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.
Although Mauritius has ratified the CRC, its status in the domestic legal system is weak - it has not been incorporated into domestic law, does not take precedence over conflicting laws, and cannot be directly enforced in court. However, children, with the help of their representatives, have several ways to challenge rights violations, such as: applying to the Supreme Court for redress for rights violations or judicial review of administrative acts, submitting complaints to the Ombudsperson for Children or National Human Rights Commission, and private prosecutions. In any proceedings, a child “capable of discernment” may request to be heard by the judge alone, with a legal counsel or person of his/her choice. Furthermore, Mauritius has signed the Optional Protocol to the CRC on a communications procedure, which, once ratified, will enable children to bring complaints to the UN about violations of their rights under the CRC.