enjoy medical protection in order to safeguard and promote
conditions conducive to the health and psychological and emotional well-being
of its members".
128. The right of men and women freely to enter into marriage and found a
family is explicitly recognized in Algeria. Act No. 84-11 of 9 June 1984
establishing the Family Code refers to this important issue in the following
page 37
"Article 4: Marriage is a contract legally entered into between a
man and a woman. The aims of marriage include founding a family based on
mutual affection and support, providing moral protection for both spouses
and preserving family ties.
Article 7: Marriageable age is considered to be 21 years in the
case of men and 18 years in the case of women. However, the judge may
waive the age requirement if special reasons exist or in cases of
Article 9: Marriage is entered into through the consent of the
intending spouses in the presence of the matrimonial guardian and two
witnesses, and through the provision of a dowry.
Article 10: Consent derives from a request by one of the parties
and its acceptance by the other, expressed in any language signifying
lawful marriage. A request and consent expressed by a disabled person in
any written form or by gesture which signifies marriage in language or
custom shall be deemed valid.
Article 12: The matrimonial guardian may not prevent the woman
under his supervision from entering into marriage if she so desires and
if it is to her advantage. In the event of disagreement, the judge may
authorize the marriage, subject to the provisions of article 9 of this
Act ... .
Article 13: The matrimonial guardian, whether he is the father or
some other person, is forbidden to force a woman under his supervision to
marry or to cause her to marry against her will."
129. Article 32, which deals with cases of annulment of marriage, stipulates:
"The marriage shall be null and void if any of its constituent elements are
130. The mutual obligations of the spouses are spelt out in article 36 of the
Family Code:
"Article 36: The following are the spouses’ obligations:
(1) To safeguard the bonds of marriage and the duties of a shared life;
(2) To contribute jointly to the safeguarding of the family’s interest
and the protection and sound upbringing of the children;
(3) To safeguard the bonds of consanguinity and good relations with
relatives and close friends."
131. Divorce is the dissolution of the marriage. It is effected at the behest
of the husband, by mutual consent of both spouses, or at the request of the
wife within the limits set forth in articles 53 and 54 (art. 48). The cases
page 38
covered in the above-mentioned articles refer, in particular, to failure to
pay maintenance, a disability preventing attainment of the intended purpose of
marriage or the sentencing of the husband to a penalty that would bring
dishonour on the family and make any resumption of marital life impossible.
132. Article 49 provides: "Divorce may be effected only by a decree preceded
by an attempt by the judge to secure reconciliation, such attempt shall not
exceed a period of three months".
133. Article 52 covers cases of abuse of the husband’s divorce prerogative and
provides that a wife thus injured shall be entitled to damages for the injury
134. In connection with protection of children, it should be noted that under
the Algerian Civil Code, article 20, paragraph 2, the age of majority is set
at 19 years. The Algerian legislature has devoted numerous articles to the
protection of children in the framework of the family and in cases of
dissolution of marriage. Thus their protection, their right to maintenance
and education, and, generally speaking, the consideration of all their
interests are requirements laid down in the Family Code.
135. The special protection of mothers is provided for in numerous legal
instruments. For example, Act No. 78-12 of 5 August 1978 deals with women who
work in the following terms:
"Article 12: Protection for the specific rights enjoyed by women
in connection with their work shall be guaranteed in accordance with the
legislation currently in force."
136. As for protection of women in the event of maternity, article 23 of
Act No. 83-11 of 2 July 1983 provides that maternity insurance benefits shall
(a) Benefits in kind: coverage of expenses arising out of pregnancy,
confinement and their sequelae;
(b) Cash benefits: payment of a daily allowance to working women
obliged to interrupt their work owing to maternity.
137. According to article 26, expenses relating to maternity insurance are
reimbursed under the following conditions:
(a) Medical and pharmaceutical expenses reimbursed at the rate of
100 per cent;
(b) The cost of hospitalization of mother and child reimbursed at the
same rate of 100 per cent for a period of eight days.
138. The daily allowance amounts to 100 per cent of the daily wage earned
(art. 28). The daily allowance is payable for a period of 14 consecutive
weeks, and the woman must stop working not less than one week before
confinement (art. 29).
page 39
139. Protection of children and adolescents is provided for, in particular, in
Act No. 78-12 of 5 May 1978, which stipulates:
"Article 44: The minimum age for recruitment shall be fixed in the
specific conditions of employment applied in the relevant undertaking.
In no circumstances may the minimum age be less than 16 years. Young
workers between the age of 16 years and their majority in civil law shall
have the same rights and obligations as workers holding the same jobs.
The conditions of employment of juveniles are governed by the
legislation in force.
Article 183: Family allowances received on the date of
promulgation of the legislation establishing a national childrens fund
shall continue to be paid until the beneficiaries cease to be entitled to
them. A national childrens fund shall be set up by law.
It shall be financed, inter alia, out of the sums represented by
the family allowances payable in respect of children born after the date
on which the fund is established.
The purpose of the fund shall be to assume responsibility for the
most pressing needs of children."
140. Act No. 88-07 relating to occupational health and safety states in
article 11:
"Further to the legislative provisions in force, the employer shall
ensure that work given to women, juveniles or disabled persons does not
require an effort exceeding their physical ability."
The consequent regulations provided for in article 17 of Act No. 88-07 are in
the process of adoption and measures are being considered to permit the
application of the following principles:
Prohibition of the employment of children or adolescents aged under
18 years unless they have been recognized as fit for the work to be
Medical examination of fitness for employment, which shall be conducted
by a physician approved by the competent authority, and determination of
the conditions for the issuance of a fitness certificate;
Medical supervision up to the age of 18 years;
Annual medical examinations up to the age of 21 years for work entailing
a heightened risk to health;
The medical examinations shall not entail any cost to the child or
adolescent, or to his parents;
page 40
Identification measures to monitor the system of medical fitness
examinations for children and adolescents working on their own account or
for their parents, as itinerant traders or in any other occupation
exercised on a public thoroughfare or in a public place.
141. Ordinance No. 72-3 of 10 February 1972 relating to the protection of
children and adolescents states in article 1:
"Persons under the age of 21 years whose health, safety, morals or
education are at risk or whose conditions or way of life could jeopardize
their future may be the object of protective measures or educational
assistance under the conditions provided for in the following articles."
142. The Health Protection and Promotion Act (No. 85-05) of 16 February 1985,
as amended and supplemented by Act No. 90-17 of 31 July 1990, contains the
following provisions:
"Article 206-3: Practitioners shall report any cases of
maltreatment of under-aged children or persons deprived of their liberty
which have come to their attention in the exercise of their professional
Article 104: Hospital and out-patient departments shall be made
available for the prevention, screening, treatment or care of children or
adolescents of either sex, aged under 16 years whose mental disorders or
disabilities constitute their sole or main illness."
Article 11
143. The realization of the right to an adequate standard of living is one of
the priorities established by Algeria.
144. Thus, Act No. 91-26 of 18 December 1991 establishing the national plan
for 1992 includes the following objectives:
(a) Stimulating economic growth, in particular by revitalizing and
mobilizing productive investment;
(b) Achieving greater social justice, in particular by protecting the
purchasing power of disadvantaged social groups and promoting more effective
national solidarity and social welfare measures;
(c) Safeguarding all current employment and promoting training and
retraining schemes based on improved knowledge of the labour market;
(d) Maintaining and consolidating social welfare arrangements to
benefit households with little or no income;
(e) Reactivating public works programmes, particularly in priority
sectors which determine the development of productive activities and the
supply of peoples’ social needs.
page 41
145. Furthermore, the Wilaya Act (No. 90-09) of 7 April 1990 states that the
wilaya people’s assembly has general competence with regard to economic,
social and cultural development measures (art. 58); it also participates, in
conjunction with the communal people’s assemblies, in social measures to
assist children, disabled persons, the elderly and the needy, and provides
care for the homeless and mentally ill (art. 77).
146. With regard to individual standards of living, it may be noted that the
middle class constitutes the overall majority in Algeria and hence the
population’s standard of living is, generally speaking, in the median range.
However, it should be pointed out that the GDP - which was slightly above
US$ 2,000 in 1990 - fell sharply in 1991, largely because of the depreciation
of the Algerian dinar, and is now about US$ 1,400 per capita.
147. The right to a balanced and adequate diet is reflected in national
economic policy. Basic products and staple foods, such as milk, sugar, flour
and oil are therefore subsidized by the State. In addition, Algeria imports
40 billion dinars’ worth of food products annually to supplement national
148. With a view to improving standards of living, the State has also recently
launched several initiatives in the area of agricultural development, namely:
(a) Creation of a National Agricultural Development Fund;
(b) Development of land in the southern regions;
(c) A "jobs for young people" programme (poultry farming, apiculture,
(d) Development of water engineering schemes in rural areas to improve
water supply, promote food crops, establish free-range stock raising, etc.;
(e) Development of storage capacity for agricultural products.
149. On the question of nutrition and food in Algeria, it should be noted that
the situation evolved in three stages between 1962 and 1991.
150. The first period was a phase of major investment, reaching 40 per cent of
the gross national product. During this period, the population increased and
became urbanized, changing its eating habits and improving its nutrition.
151. During the second period, maintaining nutritional and food levels
necessitated an increase in imports both in volume terms, in order to keep
pace with population growth, and also in percentage terms, owing to the
decline in resources from oil exports, combined with the effects of the
external debt structure and debt-servicing requirements.
152. Since 1989 this stabilization has shown a downward trend because of the
economic crisis at both national and international levels. This recession has
diminished the resources available to the State and to households, with the
result that there has been some deterioration of nutritional and food levels.
page 42
153. The negative impact on the nutritional status of the population can be
readily appreciated from the following summary of available statistics on the
composition of the food intake and its variations over the last 20 years.
154. The average caloric level remained at 2,700 kcal/day during the 1970s and
increased to 2,853 kcal/day in 1988. The structure of this daily calorie
intake is characterized by:
(a) An increase in lipid calories, which rose from 14 per cent
to 20 per cent of the energy intake between 1960 and 1980 and represented
20.2 per cent in 1988, thus reaching the lower limit of the recommended
(b) A decrease in carbohydrate calories, which in 1988 were still
10 per cent above the recommended level;
(c) Stability, in quantitative terms, of protein calories, representing
12 per cent of the food intake but with a tendency towards animal proteins,
which increased from 4.4 per cent in 1968 to 7.8 per cent in 1988.
155. It can therefore be seen that the caloric intake increased between 1967
and 1988 and tended to become more balanced.
156. On the question of protein-energy malnutrition, it should be noted that
occasional surveys during the 1960s reported malnutrition in up to 60 per cent
of children, and a national survey in 1975 showed that 28.5 per cent of
children under five years of age had a weight that was less than the third
percentile of the Harvard curves. This figure subsequently decreased to
11.2 per cent for the same age group in 1987. Serious cases of malnutrition
decreased from 2.5 per cent to 1.2 per cent and cases of retarded growth from
45.9 per cent to 16.5 per cent (see Algeria’s report to the Maghreb medical
congress, Algiers, 1975, and the FAO seminar on nutritional status and
urbanization, Rabat, 1989).
157. These nutritional surveys also revealed the same geographical variations
over a 12-year period: i.e., cases of malnutrition were more frequent in the
south than in the north and were most prevalent in medium-sized towns and, to
a lesser extent, in regional urban centres, with rural areas being the least
158. Unemployment and low income, illiteracy or low educational attainment of
the mother and a fragile habitat are risk factors. Exclusive breast-feeding
for long periods in 50 per cent of infants aged six to nine months, as
observed in the 1987 survey, is also a contributory factor.
159. The question of nutritional needs cannot be dissociated from that of
population growth. Thus, for two decades, the growth rate exceeded
3 per cent, the population increasing from 12 million in 1966 to 23 million
in 1987. However, between 1986 and 1990, the growth rate dropped from
3.1 per cent to 2.5 per cent. This rate is expected to be maintained up to
the year 2000, by which time the population will be 33 million; it will have
reached nearly 50 million by the year 2025.
page 43
160. The consequences of this population growth have been a decrease in the
cultivated area per capita (0.75 ha/inhabitant in 1962, 0.29 ha/inhabitant in
1990), ever greater recourse to food imports (nearly 25 per cent of all
imports in 1987) and a sharp decrease in subsistence consumption owing to the
higher rate of urbanization.
161. The food intake has improved steadily up to the present. Local
production is generally adequate to meet needs for white meat, eggs, potatoes,
fresh vegetables and fruit, but supplying other needs involves substantial
recourse to imports: 60 per cent for cereals and cereal products, 75 per cent
for dried vegetables, 95 per cent for oils and fats, 100 per cent for sugar
and 65 per cent for milk, dairy products and red meat. Algeria is therefore
heavily dependent for its national diet on the organization of its
agriculture, on weather conditions and on financial provisions.
162. National Statistics Office surveys of household consumption and
expenditure in 1967-1968 (Algiers, 1971), 1979-1980 (Algiers, 1982) and 1988
(Algiers, 1991) show that expenditures on food represented a major part of
household budgets (56 per cent in 1979-1980 and 55 per cent in 1988).
163. In terms of average consumption, the Algerian diet is based on
cereals (185 kg per year) and fresh vegetables, including potatoes (113.7 kg
per year), followed by milk (70 litres per year), fruit (30.5 kg per year),
oils and fats (15.8 kg per year), meat (18.5 kg per year) and sugar (18.4 kg
per year). Country-dwellers eat more cereals than town-dwellers and, as
compared with town-dwellers, country-dwellers spend a slightly smaller
proportion of their budget on food.
164. These figures are attributable, on the one hand, to the subsidizing of
the prices of basic foodstuffs (cereals and derivatives, sugar, milk, dried
vegetables, oils and fats) and, on the other hand, to the fact that the prices
of non-food products have also been reasonable (pharmaceuticals, transport,
school supplies, household appliances) or stabilized (energy, rents) while
health and education are free. Food has been made more affordable by the
policy of subsidizing the prices of essentials from a compensatory fund, which
was used exclusively for that purpose up to 1989. Since 1989, some of the
resources of this fund have been diverted to guaranteeing agricultural
production; at present, in view of the scarcity of resources and the fall in
the exchange rate, it is intended to set up machinery to target this support
on the most disadvantaged social groups.
165. So far, it has not been possible to implement the right to housing as
extensively as the Algerian State would have wished, despite the efforts made
to that end. The housing shortage persists, mainly because of the lack of
resources, the deterioration of the financial situation and population growth.
New measures are currently being introduced to make up the shortfall (housing
promotion, self-help housing, etc.).
166. The State is continuing to finance social housing for low-income
families. The housing promotion and self-help housing schemes are being
financed by the Caisse Nationale d’Epargne et de Prévoyance (CNEP), which has
the status of a housing bank.
page 44
167. Rents are relatively low, particularly in the public sector. Rent policy
is being reconsidered with a view to providing personalized assistance.
168. As regards the distribution of housing according to the status of the
occupier, up to 1989 so-called social housing represented the greater part of
the housing stock. Since 1989, the allocation of this subsidized housing has
been more strictly regulated, in the interests of needy families. Moreover,
in accordance with the law on the disposal of State property, social housing
has been sold to the occupiers on generous terms. Thus, the distribution of
housing according to the status of the occupier is now as follows:
Owner or co-owner: 64%
Tenant: 23%
Rent-free (tied housing): 13%
169. The question of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups should be viewed from
the perspective of family solidarity, in the broadest sense; in fact, the
important role played by the Algerian family conceals the full extent of the
phenomenon, since family solidarity affects the conditions of occupation of
the housing.
170. In 1988, 273,851 dwellings were listed as illegal structures, of
which 113,148 were legalized with or without improvements. Given the extent
of the illegal building problem, regulatory measures have been taken to
regularize the situation where possible (Decree No. 85-212 of 13 August 1985
determining the conditions of regularization, with respect to their rights of
disposal and occupancy, of the situation of the effective occupiers of public
or private land subject to title and/or supporting structures not in
compliance with the regulations in force).
171. As regards eviction, it should be noted that up to 1988 this practice was
almost non-existent. It can now be envisaged but, in every case, must conform
to the applicable provisions of the relevant legislation. Only court orders
can lead to eviction and, in general, no cases of arbitrary eviction have been
recorded. It should be noted that even where there are court orders
authorizing eviction, many of these orders are never enforced because of the
social considerations involved.
172. Among the measures adopted to give effect to the right to housing, the
following deserve mention:
(a) The "enabling strategies" include Act No. 86-07 of 4 March 1986
relating to housing promotion, the aim of which is to develop the national
housing stock. These operations are carried out by local authorities, by
public or private enterprises and by individuals, either acting alone or
organized in housing cooperatives. Similarly, Executive Decree No. 91-148 of
12 May 1991 established a national housing improvement and development agency,
whose aims are to promote and develop the property market; to supervise and
encourage the progressive elimination of squatter settlements, the renewal and
redevelopment of old neighbourhoods, urban redevelopment and the creation of
new towns; to devise and popularize innovative building methods; and to
compile information and disseminate it as widely as possible among those
involved in the property market.
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(b) The encouragement of the establishment of housing associations,
alongside the traditional channels, and of any other method such as various
degrees of prefabrication and the use of local materials.
173. Executive Decree No. 90-405 of 22 December 1990 lays down the rules for
the establishment and organization of local urban property management and
regulation agencies with general responsibility for purchasing on behalf of
the local authority any property or property right intended for urbanization.
174. Every year the Algerian State provides very substantial financial
assistance for housing. Thus, during the period 1980-1990 the Government
housing programme absorbed more than 90 billion dinars, in the form of either
outright assistance from the public treasury or temporary assistance, on very
favourable terms.
175. The housing targets set for the periods 1980-1984 and 1985-1989 were
slightly exceeded (1,350,000 units delivered as compared with a target of
1,242,000); social housing (665,000 units) made a substantial contribution to
this total.
176. Up to 1980, 90 per cent of housing was built by the State. Under the new
procedures adopted, the role of the latter is now to support low-income
groups; thus, Executive Decree No. 91-146 of 12 May 1991 regulates the support
provided by the Caisse Nationale du Logement to facilitate access to home
ownership. This support takes the form of financial assistance, an extension
of the loan repayment period, and a subsidized interest rate, the benefits
varying with family income and the amount of the loan.
177. At the same time, very extensive development programmes financed by the
State have resulted in a steady improvement in the provision of mains
services. The following statistics derived from the various censuses
illustrate this trend:
Sewage Drinking water Electricity Gas
1966 - 10.5% 30.6% 9.4%
1977 40.3% 46.2% 49.5% 12.8%
1987 52.4% 58.1% 72.7% 21.7%
178. Moreover, within the context of the current political and economic
reforms, a new housing policy has been introduced with a view to diversifying
the supply on the property market (development of housing promotion programmes
to supplement the social programmes mentioned above), accompanied by a
redeployment of the social action of the public authorities in the housing
field (establishment, in 1991, of the Caisse Nationale du Logement with the
task of providing housing assistance for low and middle-income families).
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179. The rural areas have also been accorded a prominent place in housing
projects. Thus, various programmes which the State has helped to finance have
been carried out in the countryside (self-help housing projects, elimination
of squatter settlements, etc.); these programmes were reorganized in 1989.
180. Questions of people living on sites earmarked for large-scale projects
are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the legislation in
force, with prior compensation (Act of 1976, Constitution of 1989, Act of
181. As regards the availability of electrical power, Algeria is one of the
few countries in the developing world with an extensive power network. Thus,
in 1978, the Government adopted a national plan intended to achieve the
electrification of the entire country by 1990. The implementation of this
programme has helped to strengthen the power generation, transport and
distribution equipment and infrastructure. Further work is required to
complete the rural electrification programme. A general survey carried out in
1987 showed that 150,000 connections, requiring 15,000 km of low and
medium-voltage networks for localities with more than 10 connections, remain
to be installed.
Article 12
182. The right to health is a fundamental principle enshrined in article 51 of
the Constitution, which states: "All citizens have the right to protection of
their health. The State shall take steps to prevent and combat epidemic and
endemic diseases."
183. Numerous other legal instruments guarantee "the right of everyone to the
enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health".
Thus the Protection and Promotion of Health Act (No. 85/05) of
16 February 1985 states, in particular:
"Article 2: The protection and promotion of health contribute to
the physical and moral well-being of the individual and the fulfilment of
his potential within society and therefore constitute an essential factor
in the economic and social development of the country.
Article 3: In the field of health, the aims shall be to protect
human life against disease and risk, and to improve living and working
conditions, in particular by:
The development of disease prevention;
The distribution of health care in conformity with the needs of the
Priority medical protection for groups at risk;
The expansion of physical education, sports and leisure activities;
Health education.
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Article 20: The public sector shall constitute the essential
framework for the provision of free care in accordance with article 67 of
the Constitution.
Article 21: The State shall employ every means of protecting and
promoting health, while ensuring free care.
Article 22: The provision of care, defined as all public health
measures, diagnostic procedures, and the treatment and hospitalization of
the sick, shall be free in all public medical establishments.
Article 68: The protection of the mother and child is defined as
all those medical, social and administrative measures aimed at, in
Protecting the health of the mother by providing her with optimum
medical and social conditions before, during and after pregnancy;
Providing optimum conditions for the health and psychomotor
development of the child.
Article 75: The opening and operation of day nurseries and
kindergartens shall be subject to compliance with hygiene and safety
standards, in accordance with the legislation and regulations in force."
184. As regards industrial hygiene, Act No. 78/12 of 5 August 1978, provides
as follows:
"Article 13: An undertaking shall guarantee its workers the health
and safety conditions specified in the legislation currently in force.
Article 14: It shall be the aim of occupational medicine to
protect the health of workers in the course of their employment by
shielding them from any physical or mental harm, by supervising their
fitness for their work and by preventing occupational diseases and
work-related accidents."
185. The Protection and Promotion of Health Act (No. 85/05)
of 16 February 1985 provides as follows:
"Article 76: It shall be the aim of health protection in the
workplace to improve the capacity for work and creativity, to extend the
active life of citizens, to prevent occupational diseases, to lessen
their prevalence, to reduce the number of cases of disability and to
eliminate factors harmful to health."
186. The Commune Act (No. 90/08) of 7 April 1990 provides as follows:
"Article 107: The commune is responsible for maintaining hygiene
and public health, in particular with respect to:
Drinking water distribution;
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Disposal and treatment of sewage and urban solid waste;
Control of transmissible diseases;
Food hygiene and hygiene in places and establishments open to the
Pollution control and environmental protection.
Article 108: The commune is responsible for the creation and
maintenance of open spaces and all urban furniture intended to improve
the environment."
187. With regard to the prevention, treatment and control of endemic, epidemic
and occupational diseases, Act No. 85/05 provides as follows:
"Article 29: All organs of the State, local authorities,
enterprises, organizations and the population at large are required to
apply the measures relating to public health, hygiene, the control of
epidemic diseases, the control of environmental pollution, the
improvement of working conditions and general prevention.
Article 52: The walis (departmental heads), the directors of
public bodies, the health services and the chairmen of the communal
people’s assemblies shall ensure the timely implementation of measures to
prevent epidemics and to eliminate the source of those diseases which do
Article 54: Every doctor is required to immediately report to the
health services concerned any contagious disease he may diagnose, subject
to administrative and penal sanctions.
Article 55: With a view to preventing infectious diseases,
inhabitants shall undergo free compulsory vaccination. The list of
communicable diseases necessitating compulsory vaccination is established
by means of regulations.
Article 61: The health institutions and health personnel shall,
with the cooperation and assistance of the public authorities and
agencies, organize campaigns and activities aimed at the prevention of
non-communicable diseases and social sources.
The health services shall also participate in accident prevention
188. In accordance with Executive Decree No. 90-264 of 8 September 1990, the
health and social-welfare services plan and execute all measures intended to
orient health activities towards the protection and promotion of public health
and social-welfare activities. In this respect, they have particular
responsibility for:
(a) Ensuring the execution and evaluation of environmental hygiene
programmes and programmes to combat communicable diseases;
page 49
(b) Ensuring the establishment of a system for the collection of
epidemiological information and undertaking periodic evaluation of that
information (art. 3).
189. The Interministerial Decree of 2 March 1987 set up an interministerial
committee and local committees to monitor the water-borne diseases control
programme on a continuous basis.
190. In accordance with the Commune Act (No. 90-08) of 7 April 1990:
"Article 75: In the context of the provisions of the above article
and out of respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens, the President
of the communal people’s assembly shall bear particular responsibility
Planning and taking the necessary measures to combat endemic or
contagious diseases."
191. The Wilaya Act (No. 90-09) of 7 April 1990 stipulates:
"Article 78: The wilaya people’s assembly, in conjunction with the
communes, shall initiate and implement every epidemiological prevention
It shall ensure the implementation of prevention activities. In
this context, it shall take all measures intended to promote the
establishment of institutions concerned with the inspection and hygiene
of agencies open to the public and consumer products."
192. Concerning the development of medical services, the Health Protection and
Promotion Act (No. 85-05) of 16 February 1985 contains the following
"Article 4: The national health system is defined as the sum of
activities and resources intended to ensure the protection and promotion
of public health.
It shall be so organized as to meet public health needs in a
global, coherent and unified manner, in the context of the Health
Article 5: The national health system shall be characterized by:
Health planning within the global process of national economic and
social development".
193. The Commune Act (No. 90-08) of 7 April 1990 states:
"Article 100: In accordance with national standards, the commune
shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of health
centres and clinics."
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194. The Wilaya Act (No. 90-09) of 7 April 1990 stipulates:
"Article 76: In the area of public health, the wilaya people’s
assembly, in the context of national standards and pursuant to the Health
Charter, shall ensure the execution of health installations exceeding the
capacity of communes:
Development of human, material and financial resources consistent
with the national objectives laid down in the area of health;
Complementarity of prevention, care and rehabilitation activities;
Decentralized, sectoral and graded health services, with a view to
fully meeting public health needs;
Organization of active and effective public participation in the
determination and execution of health education programmes;
Integration of health activities, irrespective of the system in
which they are undertaken.
Article 23: Health planning shall be integrated within the
national economic and social development plan. It shall ensure the
harmonious and rational distribution of both human and material
resources, in the context of the Health Charter.
Article 24: Health planning shall define objectives and establish
the facilities to be provided in the areas of:
Human resources;
Health programmes.
Article 89: A person in difficulty shall be deemed to be any
child, adolescent, adult or elderly person suffering from:
A psychological or anatomical deficiency;
An inability to perform an activity within the limits deemed normal
for a human being; or
A disability which restricts or precludes normal social activity.
Article 90: Persons in difficulty shall be entitled to health care
and social welfare, in accordance with the legislation in force.
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Article 95: The health services shall provide health coverage and,
in conjunction with the other services concerned, shall ensure observance
of the health and safety standards of specialized institutions for
persons in difficulty, in accordance with the legislation and regulations
in force.
Article 103: Persons suffering from mental illness shall be
treated in one of the following institutions:
Specialized psychiatric hospitals;
Psychiatric departments in general hospitals;
Units forming part of the basic health network.
Article 266: Infringements of health, hygiene and
general-prevention regulations and standards shall carry, without
prejudice to disciplinary and administrative penalties, criminal
penalties, in accordance with the legislation in force, in particular,
articles 441 bis, 442 bis and 443 bis of the Penal Code."
195. Executive Decree No. 90-264 of 8 September 1990, establishing the
regulations for the organization and functioning of the wilaya health and
social-welfare services states:
"Article 3: The health and social-welfare services shall plan and
execute all measures intended to orient health activities towards the
protection and promotion of public health and social-welfare activities.
In this respect, they have particular responsibility for:
Ensuring the enforcement of legislation and regulations in all
areas relating to health and social-welfare activities;
Providing leadership for, coordinating and evaluating the
functioning of the health and social-welfare institutions;
Ensuring leadership, coordination and evaluation of the execution
of national health programmes, particularly in the areas of general
prevention, maternal and child welfare, and control of population
Establishing the information system for the evaluation of
social-welfare needs;
Providing leadership for, coordinating and evaluating the execution
of social-welfare programmes, in particular those concerning
assistance to elderly and needy persons, the education and
rehabilitation of disabled persons, and the welfare and protection
of orphans and young persons in moral danger;
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Executing any measure intended to promote the expression of
national solidarity in social affairs and, on this basis, orienting
and assisting the association concerned."
196. It should be noted that the measures taken since national independence,
which are aimed at putting into effect all the points covered by article 12 of
the Covenant, have largely concerned prevention. In this connection,
attention should be drawn to the multisectoral aspect of this activity in so
far as it relates to the environment, the improvement of water supply
networks, the liming of wells, health education, etc.
197. The development of the Algerian health system, based on the
constitutional principle of the right to health and on free health care
established in 1973, has had very significant effects: life expectancy at
birth increased from 51 years in 1965 to 65 years in 1987; infant mortality
declined from 170 per 1,000 to a figure of less than 60 per 1,000 in 1990.
The latter figure has been declining steadily and is expected to fall to 50
per 1,000 in the very near future.
198. An ongoing programme forms part of a reform aimed at the decentralization
of management and the optimum use of human and material resources. The thrust
of the programme is to:
(a) Augment current efforts to combat infant mortality and reduce
perinatal and child mortality;
(b) Reduce maternal mortality;
(c) Reduce morbidity and mortality caused by water-borne diseases,
zoonoses, and occupational accidents and diseases;
(d) Meet needs in respect of medical and surgical emergencies and
chronic diseases;
(e) Improve the training of health personnel and information given to
(f) Provide optimum care at minimum cost.
199. The prevention programme comprises several elements which have been
formulated and executed as operational subprogrammes for several years:
(a) The national anti-tuberculosis subprogramme, which succeeded in
reducing the mortality rate from 16 per 10,000 inhabitants in 1970 to 0.4
per 10,000 during the past decade;
(b) The national subprogramme to combat infant mortality;
(c) The subprogramme to combat water-borne diseases and the AIDS
prevention subprogramme;
(d) Other subprogrammes under way, such as those dealing with acute
rheumatoid arthritis, zoonoses and scorpion poisoning.
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200. As regards AIDS, it should be noted that as soon as the first cases came
to light in 1986, a national committee was set up. A threefold strategy was
adopted comprising the prevention of contamination through the bloodstream,
the prevention of contamination by sexual contact and the care of infected
201. The birth control programme is also being continued and projects to
provide special care for elderly persons are under study. Generally speaking,
the activities and projects included within the concept of sustainable
development are planned within a medium-term perspective and with the
assistance of the other sectors concerned.
202. As regards treatment, Algeria has 60,000 hospital beds. During the past
decade many modern hospitals with 120 to 250 beds have been opened in areas
where medical care was deficient. The present ratio is 2.4 beds per
1,000 inhabitants, in addition to all the smaller facilities (polyclinics and
health centres) which spearhead the work of prevention and initial care.
203. There has been an unprecedented improvement in the distribution of health
personnel. The training effort made at all levels has resulted in a
considerable increase in medical personnel:
5,672 specialists;
4,022 residents;
11,683 general practitioners;
1,839 pharmacists.
204. These figures represent 20.2 per cent of total health personnel, the
remaining 80 per cent being made up of: 74,153 paramedics (49.7 per cent),
10,799 administrative staff, and 34,115 technicians and other staff.
205. These substantial human resources (150,000), excluding senior staff and
Ministry of Health personnel, illustrate the effort made and the financial
needs to be met: 6 out of every 1,000 Algerians are employed in the health
206. The legislation and regulations currently being drafted will contain
provisions concerning all these staff and the implementation of the principles
of the social and economic reform now under way: general coverage by the
social security system and the Government, State health service contracts with
care units having specialized services, specialization of certain institutions
with a view to ending the transfer of patients to hospitals abroad, and
computerization of management.
207. The following trends have been observed in mortality rates. General
mortality has been characterized by high rates in the youngest and oldest
page 54
age-groups (infant and child mortality and mortality in the over-60
age-group). Male mortality is higher than female mortality, except in
the 1-10 and 25-29 age-groups; these exceptions are accounted for by
socio-cultural considerations, in the first case, and by pregnancy and
childbirth, in the second.
208. Overall mortality fell from 11.7 per 1,000 in 1979 to 5.8 per 1,000
in 1987, while life expectancy increased from 59 to 65 years.
209. On the question of infant mortality, it should be noted that between 1981
and 1989 infant mortality fell from 84.7 per 1,000 to 58.1 per 1,000. Before
the initiation of the programme to combat infant mortality in 1989, the
principal causes of death were diarrhoea (40 per cent), acute respiratory
infections (20 per cent) and measles (15 per cent). This programme has
emphasized improved vaccination rates and action to combat diarrhoea, and has
led to a modification of the structure of infant mortality.
210. At the present time, neonatal mortality accounts for 46.2 per cent of
infant mortality. Neonatal mortality is to a large extent related to low
birth weight (prematurity and inadequate intra-uterine growth).
211. In the late 1980s child mortality mainly affected the 1-4 year age-group,
where deaths still account for 20 per cent of all deaths of children under the
age of five years.
212. With regard to maternal mortality, it should be noted that, in a survey
undertaken by the Algerian Ministry of Health and UNICEF (Algiers, 1991)
covering 12,000 households, it was found that in women of childbearing age one
death in four was related to complications during pregnancy.
213. The downward trend in the population growth rate is accounted for by the
decline in the birth rate, which is greater than the decline in the mortality
rate. The population, estimated at 25,324,000 on 1 January 1991, is
concentrated on the coastal heathland and the steppe. Only 8.7 per cent of
inhabitants live in the south of the country. The urban population increased
from 31 per cent in 1966 to 50 per cent in 1987, while the population of
built-up areas grew from 56.1 per cent to 70.8 per cent over the same period.
The Algerian population is particularly young: in 1988 children in
the 0-4 year age range accounted for 16.6 per cent of the population (as
opposed to 19.8 per cent in 1966), children and young people between the ages
of 5 and 19 accounted for 38.4 per cent (37.6 per cent in 1966), persons in
the 20-59 age-group accounted for 39.3 per cent (35.9 per cent in 1966) and
persons over 60 accounted for 5.7 per cent (6.7 per cent in 1966).
214. On the question of living conditions, and more specifically the question
of environmental conditions and availability of water, potential water
resources are estimated at 12.4 billion m3 a year, of which 4.4 billion m3 a
year (35 per cent) are currently being used. Piped water supply, which stands
at 87 per cent in urban areas, is 76 per cent in rural built-up areas and
only 8.5 per cent in sparsely populated areas. The average quantity of
water supplied is estimated at 177 litres per inhabitant per day in urban
areas, 200 litres per inhabitant per day in semi-rural areas and 286 litres
per inhabitant per day in rural areas.
page 55
215. Programmes for the protection of water resources mainly involve efforts
to combat water-borne diseases, soil conservation and, on an ad hoc basis,
flood control. In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to
drainage and water treatment programmes; improved management of supply
networks has yet to be achieved.
216. State action has consisted of a policy of subsidies and support for the
prices of so-called basic products, free health care, 80 per cent subsidies
for drinking water, subsidies for sanitation, water for agricultural purposes,
transport, rural electrification, gas, fuels and rents.
217. The population’s state of health and the health services have steadily
improved. Between 1962 and 1991 there was a remarkable decline in a number of
diseases: malaria virtually disappeared, the incidence of tuberculosis fell
from 72 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 1981 to 43 per 100,000 in 1990. The
mortality rate for childhood diarrhoea, which is still common (2.1 episodes
per child per year in 1989), fell by 50 per cent between 1986 and 1989, while
the number of hospital admissions for acute diarrhoea fell by 25 per cent over
the same period. The incidence of measles fell from 153.8 to 17 cases
per 100,000 inhabitants and measles has virtually ceased to be a cause of
mortality. However, water-borne diseases among children and adults still give
cause for concern (salmonelloses, cholera and viral hepatitis).
218. As for the availability of, and access to, health services, the national
health system is structured around the health sector and is based on
complementarity between the public, semi-public and private sectors, and also
on graduated treatment. The increase in the number of basic health units and
the development of medical welfare centres and of medical practices have
facilitated access to health services. Since 1985, preventive programmes have
been integrated into the basic units, thereby making it possible to respond
more effectively to the needs of the public in the spheres of vaccination,
pregnancy monitoring, birth spacing, action to combat diarrhoeic illnesses and
school hygiene.
219. However, access to health care is still unsatisfactory as there are
certain needs that are not being fully met: only 32 per cent of pregnant
women are monitored during pregnancy (survey by the Algerian Ministry of
Health/UNICEF, 1989), despite the fact that the existing facilities are in
some cases under-utilized. In addition, health care is not always properly
graduated, as a result of which hospitals operate as dispensaries and are thus
prevented from fully playing their role. Finally, the economic crisis has had
severe repercussions since 1988, both on specialized health care and on
preventive care.
220. Where health expenditure is concerned, it should be mentioned that
national expenditure grew at an average rate of 14 per cent during the 1980s.
As a ratio of GDP, national health expenditure rose from 3.6 per cent in 1980
to 5.5 per cent in 1989. This increase is attributable to a sustained
investment policy, major efforts to train medical and paramedical personnel,
and the introduction of new equipment.
221. The operating budget of the health sectors followed the same trend. When
credit lines were allocated to ministerial departments under the 1992
page 56
operating budget, approximately 12,317,689 dinars were earmarked for the
health and welfare department, making it one of the most generously financed
222. In general terms, the percentage of the population with access to health
services ranges from 88 per cent in urban areas to 80 per cent in rural areas.
Article 13
223. The right to education is guaranteed by the Constitution, article 50 of
which stipulates that "The right to education is guaranteed. Education shall
be free of charge under the conditions laid down by the law. Primary
education shall be compulsory. The State shall ensure equal access to
education and vocational training".
224. Education and training are organized in conformity with Ordinance
No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 and the decrees relating thereto. Thus, article 2
of the Ordinance enumerates the various purposes of the educational system:
(a) To develop children’s and citizens’ personality and prepare them to
take their place in society;
(b) To impart general scientific and technical knowledge;
(c) To respond to the people’s aspirations for justice and progress;
(d) To awaken patriotic feeling.
225. In accordance with article 3, the educational system is required:
(a) To inculcate in young people the principles of justice and equality
among citizens and peoples, and to encourage them to combat any form of
(b) To impart an education which fosters understanding and cooperation
among peoples for the purpose of universal peace and understanding among
(c) To develop an education consistent with human rights and
fundamental freedoms.
226. Every Algerian is entitled to education and training. This right is
ensured through the general availability of primary education (art. 4).
227. Act No. 91-26 of 18 December 1991 establishing the national plan for 1992
set a number of general objectives, noteworthy among which are the gradual
implementation of the reform of the educational, training and research
systems, and in particular basic and applied pedagogics, in order to improve
their performance and achieve better coordination of their various components.
page 57
228. As to the percentage of the national budget devoted to education,
Act No. 91-25 of 18 December 1991 (Finance Act for 1992) allocated a total of
43,998,241 dinars to the Ministerial Department responsible for education,
thereby making it the most generously funded ministerial department.
229. Under the Educational System (Manpower) Planning Act (No. 84-05)
of 7 January 1984, the basic objective of manpower planning is to maximize
human potential and improve cultural and scientific knowledge in conformity
with the requirements of national economic, social and cultural development.
Planning is geared to the evolution of society and ensures respect for the
principles of the democratization of education, equity and equal opportunities
for all (art. 4).
230. Education is compulsory and free of charge, as stipulated by Ordinance
No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976:
"Article 5: Education shall be compulsory for all children aged
from 6 to 16.
Article 6: The State shall guarantee equal access to post-primary
education subject to no restriction other than individual ability and the
resources and needs of society.
Article 7: Education shall be free of charge at all levels,
regardless of the type of establishment attended."
231. Decree No. 76-67 of 16 April 1976 concerning free education and training
contains the following provisions:
"Article 1: Education shall be provided free of charge in all
educational and training establishments, in conformity with article 7 of
Ordinance No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 relating to the organization of
education and training.
Article 2: All pupils duly enrolled in an educational or training
establishment and adults undertaking a course of education or training
shall be entitled to free educational services.
Article 3: In addition to a free education, pupils in primary
education and secondary education shall be entitled to use, at minimum
cost, teaching facilities, school supplies and allied social services."
232. The educational system comprises the following levels: pre-school,
primary, secondary and higher. In order to gain a better grasp of the extent
of the efforts made by Algeria in this important sphere, it should be noted
that in 1963 there were 700,000 primary and middle-school pupils, 34,000 in
secondary schools and 2,750 in higher education. In 1983 and 1984, 314,000
pupils were enrolled in secondary schools; there were 96,000 students at the
undergraduate level and approximately 5,000 at the postgraduate level in
Algeria as a whole. This democratization of education has required
considerable efforts in terms of educational infrastructure and social
and cultural programmes, necessitating annual operating expenditure of
some 170 billion dinars during the period 1969-1979 alone.
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233. At the pre-school (4-5 years), primary (6-15 years) and secondary
(16-18 years) levels, the school system is governed by the Ordinance
of 16 April 1976. It is structured as follows:
234. Pre-school education is for children who have not reached the mandatory
school age; it is a form of supplementary teaching that prepares children for
entry into primary school. It is provided in kindergartens, nursery schools
and pre-school classes. The Ministry of Education exercises pedagogical
authority over pre-school establishments, determines the conditions of
admission for pupils, timetables, curricula and pedagogical instructions, and
provides training for pre-school teachers.
235. The purpose of primary education is to provide a common basic education
for all pupils. Its duration is nine years. Primary schools are independent
units that provide an uninterrupted education from the first to the ninth
year. They are divided into three stages:
(a) The first cycle, from the first to the third year;
(b) The second cycle, which encompasses the fourth, fifth and sixth
(c) The third stage, from the seventh to the ninth year.
Children are admitted to the first year of primary education when they reach
the age of six.
236. Special establishments have been set up to meet the needs of children and
adolescents whose state of health or mental or physical development requires a
specific education.
237. On successful completion of primary education, students are awarded a
diploma. On completion of the third cycle (in their ninth year) pupils are
channelled either into secondary education or vocational training centres.
238. Staff consist of regular primary teachers or specialized teachers
responsible for teaching one or more subjects.
239. Ordinance No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 contains the following provisions on
primary education:
"Article 24: The purpose of primary education is to provide a
common basic education for all pupils. Its duration is nine years.
Article 26: Primary schools are independent units that provide an
uninterrupted education from the first to the ninth year.
Article 28: Children shall be admitted to the first year of
primary education when they reach the age of six. Conditions for
admission and any exceptions thereto shall be decided by the Minister of
page 59
240. Decree No. 76-66 of 16 April 1976, relating to the compulsory nature of
primary education, contains the following provisions:
"Article 1: In conformity with the provisions of article 5 of
Ordinance No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 relating to the organization of
education and training and those of this Decree and the consequent
regulations, primary education shall be compulsory for children who reach
the age of six during the current calendar year.
Article 2: Parents, guardians and, in general, all persons
responsible for children of school age shall be required to enrol them in
the primary school of their school district.
Article 3: At the beginning of each calendar year, the communal
authorities shall send to the director of education a numerical list of
the children who will reach the age of compulsory schooling at the
beginning of the following school year.
Article 7: Parents and guardians shall be required to provide an
explanation for any failure to comply with the obligation to send their
children to school. If appropriate, special leave of absence may be
authorized by the Ministry of Education.
Article 8: Failure by parents to comply with the obligation to
send their children to school shall constitute a punishable offence for
which the parents or guardians shall be liable to a reprimand and, if
they repeat the offence, a civil fine."
241. Article 13 of Decree No. 76-71 of 16 April 1976 relating to the
organization and functioning of primary schools stipulates that primary school
pupils are to be channelled towards the various branches of secondary
education on the basis of their school results and abilities and the needs of
the economy.
242. Secondary education is intended for pupils who have completed their
primary schooling. It comprises general secondary education, specialized
secondary education, and technical and vocational secondary education.
243. The main objective of general secondary education is to prepare pupils to
continue their studies in higher education. General secondary education is of
three years’ duration.
244. In addition to pursuing the aims of general secondary education,
specialized secondary education is designed to increase pupils’ knowledge of
the subject or group of subjects in which they have achieved the best results.
245. Technical and vocational secondary education is designed to prepare young
people for employment in the various sectors of production. To this end, it
provides training for technicians and skilled workers, and also prepares
pupils for higher training. It should be noted that technical and vocational
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secondary education is organized in close cooperation with the enterprises,
public bodies and workers’ organizations concerned. The duration of technical
and vocational secondary education varies according to the level of training
aimed at.
246. Secondary education is provided in lycées and technical schools. A
diploma or certificate, whose requirements and levels of equivalence are fixed
by decree, is awarded to pupils who successfully complete their secondary
247. Secondary-school teachers fall into the following categories:
(a) Teachers who specialize in teaching one or two subjects;
(b) Teachers who specialize in practical subjects;
(c) Managers and senior staff from firms; specialists in the various
branches of national activity also take part in teaching and training.
248. Ordinance No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 contains the following provisions:
"Article 33: Secondary education shall be intended for pupils who
have completed primary education as determined by the Ministry of
In addition to pursuing the overall aims of primary schooling, it
is designed to:
Deepen the knowledge already acquired;
Bring about gradual specialization in the various spheres in the
light of pupils’ abilities and the needs of society.
Accordingly, it fosters:
Either entry into employment; or
Further studies to acquire higher training.
Article 38: The duration of general or specialized secondary
education shall be three years.
The duration of technical or vocational secondary education may
vary, according to the level of training envisaged, between one and four
Equal access to the various levels of education is confirmed by the
facts and evidenced in the massive number of pupils belonging to all
segments of society advancing from primary schooling to the higher
(third) level of education, which should afford them the opportunity to
move on to the further stages."
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249. Ordinance No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 contains the following provisions:
Article 14: Further education and training shall be provided by
the State to members of society who so desire, without distinction as to
age, sex or occupation.
Article 43: Further education activities are aimed at achieving
literacy and steadily raising the cultural, moral and political standards
of members of society.
They are directed at all persons or groups of persons who have not
received school education with a view to developing their knowledge and
supplementing their education.
Article 44: Further education shall be organized so as to
constitute, together with school education, an integrated system of
lifelong education, diversified according to the age of the beneficiaries
and society’s needs.
Article 45: Further education shall be provided:
In institutions especially created for the purpose;
In education and training establishments;
In any other appropriate place.
Article 46: Under the auspices of the Minister of Education and as
established by decree, local communities, national mass organizations,
enterprises and cooperatives and the various public services may organize
further education activities.
Article 47: Further education is assured by teachers of different
specialized subjects or by any competent person.
Article 48: Further education provides preparation, on the same
basis as school education:
For examinations and competitions for State-guaranteed titles and
For entrance examinations to schools, centres or institutes
providing general or vocational training."
250. Concerning the development of the school network, article 30 of Ordinance
No. 76-35 of 16 April 1976 states that special institutions other than those
provided for by the public health legislation may be set up for children and
adolescents who, for reasons of health or intellectual or physical
development, require specific education.
251. Decree No. 76-69 of 16 April 1976, relating to the establishment of a
system of school catchment areas, contains the following provisions:
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"Article 1: The system of catchment areas is intended to ensure,
on a permanent basis, the best possible conditions of schooling
Article 2: Teaching institutions shall be located as appropriate
to provide the school-age population concerned with education at the
various levels and also with further education.
Article 4: To meet the objectives of schooling in the best
possible way, the institutions shall be designed with a view to full
utilization of school facilities and possible changes in their use or
capacity and attendance by pupils."
252. The Commune Act (No. 90-08) of 7 April 1990 contains the following
"Article 97: In accordance with the national regulations and the
system of catchment areas, responsibility for the provision of primary
schools shall rest with the commune. The commune shall also be
responsible for the maintenance of such schools.
Article 98: The commune shall take every measure to facilitate
school transport.
Article 99: The commune shall initiate every possible measure to
encourage and promote preschool education."
253. In addition, the Wilaya Act (No. 90-09) of 7 April 1990 states in
article 74: "The wilaya, within the framework of national regulations and
pursuant to the system of school education and training by catchment area,
shall ensure that schools are provided for secondary and technical education
and for vocational training.
It shall furthermore ensure the upkeep and maintenance of such schools."
254. The social welfare system is governed by Ordinance No. 76-35 of
16 April 1976, which provides, inter alia, as follows:
"Article 67: School welfare comprises a range of activities which
supplement the educational support provided by the State with a view to:
Helping pupils to pursue their studies by overcoming social,
economic or geographic disparities;
Providing financial relief to families.
Article 68: School welfare ensures that pupils are provided with
the necessary educational aids, school supplies, transport, food and
clothing, accommodation, leisure and recreation, and medical assistance."
255. Executive Decree No. 90-170 of 2 June 1990, establishing the conditions
for the award of grants and the amount of such grants, contains the following
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"Article 2: The grant is an award made by the State to pupils,
trainees or students regularly enrolled in public educational or training
institutions with a view to defraying part of the cost of their education
or supplementing their means of subsistence.
Article 3: For the purposes of this Decree:
’Pupil’ means any person regularly attending, on a full-time basis,
an institution providing primary or secondary education;
’Trainee’ means any person regularly engaged, on a full-time basis,
in vocational training in a public training institution;
’Student’ means any person regularly attending, on a full-time
basis, a course of education or training where the entrance level
is the baccalaureate of secondary education or a recognized
equivalent, or that of the third year of secondary education after
a competitive examination;
’Dependent child’ means any child who is a dependant of his
parents, as defined by the fiscal legislation.
Article 4: The grant is awarded for the duration of the course of
studies or training.
It is disbursed at the end of each month or period of three months,
except in the case of the installation grant, which is paid as a single
sum at the beginning of the course of studies or training.
Article 5: The grant is awarded on the basis of the parents’
income and the performance of the beneficiary. In the case of education
and vocational training, account is also taken of the number of dependent
Article 12: Appeals boards, whose composition, organization and
procedures are governed by decision of the Ministry concerned, are
appointed to examine complaints regarding the award of grants.
The above-mentioned decree also deals with the question of grants
for primary and secondary education and for vocational training courses.
Article 13: Pupils in the third stage of primary education,
secondary education or vocational training may be awarded:
A grant to cover, in whole or in part, the costs of boarding; such
grants are awarded automatically to pupils attending boarding
institutions in the first or second stage of primary education, as
provided for by the above-mentioned Ordinance No. 67-235 of
9 November 1967; or
A grant to cover, in whole or in part, the costs of half board; or
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A grant to cover, in whole or in part and for the whole period of
study or training, the installation costs of pupils or trainees
following technical education or vocational training courses in
special fields, of which the list is approved by joint decision of
the Minister of Finance and the Education Minister concerned.
Article 14: Grants for boarding or half-board may be awarded to
pupils or trainees whose parents are able to show that their net joint
monthly income is less than or equal to two and a half times the
guaranteed national minimum wage.
The amount of the grant is reduced by 50 per cent for pupils and
trainees whose parents have a net joint monthly income of between two and
a half and three times the guaranteed national minimum wage.
These thresholds are increased by 1,000 dinars per year for each
additional dependent child but the increase may not exceed 3,000 dinars.
Article 15: The amount of grants awarded to pupils in primary or
secondary education and to trainees in vocational training is fixed as
Boarding grant: 1,296 dinars per school year;
Half-board grant: 648 dinars per school year;
Installation grant: 300 dinars for the full course of technical
education or vocational training."
256. Higher education concerns some 320,000 students attending 14
universities, which are to be staffed by 15,171 teachers under the system of
catchment areas. The growth of the student population has been rapid (between
17 and 20 per cent a year). In addition, a large number of trainees attend
the 31 specialized national institutes and schools. A few statistics will
serve to illustrate progress in this field: in 1962 Algeria had
2,725 students, whereas in the 1970s this figure rose to 19,311.
257. In the 1980s, Algerian universities underwent substantial reforms with
the establishment of catchment areas, the regulation of flows to rectify major
imbalances, the introduction of new branches, a substantial increase in
potential intake and an improvement in the quality of teaching. On the latter
subject, efforts have been made in four directions: better management of the
teaching process, pedagogical research, teacher training, and the
modernization of teaching methods and provision of teaching aids. Teaching
capacity by the year 2000 is expected to be in the order of 226,000 places,
including 160,000 for prospective managerial staff and 60,000 for highly
skilled technical disciplines.
258. The university system would thus cover 28 cities and wilaya. This
extended network would be constituted as follows: four university cities
(Algiers, Oran, Constantine and Annaba), each with a potential intake ranging
from 10,000 to 18,000. Other towns would have universities with a total
maximum potential intake of 10,000.
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259. Three main areas have been given priority in the programme established at
the beginning of the 1990/91 academic year. With regard to students’ living
and working conditions, a programme to renovate university buildings, in
particular halls of residence and restaurants, is now being implemented.
Concerning the social and professional conditions of teaching staff, a plan
for urgent construction of 3,300 dwellings, including property ownership, is
being finalized for several university towns. Steps were taken in 1991 to
improve the system of allowances. The adjustment rate for teaching staff was
set at 50 to 70 per cent of actual base salary and other allowances (for
professional experience, improved performance, etc.) have also been increased.
260. Concerning pedagogics, the reform of all teaching programmes in the exact
sciences, technology, social and human sciences began at the end of 1990
following a national seminar on the question, the goal being to adapt training
to the evolution of society, scientific progress and users’ needs. Another
priority in the pedagogical field is to resolve the problem of making
available the documentation needed by academics, teachers and students. This
operation, with a large budget of around 4 million centimes in foreign
currency, is intended to cover all subscriptions to international scientific
periodicals in Arabic, French and English.
261. At present 80 per cent of students are in receipt of student grants. The
cost of meals (1.20 dinars) has remained unchanged since the beginning of
higher education; in terms of infrastructure, the public authorities have
invested in 115 university restaurants. The monthly rent for a university
room, like enrolment fees, is a purely symbolic amount.
262. Concerning education and higher training grants, Executive Decree
No. 90-170 of 2 June 1990 provides as follows:
"Article 16: Student grants may be awarded for:
Undergraduate or higher training courses;
Studies or research by registered postgraduate students.
Article 17: A grant may be awarded to any student duly enrolled in
a higher education or training course in a public institution if the
parents can show that their net joint monthly income is less than or
equal to eight times the guaranteed national minimum wage.
Article 18: The monthly amount of grants awarded to registered
undergraduate students or students in higher training is set as follows:
300 dinars/month when the duration of the training is less than or
equal to 12 months;
400 dinars/month when the duration of the training is less than or
equal to 24 months;
600 dinars/month when the duration of the training is equal to or
more than 30 months.
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Article 19: The study and research grant provided for in
article 16 above may be awarded to postgraduate students in public higher
education and training establishments."
It should be noted that the amount of the grant is adjusted whenever it is
thought necessary, to enable grant-holders to continue their studies under the
best possible conditions.
263. Since education is considered a priority, many measures have been taken
by the State in this domain:
(a) An increase in the number of schools, with a particular effort in
rural areas;
(b) The most rational possible use of school premises;
(c) Intensive recruitment of teaching staff;
(d) Building of technological teaching establishments for the training
of teachers;
(e) Provision of all instructional material for teachers and pupils;
(f) Payment of a considerable share of the cost of transport whenever
(g) Very extensive efforts to find answers to catering and lodging
problems (half-board, full boarding, school canteens);
(h) Constant improvement of social and professional conditions for
264. The importance of student welfare activities has increased steadily over
the years. Despite the austerity measures applied to the State budget,
particularly since 1985, the university student welfare centres have continued
to receive substantial subsidies. The same applies to allocations to cover
the cost of public measures (bursaries for study in Algeria and abroad).
Article 15
265. Article 30 of the Constitution provides that "The purpose of the
institutions is to ensure equality of rights and obligations for all citizens,
whether men or women, by removing the obstacles to the full development of the
human personality that prevent the effective participation of all in
political, economic, social and cultural life". Moreover, article 36 of the
Constitution states: "The citizen is guaranteed freedom of artistic and
scientific intellectual creation. Intellectual property rights are protected
by the law".
266. Mention should also be made of Executive Decree No. 90-250
of 18 August 1990 establishing the National Cultural Council.
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"Article 2: The Council is a coordinating body with the task of
designing, developing and putting into effect State cultural policy in
its different fields of application, and proposing policies and
strategies for related and contiguous fields.
It consults with the various people engaged in cultural pursuits,
particularly creative artists, and with cultural associations and
institutions. It leaves it to the Head of Government to choose what
should have priority in investment, funding and support for the arts and
cultural activities.
Article 3: It proposes to the Head of Government options,
adjudications and decisions relating to cultural policy and the text of
laws and regulations designed to govern the activities of the cultural
sector. It defines the nature and forms of the relationships between the
Council and cultural institutions, on the one hand, and between the
institutions and people engaged in cultural pursuits, on the other.
Article 4: In this respect, the Council has the more specific
tasks of:
Carrying out studies on the funding of culture and outlining the
essential elements of a financial policy for it, while striving to
harmonize market laws and commercial soundness with the need to
support culture;
Coordinating the activities of the different institutions that
provide expertise, knowledge, sciences and techniques so as to
encourage the spread and popularization of scientific and technical
culture and bring it within the grasp of the general public in
appropriate forms and through appropriate organizations and bodies;
Encouraging, by means of appropriate measures, the finding and
practical application of ways of disseminating universal knowledge
and heritage in national guise, in accordance with social needs and
having due regard for the specific contribution of our own nation
and of Arabo-Islamic civilization to that universal knowledge;
Proposing and implementing a global plan for children and young
people, including their provision with appropriate information and
the handling of the latest scientific discoveries in well
thought-out forms adapted to their actual cultural background and
civilization (books, discovery centres, museums, mobile
exhibitions, toys, etc.), making sure that these activities are
flexible so that they can be adapted constantly to the actual rate
of the discovery and combine to form a part of the artistic and
aesthetic education of children;
Devising a policy for the organization and activities of cultural
institutions, adapting them to the new social background and
transforming them into cultural producers maintaining relations of
a new type with creative artists, performers and organizers on the
basis of specifications and programme budgets;
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Proposing measures to encourage creative activities, the
dissemination of artistic and intellectual works and their
incorporation into a setting of built-up areas and towns;
Devising a policy for cooperation through international cultural
exchanges, particularly with the Arab countries and the Maghreb;
Drafting a global policy for cultural and artistic training,
involving the educational system, the university and the
specialized institutes, with a view to training people from both
the theoretical and the practical viewpoints."
267. Executive Decree No. 90-400 of 15 December 1990 on the organization,
functioning and responsibilities of the permanent secretariat of the National
Cultural Council.
"Article 2: The task of the permanent secretariat shall be, under
the authority of the President, to put into effect the Council’s
programme of activities in the following domains:
The promotion and support of artistic and literary creation and of
the activities of cultural associations and specialized
The study of cultural projects through a policy of funding and
training designed to promote creative activities and the
dissemination of culture;
International cooperation."
268. Executive Decree No. 90-234 of 28 July 1990 laying down the rules for
organizing and running wilaya extension services for young people.
"Article 3: The extension services for young people shall
encourage, coordinate and evaluate scientific, cultural, educational and
leisure activities designed for the young, and physical and sports
activities. They shall accordingly have the particular tasks of:
Helping to promote youth initiatives and fostering any activity
undertaken to that end;
Encouraging youth activity associations."
269. Information Act (No. 90-07) of 3 April 1990.
"Article 5: Newspapers and information organs shall play a part in
the development of the national culture and in meeting the needs of
citizens in regard to information, technological progress, culture,
education and leisure, having regard for national values and the
promotion of exchanges of ideas between the cultures of the world ... ."
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270. Presidential Decree No. 89-124 of 25 July 1989 establishing the Houari
Boumediène prize for the promotion of creative activity in a national
"Article 2: The purpose of the prize is to reward an original,
creative work of a scientific, literary or cultural nature expressed in a
national language on an individual or collective basis by persons of
Algerian nationality."
271. Presidential Decree No. 89-123 of 25 July 1989 establishing a medical
"Article 2: The purpose of this prize is to reward any original
medical work or research recognized as capable of making a decisive
contribution to the development of the health services or to health
promotion and carried out by a physician or a group of physicians who are
nationals of Arab countries."
272. Executive Decree No. 89-122 of 18 July 1989 giving a special status to
workers in specific branches of teaching and higher education.
"Article 5: To enable them to participate in cultural and
scientific events, teaching staff shall be granted special paid leave of
absence ...".
273. Decree No. 83-455 of 23 July 1983 on scientific and technical research
"Article 1: With a view to attaining the technological and
scientific development objectives laid down in the national development
plan, research units may be established in the higher training
institutions of public enterprises and organizations."
274. Decree No. 85-543 of 24 September 1983 laying down standard statutes for
the National Institute of Higher Education.
"Article 4: The objectives of the Institute under the national
economic, social and cultural development plan are:
To contribute to the development of scientific and technical
To publish research studies and results."
275. Decree No. 86-52 of 18 March 1986 defining standard conditions for
workers in the scientific and technical research sector.
"Article 5: As part of the national development plan, workers in
the scientific and technical research sector shall participate in
national scientific and technical research activities with a view to
finding specific and original solutions for the problems arising from
economic, social, cultural, scientific and technological needs ... ."
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276. As regards cultural activities, the Algerian State has established a
network for the dissemination of culture (cultural centres, cinemas, theatres,
museums, National Records Centre, etc.). In 1988, 77 publications were
issued, 52 of them in a national language.
277. About a thousand local libraries have been established. The State had
provided them with 163,900 books by 1988. Moreover, the National Library has
a stock of 1 million publications, microfiches, microfilms, engravings, maps,
reviews and periodicals.
278. The Association of Public and Private Algerian Publishers was established
in June 1989 with a view to meeting the needs of the cultural sector and
developing a publication policy that would make good-quality publications
available on the market and promote international exchanges and cooperation.
The National Copyright Office, for its part, has the task of protecting the
interests of authors and developing creative activities. In 1988 its index of
protected works contained 127,050 entries.
279. There are 360 cultural centres and 16 Houses of Culture operating in
Algeria as a whole. These centres are concerned with sculpture, plastic arts,
ceramics, geography, traditional music and music in general, amateur
cinematography, handicrafts, reading, etc. Moreover, numerous registered and
subsidized non-governmental associations play a part in the promotion of
culture in Algeria.
280. The Algerian film industry possesses production and distribution
facilities. The Algerian Centre for the Cinematographic Art and Film Industry
has a distribution and operating network that covers the whole of Algeria.
The Algerian Centre for Cinematography stores and distributes films from its
collection, with consists of 10,000 films (6,500 coming from the Western
countries, 1,500 from East European countries, 500 from Latin American
countries, 500 from Arab countries, 600 from Asian countries and 100 from
African countries). In addition, 300 Algerian films are stored there. The
Algerian Film Library has a stock of 1,000 works on the art of the film.
Numerous international film festivals are organized every year, during which
films from Algeria and other countries are shown.
281. The Algerian theatre is made up of various elements: a national theatre
(Algiers), regional theatres (Constantine, Oran, Bejaia, Batna, Annaba
Sidi-Bel-Abbès), nine community theatres and four open-air theatres. Numerous
international theatre festivals have taken place in Algeria, at which foreign
companies have performed, thus giving the Algerian public the opportunity of
appreciating other forms of cultural expression.
282. There are 21 museums concerned with aspects of culture. Among the best
known are the Bardo National Museum, the National Museum of Antiquities, the
National Fine Arts Museum, and the National Museum of Popular Arts and
Traditions. There are 300 scheduled monuments and 23 listed sites. Monuments
and sites on the World Heritage List are Tassili N’Ajjar, the Kalaâ of the
Beni-Hammad, the Mzab Valley, Djemila, Tipaza, Timgad and the Casbah.
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283. In order to preserve this heritage, which is among the 67 wonders of the
African world and figures on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Algeria, when it
gained its independence, drew up a plan of activities designed particularly to
safeguard and display this cultural heritage of humanity. As for professional
training in the cultural and artistic domain, this undertaking was considered
as a fundamental objective for the development and dissemination of culture.
Thus several establishments for education in the arts have been set up:
(a) The High School of Fine Arts and its branches (situated in Oran,
Constantine, Batna and Mostaganem);
(b) The National Institute of Dramatic Art and Choreography which has
the task of training cultural leaders in the theatrical, audio-visual and
musical arts;
(c) The National Institute of Music, which has the task of organizing
and promoting the teaching of music and has two branches, one at Mostaganem
and one at Batna.
These three establishments can take from 300 to 450 students (between 1985 and
1992 the Institute of Dramatic Art trained 72 students, whereas the Fine Arts
Institute and the Institute of Music train 400 and 300 students per annum
284. It should be noted, moreover, that Algeria has acceded to a large number
of international instruments concerned with cultural rights and has signed
numerous bilateral cultural agreements with African, Arab, Western European,
North American, Asian and Latin American countries.
285. In addition, the National Archaeological Agency, established in 1987, has
the task of ensuring the protection and conservation of archaeological riches.
An undertaking established in 1988 to restore the national heritage has taken
on the task of restoring valuable cultural works.