The Union of the Comoros is a constitutional, multiparty republic. The country consists of three islands--Grande Comore (also called Ngazidja), Anjouan, and Moheli--and claims a fourth, Mayotte, which France governs. In November and December 2010, elections occurred to choose a new union president as well as governors for each of the three islands. Serious electoral irregularities on the island of Anjouan noted by some observers were not sufficient to change the outcome of the national contests, and the constitutional court upheld the results of the elections. A joint international observer mission from the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the International Organization of La Francophonie declared the elections generally free and fair, despite shortcomings relating to the electoral commission, opaque vote tallying, and reports of fraud on Anjouan. In May 2011 former vice president Ikililou Dhoinine became president of the Comoros. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.
Official corruption, particularly bribery, was a pervasive problem in the government. Children were subject to various forms of abuse from violence to forced labor, including the worst forms of child labor, and trafficking in persons. The government did not effectively enforce laws providing protections of workers’ rights.
Other human rights problems reported during the year included violence by security force members against suspects at time of arrest and questioning, poor prison conditions, long pretrial detention, restrictions on press freedom, violence and societal discrimination against women, and criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual activity.
Impunity for violations of human rights was widespread. The government rarely took steps to prosecute, much less punish, officials who committed abuses.