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 Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Last reported: 17 / 18 March 2005
Concluding Observations issued: 31 March 2005
Violence: While taking note of the new Protection from Domestic Violence Act 1997 and its amendment in 2004, the establishment of support structures for victims and awareness-raising programmes, including training for police officers and prosecutors to ensure that cases of violence are not considered as private matters, the Committee regrets that the number of domestic violence cases reported by concurring non-governmental sources remains high (Covenant, arts. 3 and 7). (Paragraph 10).
The State party should strengthen its measures aimed at preventing and reducing cases of domestic violence against women and children and address obstacles such as economic dependence on their partners that prevent women from reporting such violence.
Child labour and child prostitution: The Committee notes the persistence of child labour and child prostitution (Covenant, arts. 7, 8 and 24). (Paragraph 11).
The State party should pursue and strengthen its measures aimed at eradicating child prostitution and child labour.
Last reported: 7 / 10 May 2010
Concluding Observations issued: 21 May 2010
Discrimination: The Committee is concerned that children with disabilities, children affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS, and children from disadvantaged families often suffer under de facto discrimination. (art. 2, para. 2). (Paragraph 12).
The Committee urges the State party to adopt necessary measures to prevent, diminish, and eventually eliminate the conditions and attitudes which cause or perpetuate de facto discrimination against those groups of children, in line with the Committee’s general comment no. 20 on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.
Child abuse: The Committee is concerned at the persistent problem with cases of child abuse and neglect in the State party. (art. 10) (Paragraph 13).
The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to combat child abuse and neglect, including explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment at home and in alternative care settings and as a disciplinary measure in the penal system.
Sexual exploitation: The Committee is concerned at cases of sexual exploitation of children, including reports that some schoolgirls voluntarily work in conjunction with prostitution rings, while others are forced into prostitution. (art. 10). (Paragraph 24).
The Committee recommends that the State party take all the necessary measures, including of a legal nature, to combat sexual exploitation of children. It further recommends that the State party ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, signed by the State party in 2001, and amend its laws to be fully compliant with this Protocol.
Abortion: The Committee is concerned that abortion is criminalized in all settings, including when the mother’s life is at risk, and when the pregnancy is the result of rape. It is further concerned by the failure of the State party to provide exact information on sexual and reproductive health services and education. (art 10 and 12). (Paragraph 25).
The Committee recommends that the State party amend section 235 of the criminal code in order to allow for abortion in cases of therapeutic abortion and when pregnancy is result of rape or incest. further recommends that the State party make sexual and reproductive health services widely available, and mainstream sexual and reproductive health education in schools.
Education: The Committee is concerned about the slow progress in education particularly among children in some disadvantaged areas, and that one third of all children do not pass the Primary School Leaving Certificate examinations. The Committee views that the use of English as the language of instruction contributes to this situation, in light of the fact that Creole is spoken by the large majority of the population. The Committee is also concerned about the negative impact of private tuition on the universal access by children to secondary education. (art. 13). (Paragraph 30).
The Committee recommends that the State party increase its efforts to ensure that children in disadvantaged areas are able to complete school, including by maintaining and extending the system of Zones d’Education Prioritaire. It further recommends that the State party continue its experiments with the use of Creole as a medium of instruction in schools, and that it produce educational materials in Creole. The Committee also recommends that the State party eliminate the competitive system for entry to secondary schools and admit children to secondary schools near to their place of residence and not based on their performance.
The Committee also recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to eliminate situations that may be discriminatory against children with disabilities and take steps to ensure that all children with disabilities can, as appropriate, study in mainstream schools. In order to implement this approach, the State party should ensure that teachers are trained to educate children with disabilities within regular schools, in line with the Committee’s general comment no. 5 on persons with disabilities.
Last reported: 20 / 21 February 2013
Concluding Observations issued: 18 April 2013
Minority groups and education: Noting the information provided by the delegation that Creole is the common language spoken by all groups in the State party and welcoming the introduction of the teaching of Creole and Bhojpuri in primary education, the Committee regrets that it has not been given information on the status of the Creole language as well as the language of teaching in the State party (art. 5 (c)). Paragraph 20.
The Committee requests the State party to ensure that proper status is given to the languages spoken by the various groups of the population. The Committee also calls on the State party to eliminate language barriers to equality and to the enjoyment of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights, in particular the right to education.
Last reported: 31 July / 1 August 2000
Concluding Observations issued: 10 August 2000
No mentions of children's rights.
Last reported: 7 October 2011
Concluding Observations issued: 21 October 2011
Violence: While noting with appreciation the efforts undertaken by the State party to enforce the law in cases of domestic violence, the Committee remains concerned about the low number of cases of domestic violence reported to the police, whereby abused women suffer in silence and are sometimes forced to ‘take the blame’ due to family and societal pressures. The Committee is further concerned that the protection that is envisaged by the 1997 Protection from Domestic Violence Act and its 2007 and 2011 amendments, may in fact not be providing adequate protection for women, and the Committee is also concerned that many women who have obtained protection orders are still subjected to attacks by their spouses. The Committee again expresses its deep regret at the State party’s failure to criminalize domestic violence, including marital rape, despite the Committee’s previous concluding observations. (Paragraph 22).
In accordance with article 2 of the Convention, and taking into account the Committee’s General Recommendations No. 28 (2010) on the core obligations of States parties under article 2 and No. 19 (1992) on violence against women as well as the concluding observations of the Committee against Torture (CAT/C/MUS/CO/ para 16), the Committee urges the State party to:
b. Continue its efforts to raise awareness among women and girls about the criminal nature and harmful effects of all forms of violence on their health, eradicating the underlying cultural justifications of such violence and practices, and encouraging women and girls to report acts of violence to the competent authorities;
Trafficking: While the Committee notes the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the adoption of the 2009 Combating of Trafficking Act, the Committee is concerned that the State party remains a country of source, destination and transit for trafficking in persons, and about the proliferation of sex tourism in the country, essentially generating sexual exploitation of women and girls and augmenting the vulnerability of sex workers. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of information on the real extent of the sale and sexual exploitation of young girls because of the taboo surrounding sexuality and the lack of a centralized information system. The Committee notes with concern the absence of sex-disaggregated data with regard to both trafficking and prostitution as well as the lack of a national plan of action to addressing both trafficking and sexual exploitation in the State party. (Paragraph 24).
The Committee recommends that the State party:
a. Ensure the effective implementation of the newly adopted law and introduce effective prevention measures, timely prosecution and punishment of traffickers;
b. Continue raising awareness about human trafficking, including disseminating information and training of the judiciary and law enforcement officials on the new law to ensure strict application of the relevant criminal provisions;
c. Adopt a comprehensive national action plan and develop a coordination mechanism to address trafficking and sexual exploitation and ensure the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources for the effective implementation of the action plan;
d. Address the root causes of trafficking and exploitation of women by increasing its efforts to improve the economic situation of women and girls, in particular women migrant workers, thereby eliminating their vulnerability to exploitation and traffickers;
e. Collect sex-disaggregated data on the number of sex-workers and trafficked persons as well as data on the number of complaints, investigations, prosecutions and sentences in relation to trafficking and prostitution and include such data in its next periodic report.
Education: Noting with appreciation the continuous efforts to reduce illiteracy, raising- awareness and promoting self-esteem activities operated by the National Women’s Council, the Committee however, is concerned about the level of illiteracy among women and the disparities between women in urban and rural areas in this regard. The Committee is again concerned about the lack of sex-disaggregated data on the chronic absenteeism of children from school at primary level and the implications for drop-out at the primary and secondary levels and is also concerned about drop out of teenage pregnant girls. The Committee is also concerned about the continuous segregation of choice of subjects in schools where girls still take up traditional subjects. The Committee is further concerned about the low number of women and girls enrolled in vocational and industrial training courses, and the implications for employment opportunities for girls who do not complete their formal education. (Paragraph 28).
The State party is invited to sustain all measures to raise awareness on the importance of women and girls’ education and intensify all other activities to address regional disparities and ensure equal access to education and to encourage teenage pregnant girls to continue school after giving birth. The State party should provide sex-disaggregated data in its next periodic report on absenteeism at primary level and should further adopt and enforce all effective measures to combat this phenomenon while putting in place monitoring mechanisms to assess the appropriateness of the measures adopted to achieve the stated goals and to reduce drop-out rates at primary and secondary levels. The Committee urges the State party to adopt policies to encourage women and girls to choose non-traditional fields of education, including in technical and vocational training, by taking affirmative action such as quotas for female students in the vocational and technical areas of study.
Health: While welcoming the State party’s efforts to include education on sexual and reproductive health and rights at both primary and secondary school levels, the enactment of HIV/AIDS Act (2006), and the Criminal Code Amendment Bill which seeks to revise section 235 of the Criminal Code on abortion, the Committee reiterates its deep concern about the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the country, which leads to unsafe abortions among girls and women. The Committee is also concerned about the maintenance of the provision in the Criminal Code criminalizing abortion, despite its previous concluding observations, and about punitive measures faced by women and girls if they pursue an abortion. The Committee is deeply concerned about the prevalence of clandestine abortions and the ensuing high rate of health complications among women and girls. The Committee is also concerned about the vulnerability of sex workers to contraction and transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. (Paragraph 32).
In line with its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/MAR/CO/5, para 31) and its General Recommendation No. 24 (1999), the Committee calls upon the State party to:
a. Expedite the enactment of the Criminal Code Bill which seeks to amend section 235 of the Criminal Code on abortion in order to remove punitive measures imposed on women who undergo abortion and decriminalize abortion under certain conditions specifically when pregnancy is harmful to mother’s life and health as well as in cases of rape and incest; hasten the consultation process with the relevant stakeholders while ensuring that women are included in this consultation;
b. Accelerate its efforts in raising awareness among pregnant teenagers and their families about the serious health risks of clandestine abortions;
c. Ensure the provision of skilled medical aid and access to health facilities to women and girls suffering from health complications due to unsafe abortions;
d. Provide age-disaggregated data on abortion health complications due to unsafe abortions, teenage pregnancies, and also provide sex-disaggregated data on HIV/ AIDS;
e. Ensure provision of effective and age appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights at all school levels and incorporate it in the school curricula, so as to combat teenage pregnancies and inform youth about the high risks of unsafe sex;
f. Provide medical check-ups and contraceptives and also develop counselling programmes and provide vocational training aimed at availing them with options to leave the sex trade; and
g. Adopt all measures to implement the national plan to combat HIV/AIDS, and to update the Committee in its next periodic report on all measures adopted, and their impact on achieving the stated aims.
Violence: The Committee notes efforts undertaken by the State party to combat domestic violence, in particular violence against women and children, such as the amendment brought in 2004 to the Protection from Domestic Violence Act and a number of plans and strategies adopted and implemented as well as mechanisms established. However, the Committee is concerned that domestic violence, in particular violence against women and children, including sexual violence persists in the State party and that marital rape is not criminalized (art. 2 and 16). (Paragraph 16).
The State party should continue to effectively address domestic violence, including violence against women and children. In this regard, the State party should ensure the entry into force of the amendments brought to the Protection from Domestic Violence Act in 2007; continue to conduct awareness-raising campaigns and training of its officials on domestic violence, including sexual violence. The State party should also take measures to facilitate complaints by victims and inform them about recourse available. It should investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible. Moreover, the State party should specifically criminalize marital rape in its Criminal Code and adopt, as soon as possible, the Sexual Offences Bill which is under preparation.
Corporal punishment: While taking note of the information supplied by the State party, according to which section 13 of the Child Protection Act makes an offence to expose any child to harm, the Committee is concerned that corporal punishment is not fully prohibited in the legislation of the State party, including in penal institutions and in alternative care settings. The Committee is also concerned at information provided by the State party that some cases of “molestation”, including sexual abuses, are reported every year to the appropriate authorities. These cases are referred to the police, who take disciplinary measures against the culprits, but no information, is provided about the penal consequences of such abuses (art. 16). (Paragraph 17).
The State party should adopt legislation to prohibit corporal punishment, in particular in social institutions and in alternative care settings. To that end, the State party should incorporate this issue in its Children’s Bill under preparation. The State party should also pursue awareness-campaigns on the negative effects of corporal punishment. Finally, it should strengthen its efforts to combat child abuse, including by investigating, prosecuting and punishing those responsible. The State party should provide the Committee with statistical data regarding cases of child abuse, the investigations, prosecutions, sentences imposed and redress or rehabilitation offered to victims.
Country visit in 2007. Report confidential.
Not yet signed or ratified.
Last reported: 24 and 25 August 2015
Concluding Observations adopted: 1 September 2015
Women with disabilities : The Committee is concerned that the relations between the ‘Forum of Women with Disabilities’ and the State party remain unclear. The Committee also regrets that the particular situation of women and girls with disabilities is not adequately taken into account in the State party legislations and policies, as highlighted notably by the absence of any provisions concerning them in the Protection from Domestic Violence Act. The Committee recommends that the State party, in full cooperation with organizations of women and girls with disabilities, include their rights into all laws, policies and programmes and take all necessary measures to protect them from multiple and intersectional discrimination and violence to enable them to fully enjoy all their rights under the Convention. The State party should ensure that laws against gender based discrimination and violence provide for proportionate enforceable sanctions and effective remedies (Para. 11 & 12).
Children with disabilities: The Committee shares the concern expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/MUS/CO/3-5 para. 49) that the State party gives precedence to an integrative approach instead of eliminating the physical, socioeconomic and cultural barriers that prevent their full inclusion in schools and in society. The Committee is also concerned about the overreliance of the State party on NGOs to provide specialized services to children with disabilities without the necessary support, monitoring & regulatory guidance for these NGOs; the insufficient measures to prevent the placement of children with disabilities in ‘centres de sauvegarde’ (“Abris des Enfants en Détresse”)and the rejection and stigmatization faced by these children. The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures to ensure provision of quality inclusive services for boys and girls with disabilities both in public and private sectors in compliance with the Convention and allocate the necessary resources to these services.. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that NGO run programmes be regulated and closely supervised and that staff of these NGOs undergo specific monitoring. The Committee also recommends that the State party amend the National Children’s policy and the National Child Protection Strategy with the view to incorporating targeted measures for children with disabilities to enjoy their rights on an equal basis with other children (Para. 13 & 14).
Liberty and security of the person: The Committee is concerned that the legislation of the State party provides for the involuntary hospitalization and institutionalization of persons with disabilities, including children on the basis of their impairments or because they are deemed to represent a danger for themselves and for the society, and that no data is available in this respect. The Committee recommends that the State party amend legislation to prohibit involuntary placement and promote alternative measures in line with the Convention (Para. 25 & 26).
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse: The Committee is concerned that limited measures have been taken to prevent and combat violence and abuse against persons with disabilities, especially sexual abuse of children with disability, which takes place, including within the family. The Committee is also concerned about reports indicating abuse and neglect of boys and girls placed in some NGO-run institutions. The Committee is further concerned that persons with disabilities who are subjected of violence and especially boys and girls hardly get any help to escape abusive situations and that the abuse does not lead up to prosecution.The Committee urges the State party to take urgent measures to prevent violence against women, men, girls and boys with disabilities, to protect those who are subjected to violence and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. The State party should in particular: (a) Provide fully funded, accessible helplines and shelters for persons with disabilities who experience violence, whether inside or outside the home; (b) Provide specific training for all respective personnel to detect and report violence against persons with disabilities; (c) Ensure that persons with disabilities, who are subjected to violence, have access to effective remedies and receive all the necessary support for their mental and physical recovery (Para. 27 & 28).
Protecting the integrity of the person: The Committee is concerned about the absence of safeguards to prevent forced treatment of persons with disabilities in hospitals and institutions, especially women and girls with disabilities from forced sterilization. The Committee recommends that the State party unambiguously prohibit forced treatment of persons with disabilities, as well as the forced sterilization women and girls with disabilities, in the absence of the individual’s free and informed consent (Para. 29 & 30).
Living independently and being included in the community: The Committee is concerned that families who are often the sole base of support for persons and children with disabilities, especially those with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities, receive limited assistance from the State. The Committee is also concerned that children are removed from family settings and placed in residential institutions where they lack care and psychological support and are sometimes subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The Committee is further concerned that private Day Care Centers where children with disabilities are placed are not regulated nor monitored by the State and that children with disabilities continue to be placed in “Centres de Sauvegarde” (“Abris des Enfants en Détresse”). The Committee recommends that the State party urgently remove children with disabilities from the “Centres de Sauvegarde” (“Abris des Enfants en Détresse”) and develop family and community-based alternatives for those deprived of a family environment. The State party should initiate without delay a transition from private unregulated Day Care Centers to inclusive early childhood education and education settings and in the interim, regulate and closely monitor these Centers. The State party should adopt urgent measures directed to the deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities and to develop mechanisms at the community level to promote choices, autonomy and inclusion, for persons with disabilities. The Committee also recommends that the State party develop effective quality support services for parents caring for children with disabilities and for persons with disabilities to live independently in the community as well as effective protection systems. (Para. 31& 32).
Education: The Committee is concerned about the slow implementation of the 2006 official policy of inclusive education resulting in the education system remaining mostly segregated and many children with disabilities being fully deprived of any form of education. The Committee is also concerned about clause 11 of the draft Disability Bill which provides with a general exception to inclusive education and about the creation foreseen of 14 “ integrated” units in mainstream schools, a system which would prolong segregation of pupils and delay the creation of a fully inclusive school. The Committee is concerned about children with disabilities aged two or three years old being enrolled in NGO-run specialized schools, especially pupils with sensory disabilities, thus preventing from the very beginning their inclusion in mainstream schools. It is further concerned about pupils with disabilities who do not have access to public transport in rural areas without reimbursement for other means of transport being covered. The Committee recommends that the State party reconsider clause 11 of the draft Disability Bill and renounce to the creation of integrated units in schools but promptly engage in the creation of a fully funded and inclusive quality education system while ensuring that those who have been deprived of education can access life long learning education and vocational training. The State party should ensure tailored education plans for all students with disabilities, the provision of mandatory pre-service and in-service specific training to all teachers on inclusive education and the availability of assistive devices, individual support in classrooms, of accessible educational materials and curricula, and of accessible transport, equipment and school environments, with the corresponding budget allocations. The State party should also promote the enrolment of all children with disabilities in quality inclusive education (Para. 33& 34).
Health, habilitation and rehabilitation: The Committee regrets the lack of information on the availability of health, early intervention services , including provision of sexual and reproductive health services and age appropriate habilitation and rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of social support to cover the disability-related expenses for their children with disabilities. The Committee recommends that the State party adopt clear procedures for the early intervention services for persons with disabilities to appropriate and accessible habilitation and rehabilitation services, including services for parents with disabilities, with special regard to parents of all children with disabilities. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that health, rehabilitation and other disability-related expenses for children with disabilities be covered (Para. 35 & 36).
Ratified in 2010, but not yet reported
Not yet signed or ratified.