This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Comoros ratified the CRC in 1993, as well as the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Children can bring cases through their representatives, and special services exist to receive and report to the prosecution complaints about child rights violations. However, there is no centralised entity to deal with children’s issues nor an ombudsperson. NGOs can intervene in cases and file constitutionality claims with strict conditions, but cannot bring civil claims in a child’s name. Practical obstacles hinder access to justice in the country: no legal aid system is guaranteed by law, and constant delays affect the legal system. The project to adopt a new Criminal Procedure Code in accordance with Comoros’s international obligations has been constantly postponed by the parliament and the law creating independent child tribunals has not yet been enforced. It is a common practice to give preference to alternative religious or customary resolution mechanisms.