HAITI: Children's Rights in UN Treaty Body Reports

Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp

Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.


UN Human Rights Committee

CCPR/C/79/Add.49; A/50/40, paras.224-241

Last reported: 27 March 1995                                                                             Concluding Observations: 3 October 1995

Issues raised and recommendations given:

Child labour: The Committee is concerned about allegations of forced labour of minors in violation of article 8 of the Covenant. (Para. 234)

Human rights education: The Committee urges that respect for human rights be recognized as an essential element of the process of national reconciliation and reconstruction. To that end, the Committee recommends that all provisions of the Covenant be fully incorporated into the national legal system; that the administration and Parliament, as a confidence-building measure, set up special institutions, open to individuals, to assist in the daily implementation of human rights; that comprehensive human rights training be provided to judges, the police and the military; and that human rights education be provided in schools at all levels. (Para. 240)


UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

 Not yet signed or ratified.


UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


Last reported: 2 and 3 August 1999
Concluding Observations issued: 12 April 2001 

This report contains no mentions of children’s rights. 


UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women


Last reported on: 27 January 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 10 February 2009

Issues raised and recommendations given:

Stereotypes, cultural practices: While noting with appreciation some measures taken by the State party to eliminate gender stereotypes, such as the revision of school textbooks and the provision of training for teachers, the Committee is concerned at the deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family, in the workplace and in society, which constitute an Obstacle to the achievement of de facto equality between women and men and impede the full implementation of the Convention. (Para. 20)

The Committee encourages the State party to adopt a comprehensive strategy to promote cultural change and eliminate discriminatory stereotypes with respect to the roles of women and men in all levels of society, in line with its obligations under articles 2(f) and 5(a) of the Convention. The Committee recommends that such a strategy include awareness-raising campaigns directed at women and men, sensitization of teachers, the media and the public at large, as well as further revision of the school textbooks and curricula.

Violence: The Committee is seriously concerned at the practice of incest or rape by fathers, uncles or other close adult male relatives of young girls on the pretext of warding off “other males the family does not know”. (Para. 22) 

While noting the State party’s statement that these acts are increasingly being reported and subject to criminal prosecution, the Committee calls upon the State party to intensify its efforts to encourage the reporting of these offences and ensure the punishment of perpetrators. The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to increase the awareness of both men and women of the unacceptability of such practices, which constitute violence against women.

Trafficking:  The Committee notes with concern that despite the alarmingly high number of women victims of trafficking in Haiti, specific legislation criminalizing trafficking is still in draft form and has not yet been submitted to Parliament. This situation may result in insufficient investigations into cases of trafficking in women and girls and, consequently, lead to impunity for perpetrators. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of shelters available for women and girls who are victims of trafficking. (Para. 26)

The Committee urges the State party to intensify its efforts to combat all forms of trafficking in women and girls. It calls upon the State party to expedite adoption of the draft bill on all forms of trafficking and to ensure that the new law allows prosecution and punishment of perpetrators, effective protection of victims and adequate redress, in line with the Palermo Protocol and article 6 of the Convention. The Committee encourages the State party to conduct research on the root causes of trafficking and to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation with neighbouring countries, in particular the Dominican Republic, to prevent trafficking and bring perpetrators to justice.

Education: While noting the right to free and compulsory primary education and welcoming the measures in the plan of action for 2008-2009 aimed at facilitating the retention of girls in the education system, including the cooperation agreement signed between the Ministry for the Status of Women and Women’s Rights and the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training, the Committee is concerned at the significantly high level of illiteracy among women, in particular in rural areas, the wide disparity in access to education between urban and rural areas and the high dropout rate of girls at different levels of schooling. (Para. 30) 

The Committee urges the State party to continue to pursue its efforts to reduce the illiteracy rate of women and to continue to provide education, both formal and informal, to all women and girls, especially in rural areas. The Committee also urges the State party to develop programmes specifically designed to reduce the dropout rate of girls and young women, including through the use of incentives for parents. The Committee recommends the development of measures to encourage girls and young women to continue their education beyond compulsory level so as to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in the labour market on a basis of equality with men.

Health and sex education: While acknowledging the difficulties confronting the State party as a result of the country’s general socio-economic situation and noting with appreciation the efforts of the State party in developing some health programmes and services, the Committee is concerned that vulnerable groups of women, in particular in rural areas, have difficulties in accessing health-care services and that the maternal mortality rate is alarmingly high. The Committee is also concerned at the frequent use of abortion as a family planning measure and that abortion is illegal in the State party. (Para. 36) 

The Committee, drawing attention to its general recommendation No. 24 on women and health, recommends that comprehensive targeted measures be developed to improve women’s access to health care and, more specifically, to decrease the maternal mortality rate. It also recommends the provision of wide access to contraceptives for all women and men, including young adults, and the development of programmes on sex education for both girls and boys in order to foster responsible sexual behaviour and avoid the need for women to resort to illegal abortions. The Committee encourages the State party to enact the law on partial decriminalization of abortion as it expressed the intention to do.


UN Committee against Torture

 Not yet signed or ratified.


UN Committee on Migrant Workers

 Not yet signed or ratified.


UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

 Ratified in 2009, but not yet reported.


UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance

Signed in 2007, but not yet ratified.


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