MARSHALL ISLANDS: Access to justice for children

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.

The status of the CRC in the Marshall Islands is very weak. Although the Convention was ratified in 1993, it has not yet been incorporated into domestic law, therefore, it has no force of law and has never been used by the national courts. Children are only able to bring legal proceedings with the assistance of a representative. Legal aid is available in relation to both civil and criminal cases. Although a system of child-friendly procedures for children giving evidence exists in the criminal context, there are no equivalent provisions in relation to civil cases. A major concern is the lack of an institution competent to receive complaints of violations fo children’s rights.

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