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
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Last Reported: 25 October 2011 Concluding Observations issued: 18 June 2012
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Trafficking: The Committee is concerned about trafficking in persons, in particular of minors for sexual exploitation or child labour purposes, which allegedly remains common in the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of comprehensive information on this issue, and statistical data on the number of persons concerned, as well as about the number of persons prosecuted and convicted. It is further concerned about the lacuna on trafficking in the Penal Code with regard to women, child prostitution and trafficking for forced labour. The State party should strengthen its efforts to eliminate trafficking in persons, in particular of women, girls and boys, for sexual exploitation and child labour.
The State party should also prosecute all persons allegedly responsible, and punish those who are convicted. It should continue to train law enforcement officials and immigration officers and offer protection and rehabilitation to victims, and enhance its cooperation with neighbouring countries. The State party should pursue its campaigns to raise awareness among the population regarding the negative effects of trafficking. It should amend the Penal Code to prevent trafficking of women, child prostitution and trafficking for forced labour. Response: Malawi has drafted an anti-trafficking bill which will be considered by Parliament soon. (arts. 3, 7, 8 and 24) (Para. 15)
Child Marriages: The Committee is concerned about the reported practice of forced and early marriages by some parts of its population. The State party should take appropriate measures, including through legislative steps, to protect children against forced and early marriages. In this regard, the State party should conduct awareness-raising campaigns on the negative effects of forced and early marriages. It should also investigate complaints from the victims, prosecute persons who are allegedly responsible, and punish those who are convicted with appropriate sanctions. Response: Malawi will take significant steps to end such practices. (arts. 3, 23 and 24) (Para. 19)
Ratified in 1993, but not yet reported.
Last reported: 19 August 2003
Concluding Observations issued: 10 December 2003
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Birth registration: The Committee is concerned that the registration of births is not compulsory, except for children of non-African origin. The Committee underlines the existing link between the registration of births and the ability of children to enjoy civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as enumerated under article 5 of the Convention. It recommends that the State party review the Births and Deaths Registration Act in order to make birth registration compulsory for all children without any discrimination. (Para. 8)
Migrant children: The Committee expresses concern over the State party’s reservations to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees which, in particular, reduce the protection offered to refugees in the field of employment, access to property, right of association, education and social security. The Committee welcomes the draft Refugee Act, which reflects the intention of the State party to withdraw these reservations, and encourages the State party to give high priority to this process. The Committee recommends, in particular, that the State party take steps to ensure that child refugees are, in practice, given access to education. (Para. 9)
Education: The Committee is concerned that the current school curriculum does not include programmes to combat prejudices and to promote tolerance among ethnic groups, as required by article 7 of the Convention. The Committee recommends that such programmes be included in the school curriculum. (Para. 11)
Last reported: 22 January 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 5 February 2010
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Traditional harmful practices: The Committee regrets that most of the concerns raised and the recommendations made in its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/ MWI/CO/5) in 2006 have been insufficiently addressed. These include, for instance, those related to outstanding bills on gender equality issues, discriminatory laws, persistent stereotypes and traditional harmful practices, the low representation of women in decision-making positions, the high incidence of maternal mortality and the situation of women in the labour market. The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address previous recommendations that have not yet been implemented, as well as the concerns contained in the present concluding observations. (Para. 8)
Trafficking: The Committee reiterates its concern at the extent of trafficking within and outside the country. It is further concerned at the extent to which women and girls are involved in sexual exploitation, including prostitution, and the limited statistical data regarding these issues. (Para. 24)
The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary legislative measures, including the effective prosecution and punishment of traffickers. It also recommends that the State party strengthen the provision of assistance and support to women victims, as well as prevention efforts, by addressing the root causes of trafficking and improving the economic situation of women in order to eliminate their vulnerability to exploitation and traffickers. The Committee further recommends that the State party consider enhancing its collaboration with countries in the region to prevent and combat trafficking in women and girls, as well as undertake studies on the prevalence of trafficking in the country.
Education: While recognizing the ongoing efforts aimed at increasing the enrolment and retention of girls in schools, as well as the progress made in reducing the gender gap in primary and secondary school enrolment, the Committee is concerned at the persistence of structural and other barriers to quality education, which constitute particular obstacles to the education of girls and young women. Such barriers include, among others, the lack of physical infrastructure and the limited number of trained and qualified teachers. The Committee is also concerned about the persistence of sexual abuse and harassment of girls in schools; the negative impact of harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriage, on girls’ education; and the persistent barriers to the ability of pregnant girls to realize their right to education. (Para. 30)
The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to improve the educational infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and a basis for the empowerment of women. It recommends that the State party implement measures to ensure equal access for girls and women to all levels of education and the retention of girls in school, including through temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25. It urges the State party to ensure zero tolerance with respect to sexual abuse and harassment in schools and that perpetrators are punished appropriately, and to strengthen its policy on the readmission to school of pregnant girls and young mothers. It encourages the State party to take steps to overcome traditional attitudes that constitute obstacles to girls’ and women’s education, and to remove from educational curricula stereotypes that discriminate against women. The Committee calls on the State party to make strong efforts to improve the literacy level of girls and women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes at the formal and non-formal levels, and through adult education and training.
Health: The Committee is concerned at the limited resources and capacity to implement its health-care policies and ensure the full enjoyment of women’s rights under article 12 of the Convention. It is further concerned at the lack of access of women and girls, particularly in rural areas, to sexual and reproductive health services, including skilled birth attendance and adequate post-natal care, and the high incidence of teenage pregnancy. The Committee notes with concern the banning of traditional birth attendants. (Para. 34)
The Committee encourages the State party to continue its efforts to strengthen its capacity to deliver basic health care and services, including in the area of mental health, and to increase the access of women and girls to those services on an equal and equitable basis. It urges the State party to make every effort to raise awareness of and increase women’s access to health-care facilities and medical assistance by trained personnel, particularly with respect to birth attendance and post-natal care, especially in rural areas. The Committee recommends that the State party reconsider the banning of traditional birth attendants and value their role by providing them with adequate training.
HIV/AIDS: The Committee is deeply concerned at the high rates of HIV/AIDS infection affecting women and girls in the country. While noting that the State party is finalizing a national policy that regulates the practices of traditional healers, the Committee remains concerned at the fact that some traditional healers are prescribing sexual intercourse with girls as a panacea for HIV infection. While appreciating the highly consultative process in relation to the draft HIV/AIDS Management Bill, the Committee is concerned that compulsory testing for key populations, including sex workers, may result in discrimination. (Para. 38)
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the inclusion of human rights principles and international standards in the draft HIV/AIDS Management Bill and when designing and implementing HIV/AIDS prevention policies. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party seek technical assistance from the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. The Committee requests the State party to provide information on the national policy which regulates the practices of traditional healers and to prosecute traditional healers who prescribe sexual intercourse with girls as a panacea for HIV infection
Ratified in 1996, but not yet reported.
Not yet signed or ratified.
Ratified in 2009, but not yet reported.
Not yet signed or ratified.