Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Once the 'recommendations' have been accepted or rejected by the State, these will subsequently be published here.
Costa Rica - Nineteenth session - 2014
5th May - 9am - 12.30pm
4. Poverty, inequality and exclusion make it easier for criminal organizations to take root in society and encourage the growth of the drug market and the movement of and trafficking in persons and their exploitation. Considerable efforts have been made to establish and maintain institutional bodies to combat violence, drug trafficking and trafficking in persons and to protect the victims. [...] (T)he National Commission to Combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, the National Coalition against the Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking and the working group on follow-up to the United Nations report on violence against children and adolescents, among other bodies and initiatives, have carried out activities that make an integral contribution to efforts to address these scourges.
5. One group of particular concern is that of minors. The rights of children and adolescents are seriously affected by new phenomena of growing importance, such as sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy, in particular when they are linked to abusive relations with adults.
6. The lead body in this area, the National Child Welfare Agency (PANI), conducts policies, programmes and projects for targeted, comprehensive protection of minors and their families, in coordination with other institutions and NGOs, but the resources needed to ensure better management are limited.
16. The legislature has approved the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure.
19. The following laws on the promotion and protection of human rights have been adopted: [...]
• The Act on the Protection of Victims, Witnesses and other Persons involved in Criminal Procedures, Reforms and Additions to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Criminal Code;
• The Act on the Abolition of Physical Punishment and any Other Form of Abuse or Degrading Treatment of Children and Adolescents;
23. The Access to Justice Commission, the lead institutional body in the area of access to justice for vulnerable groups, is responsible for setting policies and institutional guidelines for that purpose. It is composed of all jurisdictions and representatives of the subcommittees working for each vulnerable group ([...]children, adolescents and adults in conflict with the law), and representatives of professional associations and civil society.
24. As a result of the work of the Commission, the judiciary has a policy directed at improving access to justice for children and adolescents in Costa Rica, which emerged from a process of participatory consultation with judicial and institutional officials of the national system for the protection of children and adolescents, civil society organizations, international organizations and children and adolescents themselves. Adopted in November 2010, the policy’s main objective is to secure effective access to justice for minors, eliminating any discrimination, restriction or hindrance that impedes the exercise of their rights, on the basis of a judicial culture that develops the paradigm of comprehensive protection for children and adolescents.
25. An institutional policy on the right of access to justice for vulnerable juveniles facing criminal prosecution and a policy on respect for sexual diversity were also developed.
27. Steps are being taken to set up a system of statistical indicators on children and adolescents, a useful tool for formulating policy, plans and programmes aimed at guaranteeing the rights of minors; the initiative is conducted by the National Statistics and Census Institute under the auspices of UNICEF.
Public and personal safety - 1. Violence against Women
44. In 2012, the number of femicides declined significantly – 18 compared to an average of 38.75 annually between 2008 and 2011. In 2013, an emergency plan was defined with the goal of reducing gender-related murders of women. It contains immediate actions, an “emergency kit” and medium-term preventive measures. Legal and psychological assistance at the Pacific and Atlantic regional headquarters of INAMU was broadened, a domestic violence legal advisory service was made available in the capitals of four provinces, and work is under way on strengthening the special assistance and shelter centres for women and their children to protect women at risk of being murdered.
2. Violence against children and adolescents
46. One of the phenomena with the greatest impact on minors is domestic violence, which is why a permanent commission for monitoring, assistance and prevention measures in relation to domestic violence was set up with the participation of public bodies active in addressing the problem, including PANI, INAMU, the judiciary and the National Council for Older Persons.
47. The Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy, in conjunction with the National Council for Children and Adolescents, is carrying out a plan of action for the protection of children and adolescents in situations of violence, with particular attention to the World Report on Violence and the recommendations for Costa Rica of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
48. Civil society organizations have set up and are promoting a working group to assist public authorities in their ability to respond to the phenomenon of violence against children and adolescents, from the perspective of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children with an impact on the success of strengthened institutions for preventing, addressing, punishing and providing redress for violence against children and adolescents in the family, at work, in the community, at school and in institutions. At the initiative of civil society, for the past three years a working group on violence has sought to give effect to recommendation 2 of the World Report. NGOs, PANI, the Office of the Ombudsman and academia have participated in this working group.
49. The judiciary has also conducted a number of initiatives and programmes which deal with the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents for commercial purposes, as well as a plan of action on violence against children and adolescents, which addresses violence against this population group and works with those responsible for taking immediate action in order to inform the public on these offences and encourage their reporting.
50. In conformity with article 55 of the Constitution and the Organic Law on PANI, this body is the lead entity responsible for the welfare of children, adolescents and families. It operates in conjunction with other public institutions and therefore requires political support from the executive branch.
51. PANI is working hard to ensure the restoration of the rights of vulnerable minors, increasing allocations for the implementation of protection programmes aimed at improving assistance for this at-risk population.
52. To combat child pornography, direct messages are sent out through the social networks on children’s rights and the risks that they face. These networks help in detecting, confronting and reporting websites which disseminate pornographic material. In 2012, article 167 of the Criminal Code was amended to include the offence of possession or dissemination of pornographic material involving minors with the help of the Internet.
3. Trafficking in persons, in particular women, children and adolescents
55. With regard to prevention, information campaigns have been conducted on the offence of trafficking in persons and the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and approximately 20,000 civil servants, representatives of civil society and students throughout the country have received training. The Information, Analysis and Investigation Committee is working to establish a geographic, social and operative map on trafficking in persons in order to have an overview of the situation in the country so as to be able to provide assistance in places where the need is greatest.
56. Santa Cruz de Guanacaste’s institutional network for combating the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents has beenstrengthened with the help of a road map that establishes reporting procedures from communal to institutional level. Police operations carried out in conjunction with a number of institutions have rescued minors involved in these practices, the aim being toprovide a comprehensive approach to the problem, in particular with regard to the victims. There has also been international cooperation between the Judicial Investigation Organization and the Canadian police with a view to establishing joint reporting mechanisms.
Equality and non-discrimination: vulnerable groups – B. Children and adolescents
70. The protection and promotion of the human rights of children is a fundamental pillar of State action. The National Policy for Children and Adolescents 2009–2021 sets the strategic focus of action to promote, protect and ensure the human rights of all children and adolescents. Costa Rica’s overall objective isto guarantee the full realization of the aspirations of children and adolescents and to be able to ensure the full exercise of all their rights. State obligations are primarily centred on providing the conditions needed to enable children and adolescents to achieve the highest possible living standard through the promotion of their capacities and to play an active role in their own development.
71. With regard to alternative child care, it is worth noting that the Department of Certification of PANI has received ISO-9001-2008 accreditation. This body is responsible for evaluation, supervision and training for alternative care, and it has succeeded in establishing that all private organizations with programmes of assistance for minors and with an operating licence rely on a model which guarantees compliance with comprehensive care procedures that ensure the implementation of the rights of minors, including all rules for care and the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternate Care of Children.
D. Migrants and refugees
80. Costa Rica has made considerable progress in the area of migration thanks to the new Migration Act.
Migrant children. The protection of vulnerable migrant children has been strengthened through inter-institutional coordination, which has led to the creation of inter-agency instruments and protocols that permit their status to be regularized. Unaccompanied minors are placed in the care of PANI; this guarantees their rights and their comprehensive and timely protection.
Regularization of migration status. In line with the best interests of the child, four transitional provisions have been introduced in the regulations on aliens which facilitate the regularization of the status of foreign nationals with expired documents who are parents of a minor or an adult with a disability who is Costa Rican or a recognized resident.
Economic, social and cultural rights and the fight against poverty - A. General policies and target groups
94. The broadening of coverage under the care network to include children under five years of age in child care services with the help of the Inter-Agency Institute for Social Assistance (refurbishing, increase in hours and equipment) and the creation of new options with the support of municipalities, NGOs and private organizations stand out among the major developments during the first year of the implementation of the Second Plan of Action of the National Policy on Gender Equality and Equity 2012–2014.
95. Of particular note is the campaign on assistance to children, persons with disabilities, sick persons and older persons, in the framework of a sharing of social responsibility that involves the family, private enterprise and the State.
Policies aimed at the implementation of rights - 1. Education
97. With regard to school drop-out prevention, the AVANCEMOS programme, which is a social initiative, works to encourage adolescents and youths from low-income families to return to the formal school system and to remain enrolled. A conditional financial transfer helps to increase family income, promote access to education and the universalization of secondary school, reduce poverty, assist pupils who have fallen behind and avoid school failure and child labour.
98. Some 8,000 pupils benefited from this programme in 2006, and 150,000 in 2009, a figure which reached 183,203 in December 2011. Mothers or guardians receive financial support for children enrolled in any educational facility of the Ministry of Education.
99. Families are responsible for ensuring that their children meet the conditions set concerning punctual and regular classroom attendance and satisfactory completion of courses, and they receive a staggered sum that increases with each academic year, thus becoming an incentive for educational success. Payment is monthly and continues throughout the year, as long as the pupil remains in school. There is no limit on the number of eligible children from the same family, provided they meet the conditions. Maximum monthly payments per family are set at 80,000 colons (about US$ 160). The programme is open to both Costa Ricans and foreign nationals.
100. Sex education has been taught since 2001 through an educational policy on the expression of human sexuality which incorporates the topic into the school curriculum on a cross-cutting basis. In 2009, the subject was made part of the civic education programme, which for the first time contained units on youth identity, sexual identity and diversity (interculturality).
101. In 2011, the Coexistence Programme was approved, which encourages activities in educational centres aimed at promoting coexistence and relations based on respect, diversity, participation and a sense of belonging and identity.
102. In June 2012, the Supreme Council of Education adopted a comprehensive educational programme on emotional relations and sexuality which is conducted as part of science classes in the third cycle of basic general education (seventh, eighth and ninth grades) and focuses on seven topics: (a) interpersonal relations; (b) culture, power and responsibility; (c) pleasure as a source of well-being; (d) gender; (e) psychosexual identity; (f) reproductive health; and (g) human rights.
103. The implementation of these programmes has been accompanied by teacher training to promote the management of content and new forms of knowledge transfer and evaluation and has led to the creation of forums to encourage discussions with pupil participation. The challenge now is to step up implementation and extend coverage to all levels of the school system.
2. Health care
108. The data point to the need to redouble efforts in broad, comprehensive programmes on sex education, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and quality and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services which ensure easy access to protection methods and are tailored to the needs and characteristics of adolescents and young persons.
5. Employment and labour rights
118. With regard to the fight against child labour, activities are being conducted under public policy coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security with the technical and economic assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to encourage compliance with principles regarding minors and their fundamental rights. In the framework of the promotion by ILO of decent work in the Americas (An Agenda for the Hemisphere, 2006–2015), Governments proposed the gradual elimination of child labour, setting two regional political objectives: eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2015, and eliminating child labour entirely by 2020.
119. To that end, Costa Rica has elaborated a national strategic framework entitled “Road map to make Costa Rica a country free of the worst forms of child labour”, which coordinates public policies and initiatives with a direct or indirect impact on the prevention and eradication of the worst forms of child labour and on the protection of juvenile workers. The road map has six dimensions: the fight against poverty; education; health care; the legislative and institutional framework; awareness-raising and public outreach; and generation of knowledge and follow-up.
120. With the help of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the National Statistics and Census Institute and ILO, a child and adolescent labour unit was incorporated into the 2011 National Household Survey. The findings, which make it possible to identify working minors as a group so as to direct and focus action in areas with the highest incidence, show a significant decline in the number of working minors, from 1,113,523 in 2002 to 1,022,131 in 2011.
121. For its part, the Office for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour and the Protection of Juvenile Workers, the body responsible for directing the policy and specific measures of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in this area, has placed emphasis on meeting the objective of the National Development Plan to reduce the participation of children in labour activities and to remove juveniles from the worst forms of labour in order to guarantee the full enjoyment of their rightsin accordance with national legislation and ratified international conventions. The statistical data show that the public policy implemented in recent years has been positive and is proof of a sustained and significant educational evolution in the fight to eradicate child labour and protect juvenile workers.
1. In 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) invited Costa Rica to ratify ICRMW.
2. CRC recommended that Costa Rica ratify OP-ICESCR.
5. CRC reiterated its concern that possession of child pornography was not fully covered by the Penal Code; in that connection, it recommended that Costa Rica adopt draft law No. 14568. It also recommended the adoption of draft law No. 14204 to ensure extraterritorial jurisdiction for sexual crimes against children committed outside the territory of Costa Rica.
7. CRC recommended the harmonization of legislation and public policies with the Convention, in particular regarding children affected by migration.
11. While noting that the Defensoría de los Habitantes worked in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles), including with respect to complaints from or on behalf of children, CRC recommended that Costa Rica establish a specialized unit to protect child rights.
13. While welcoming the National Policy for Children and Adolescents (PNNA) 2009–2021, CRC was concerned that programmes to protect child rights, especially regarding violence, commercial sexual exploitation and child labour, were often not implemented at the local level. It recommended that Costa Rica ensure stronger coordination between entities dealing with issues relating to children and provide the National Council on Children and Adolescents and its chair, the National Child Welfare Agency (PANI), with resources. It also recommended that the national plan of action for the implementation of PNNA include a national plan of action for children belonging to minorities, including indigenous, Afro-descendant and migrant children.
14. UN-Costa Rica reported that, given the lack of a system dealing with abandoned children and adolescents in Costa Rica, it was supporting the creation of a national temporary shelter system developed by PANI.
15. CRC urged Costa Rica to ensure that plans to prevent violence discourage repressive actions against children and adolescents, in particular those in vulnerable situations.
25. CRC recommended that Costa Rica strengthen its efforts to eliminate discrimination against indigenous children, children of African descent, migrant children, and children with disabilities; and improve the socioeconomic situation of indigenous and other minority children.
28. CRC noted allegations of ill-treatment of juveniles in detention and in penal institutions. It urged Costa Rica to investigate all cases of ill-treatment of children by police officers and prison guards.
31. CRC was concerned about the high incidence of intrafamily and sexual violence against children and adolescents, in particular girls. Referring to the UPR recommendations on domestic violence addressed to the State in 2009, CRC recommended the amendment of the 1996 Domestic Violence Act to define domestic violence as a crime; strengthen public awareness programmes; and provide systematic training to judges, prosecutors, police and other law enforcement officers.
32. CRC remained concerned at the high number of complaints from children and adolescents regarding mistreatment by teachers. It recommended that Costa Rica fully implement Act No. 8654 prohibiting corporal punishment and effectively prosecute cases, irrespective of whether or not such punishment resulted in physical injuries.
33. While noting the initiatives to address trafficking in women and girls, CEDAW was concerned at the lack of resources to combat trafficking and prostitution and at the low numbers of cases investigated. It urged Costa Rica to address the complexities of trafficking in women and girls and exploitation of prostitution and to harmonize legal procedures aimed at prosecuting traffickers.
35. CRC noted with concern trafficking in children for purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation, particularly in the sex tourism industry, and the absence of criminal law provisions specifically criminalizing trafficking in children. It recommended that Costa Rica criminalize all forms of trafficking in children; facilitate access to justice and provide compensation for child victims, and ensure their referral to the asylum procedure; and enhance victim protection and assistance.
36. CRC remained concerned about the high number of children, including children in street situations, who were victims of sexual exploitation.
37. CRC recalled the UPR recommendations addressed to Costa Rica in 2009, and expressed concern about the reportedly high number of children engaged in child labour. It recommended that Costa Rica adopt a coordinated strategy and a dedicated budget for combating the worst forms of child labour and strengthen the Labour Inspectorate.
38. UN-Costa Rica was concerned by the large number of children involved in child labour. It noted the UPR recommendations and remained concerned by the absence of a coordinated strategy and a specific budget to combat the worst forms of child labour. It also reported that Costa Rica received a significant number of migrant indigenous communities and said that attention should be paid to the work of minors on coffee plantations, which required the adoption of institutional action aimed at eradicating child labour.
40. CRC was concerned about the high number of children and adolescents in juvenile detention centres and penal institutions. It recommended that Costa Rica train judges who are in the juvenile justice system, including on non-custodial measures, and improve detention conditions for persons below the age of 18.
41. CRC recommended that Costa Rica ensure the protection of child victims and witnesses, as well as their access to redress and reparation.
43. CRC noted with concern that indigenous children and children of seasonal workers from neighbouring countries were in some cases not registered at birth. It recommended that Costa Rica register at birth all indigenous and migrant children and provide them with personal documents that enable their access to social services.
44. CRC noted with concern that children aged 15–18 could get married with their parents’ consent, and also noted the very low minimum age of sexual consent of 13 years.
45. CRC was concerned that many children were placed in institutions rather than in family-type care settings, in particular children in situations of greater vulnerability. It recommended that Costa Rica give preference to family-type care over institutions.
46. CRC recommended that Costa Rica adopt legislation prohibiting direct adoptions without intervention by PANI and harmonize domestic legislation with international legal standards on adoption.
49. CRC recommended that Costa Rica strengthen the opportunities for children and adolescents, including girls, to freely express their views, and take into consideration the special requirements of children with disabilities, indigenous and migrant children and other children in situations of vulnerability.
55. CRC was concerned about the high infant mortality among indigenous and other minority children due to, inter alia, preventable diseases, and about the low coverage of primary health-care services in rural and coastal areas. It recommended that Costa Rica ensure affordable access to basic health care for all children.
57. CRC recommended that Costa Rica design and implement an intersectoral publicpolicy for health and sexual and reproductive rights aimed at adolescents
59. CRC was concerned about the lack of access to legal abortion, the absence of guidelines that inform doctors when they can legally perform an abortion, and the high rate of unsafe abortions.
61. CRC was concerned about the high rate of early pregnancies and recommended that Costa Rica reinforce support for child and adolescent mothers.
62. CRC recommended that Costa Rica reinforce bilingual and intercultural education models for indigenous children, and include education on indigenous cultures in the national school curriculum, with a view to promoting respect for diversity.
63. CRC recommended that Costa Rica develop programmes to reduce school drop-out, consider increasing investment in educational infrastructure, and promote more effective programmes to address low school attendance by indigenous and migrant children.
65. Noting that teenage pregnancy was one of the causes of girls dropping out of school, CEDAW called upon Costa Rica to introduce a programme on sexual and reproductive health and rights education.
67. CRC noted with concern that Costa Rica had not adopted any implementing legislation or an integrated policy to protect the rights of children with disabilities.It recommended that Costa Rica improve the coverage of the public support network aimed at children and adolescents with disabilities to ensure they have adequate access, including in rural areas, to, inter alia, medical care and social services as part of the National Health System; ensure that schools and classrooms are physically accessible; and prioritize the progressive implementation of inclusive education for children with disabilities.
87. UNHCR recommended that Costa Rica implement a statelessness determination procedure to identify stateless persons within its territory, and intensify efforts to improve the birth registration rates of children coming from indigenous groups, among other vulnerable groups.
8. A road map for ridding Costa Rica of the worst forms of child labour was published in 2010, in accordance with the targets of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2015 and eliminating all child labour completely by 2020, set out in the agenda for the hemisphere (recommendations 89.42, 89.43, 89.44, 89.45, 89.46, 89.47, 89.48 and 89.49). The road map was included in the National Development Plan 2010–2014 and in operational plans, and the Ombudsman’s Office is following up on its implementation.
9. The Labour Code was amended in 2010 to regulate domestic work by adolescents, and the Act prohibiting dangerous and unhealthy work for adolescents was promulgated in 2011.
20. Costa Rica has scholarships for primary and secondary education to ensure that children stay in the school system; however, shortcomings hamper the actual access of children to education (recommendations 89.69, 89.70, 89.71 and 89.72).
Information provided by other stakeholders - 2. Constitutional and legislative framework
26. The Coalición de Organizaciones y Redes Juveniles (Joint submission No. 6) recommends urging the Legislative Assembly to approve the amendment to article 1 of the Constitution, on recognizing the multi-ethnic and multicultural nature of Costa Rica, a bill that has been before Congress for five years.
3. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures
33. JS6 indicates that, pursuant to the Young Persons Act (No. 8261), a national youth system was set up to put youths — as social actors — on the Government agenda.
It recommends including ethnic, racial, disability and sexual diversity issues in national youth surveys as well as in the design and implementation of public policies and supporting affirmative action.
Implementation of international human rights obligations - 1. Equality and non-discrimination
36. JS4 refers to the recommendations on discrimination, especially racial discrimination, and protection of vulnerable children, particularly migrant and indigenous children. It recommends designing awareness-raising campaigns on cultural diversity; continuing efforts to end discrimination and xenophobia, especially against migrant children; and ensuring that marginal urban areas where migrants live are safe.
2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
42. CR-NGOs reports that persons deprived of their liberty continue to suffer human rights violations, such as prison overcrowding, non-separation of adults and children and health-care deficiencies.
44. JS4 acknowledges that efforts have been made to combat ill-treatment of and violence against children as part of the follow-up to the recommendations of the first universal periodic review. It indicates, however, that violence in the home, at school and at the hands of teachers, doctors and the police continues to take place. The National Child Welfare Agency has proven to be rather ineffective because of a surfeit of cases and bureaucracy.
45. CR-NGOs points to a lack of momentum on protection of children and adolescents, primarily due to scarce resources and weak general policies to tackle commercial sexual exploitation, child labour and child domestic labour. It recommends cataloguing the various forms of child labour with a view to adopting appropriate public policies and implementing the National Child Protection System in an effective and coordinated manner.
46. JS4 welcomes the Government’s efforts to implement the recommendations on ways to eradicate trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation and child labour. It notes that, despite an extensive legal framework, many problems in applying the law and holding perpetrators to account persist. The authorities’ efforts to dismantle organized crime groups remain insufficient.
48. CR-NGOs indicates that, although children are exposed to various forms of abuse online, such as morphing, grooming, sexual solicitation, harassment and cyberbullying, the Government has not criminalized any of these behaviours, thereby limiting its ability to provide protection. CR-NGOs recommends adopting the Special Act on protecting the rights of adolescents in the context of violence and offences involving information and communications technologies and amending the Criminal Code.
5. Right to health
54. CR-NGOs mentions the lack of access to emergency contraceptives, especially for teenage girls and women victims of sexual violence.
6. Right to education
60. JS4 comments on the recommendations that have been accepted and efforts being made to continue ensuring effective implementation of the right to education. Obstacles to the full enjoyment of this right include: unequal access due to indirect costs, non-standardized quality of instruction, growing grade repetition and dropout rates and cyberbullying in educational institutions.
61. MULABI-SRI recommends designing policies to eliminate harassment in schools and ensure the right of LGBTI individuals to education in a discrimination-free environment as well as revising the decision of the Constitutional Court granting all children the right to comprehensive sex education.
62. CR-NGOs recommends adopting public policies on ensuring quality education for children and adolescents.
9. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
76. JS4 recommends adopting programmes to eradicate poverty, with a particular focus on the children of migrants and refugees.
The following recommendations were accepted:
128.9 Take further measures for the harmonization of legislation and policies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including with regard to children affected by migration (Albania);
128.23 Criminalize all forms of trafficking in children (Honduras); See Costa Rica’s response to 128.23: ‘Implementada – artículo 172 inciso a) Código Penal.’
128.31 Further strengthen the social and comprehensive protection programmes carried out by the National Council on Children and Adolescents through increased resources, in order to achieve greater effectiveness in their management (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of));
128.32 Ensure the integration and effective implementation of strategies on drop-out rate reduction, child labour elimination and poverty alleviation (Viet Nam);
128.33 Continue efforts aimed at ensuring all the rights of children and
adolescents, girls in particular, in the area of freedom of expression and opinion, as well as addressing the special needs of children with disabilities, indigenous children, migrant children and other children in vulnerable situations (El Salvador);
128.34 Guarantee the effective protection of children’s rights offline as well as online by amending the relevant national laws if necessary and providing adequate resources (Estonia);
128.35 Further enforce the implementation of a comprehensive child protection system, especially for those suffering from violence, forced labour and sexual exploitation (Germany);
128.36 Ensure stronger coordination between entities dealing with issues relating to children and provide sufficient resources at the national as well as local level, including the provision of temporary shelters (Germany);
128.47 Reinforce efforts to eliminate the discrimination against indigenous children, Afro-descendants, migrants and persons with disabilities (Nicaragua);
128.63 Strengthen measures on combating discrimination against indigenous and migrant children and children with disabilities, as well as investigate all cases of ill-treatment of children by police officers and prison guards (Azerbaijan);
128.64 Intensify efforts to eliminate discrimination against indigenous children, Afro-descendant children, migrant children and children with disabilities (Tunisia);
128.67 Guarantee the birth registration of all indigenous and migrant children and the issuance of identity documents that would allow them to have access to social services (Honduras);
128.81 Carry on with the implementation of concrete measures to significantly reduce prison overcrowding in Costa Rica, and address the non-separation of minor and adult detainees (Canada);
128.83 Continue efforts to fight violence against women and children (Algeria);
128.108 Take steps to prevent violence against children, in particular in school, family and penitentiary environments, and engage effectively in the prosecution of all those involved in such violence (France);
128.109 Strengthen its efforts to combat domestic violence and violence against children and adolescents (Italy);
128.110 Increase efforts to implement the legal framework regarding ill-treatment of children, child labour and sexual exploitation of children (Liechtenstein);
128.112 Combat child labour, sexual exploitation and abuse, and further advance strategies to eliminate the discrimination against indigenous, minority children and children of African descent (Sierra Leone);
128.114 Ensure effective implementation of the act on human trafficking and migrant smuggling and the adoption of appropriate legal, administrative and preventive measures aimed at creating an effective policy and institutional framework for combating the exploitation of persons, especially women and children (Bahrain); See Costa Rica’s response to 128.114: ‘Ley 9095 aprobada y Reglamento en fase de aprobación.’
128.117 Criminalize all forms of trafficking in children, facilitate access to justice and provide compensation for child victims, and enhance victim protection and assistance (Egypt);
128.118 Strengthen measures taken to combat trafficking in persons, in particular children and women (Ethiopia);
128.129 Ensure the full prosecution of all forms of trafficking and modern slavery of children so as to deliver on its commitment to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2015 and all forms of child labour by 2020, paying particular attention to persons from minority groups and in vulnerable situations (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);
128.130 Step up efforts to improve the protection of the rights of women and children, notably by criminally prosecuting those responsible for the violations (Switzerland);
128.132 Intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of child sexual abuse and provide specialized assistance to victims (Australia);
128.133 Strengthen efforts in the fight against trafficking in women and girls as well as the exploitation of prostitution, and harmonize legal procedures concerning prosecution of traffickers (Belgium);
128.136 Consider, in the area of administration of justice, the protection of children and adolescents in juvenile detention centres (Zambia);
128.137 Take further measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children of their human rights, notably regarding the juvenile justice system and cases of child labour (Portugal);
128.138 Consider and address the issue of reportedly high number of children and adolescents in juvenile detention centres by applying child-friendly justice standards and encouraging the use of alternative sanctions and reintegration programmes (Serbia);
128.158 Introduce effective policies with more resources to reduce the drop-out rate at all school levels (Viet Nam);
128.159 Strengthen measures allowing indigenous communities to have access to education (Bulgaria);
128.160 Incorporate human rights education in school curricula (Bulgaria);
128.161 Reinforce bilingual and intercultural education models for indigenous children and include education on indigenous cultures in the national school curriculum, with a view to promoting respect for diversity (Ireland);
128.162 Consider adopting public policies on ensuring quality education for children and adolescents, and further allocate adequate financial resources to this endeavour, including by focusing on reducing the number of school dropouts (Malaysia);
128.163 Continue to take effective measures to address the very important issue of the realization of the right to education for all (Portugal);
128.169 Continue to ensure inclusive education for children and persons with disabilities, as education would allow them to participate more fully in the development of their own communities (Thailand);
128.174 Adopt effective measures to improve the socioeconomic status of indigenous women and children as well as of those of African descent (Uzbekistan);
128.178 Strengthen its efforts to improve the socioeconomic situation of minority children (Turkmenistan);
128.185 Continue making progress in the protection and promotion of the rights of migrants, including the safeguard of the interests of boys, girls, adolescents and women (Colombia);
128.187 Adopt national policies that protect and guarantee the rights of all migrant workers in Costa Rica, in particular to address the needs of women and children (El Salvador).
The following recommendations were noted:
128.14 Revise the law on abortion in order to identify other circumstances in which abortion could be permitted, particularly abortion in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest (Belgium).
The following recommendations were left pending / no clear response given:
128.15 Amend the current law to legalize abortion after rape (Switzerland);
128.16 Take steps to guarantee full and effective recognition of sexual and reproductive rights, notably through the decriminalization of voluntary interruption of pregnancy (France);
128.17 Elaborate clear medical guidelines on access to legal abortion and consider reviewing the law relating to abortion, including to ensure access to legal abortion in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape (Iceland);
128.18 Consider reviewing the law related to abortion to guarantee access to abortion when pregnancy is a result of rape (Norway);
128.22 Continue efforts aimed at harmonization of legislation and public policies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Ukraine);
128.25 Introduce in the Criminal Code the crime of trafficking in children, particularly those trafficked for the purposes of commercial and sexual exploitation (Mexico);
128.37 Adopt appropriate public policies to protect and promote children’s rights and to implement the national child protection system in an effective and coordinated manner (Iran (Islamic Republic of));
128.38 Continue guaranteeing solid coordination between institutions responsible for addressing issues regarding children (State of Palestine);
128.49 Continue carrying out its efforts to achieve gender equality and tackle discrimination against women in law and practice (Colombia);
128.50 Strengthen its domestic mechanisms, especially towards eliminating acts of discrimination and violence against women and girls (Maldives);
128.65 Redouble efforts to eliminate discrimination against minority children, including children of African descent and children with disabilities, and improve their socioeconomic conditions as earlier recommended by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Ghana);
128.66 Step up efforts to eliminate discrimination against indigenous children, Afro-descendant children and migrant children (Guatemala);
128.77 Take further action to improve prison conditions, especially to account for the specific needs of women and children in detention (Germany);
128.97 Continue its efforts to combat gender-based violence to provide a safe living environment for women and girls (Singapore);
128.105 Expand programmes to eliminate the worst forms of child labour to reach more children in agriculture and children exploited in prostitution (United States of America);
128.106 Strengthen its actions to curb sexual exploitation of children (Bangladesh);
128.107 Take measures to ensure the effective implementation of programmes to protect children’s rights at the local level, particularly as regards violence, commercial sexual exploitation and child labour (Belgium);
128.111 Step up measures to ensure stronger coordination between agencies dealing with issues relating to children in order to eliminate violence, commercial sexual exploitation and child labour (Malaysia);
128.113 Continue efforts to prevent and eliminate child labour and, if necessary, adopt further measures in this area (Slovakia);
128.116 Strengthen measures to combat trafficking in children, facilitate access to justice and enhance victim protection and assistance in line with the recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Botswana);
128.119 Take measures to ensure the effective implementation of the comprehensive legal framework to combat trafficking in persons and improve assistance to victims of trafficking, especially women and children (India);
128.126 Take immediate steps to strengthen measures to protect children from all forms of violence, including trafficking in children (Sri Lanka);
128.121 Strengthen measures for the respect of the rights of the child and protect children against sexual exploitation and illegal trafficking (Libya);
128.123 Strengthen efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly women and children, including through prevention actions (Morocco);
128.128 Combat more effectively the sexual exploitation of children and child labour, by improving the implementation of the February 2013 law against smuggling and trafficking in persons, and by strengthening coordination among the agencies comprising the national coalition against trafficking in persons (Canada);
128.140 Step up measures for the protection of the rights of women and girls and take steps to establish and bolster the family regime and strengthen its legal arsenal related to family aspects (Mauritania);
128.155 Ensure affordable access to basic health care for all children (Egypt);
128.164 Continue efforts to facilitate access to education for indigenous communities (State of Palestine);
128.165 Consider including indigenous cultures in the national education plan with a view to promote respect for diversity (State of Palestine);
128.166 Intensify efforts to promote access to education and extend its coverage to all levels of schooling (Ethiopia);
128.167 Adopt policies, programmes and affirmative action measures to improve the quality of education in rural areas, specially those inhabited by indigenous peoples and communities, and guarantee them access to paid employment in the public and private sector (Ecuador);
128.168 Consider developing programmes to reduce school dropout, increasing investment in educational infrastructure,and promoting effective programmes to address low school attendance (Egypt).