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 purposes of clarity.
- Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
UN Human Rights Committee
Concluding observations on the second report of Namibia
Concluding Observations: 23 March 2016
The Committee welcomes the following legislative and institutional steps taken by the State party: Children’s Status Act, Act No. 6 of 2006; theSector Policy on Inclusive Education (2013); National Agenda for Children (2012–2016); The National Policy on Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2008); Education Sector Policy on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2008).
While noting the measures taken to eliminate discrimination, the Committee is concerned that protection against discrimination is insufficient. It is particularly concerned about: The prevalence of de facto racial discrimination and discrimination against indigenous peoples, as well as the significant number of laws remaining from the apartheid era that discriminate on the basis of race, such as the rules on intestate succession according to the Native Administration Proclamation 15 of 1928; Discrimination, harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, including cases of so-called “corrective rape” against lesbians; Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation not being explicitly prohibited, exclusion of sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination from the Labour Act (Act No.11 of 2007), the maintenance of the common law crime of sodomy, the exclusion of same-sex partnerships from the Combating of Domestic Violence Act (Act No. 4 of 2003); The continuing discrimination against persons with disabilities, as well as against persons who are HIV-positive, including in employment.
The State party should conduct extensive education and awareness-raising campaigns, involving and targeting traditional leaders and the general public, and targeting both children and adults to eliminate all forms of discrimination.
Discrimination against women:
Women are frequently discriminated by customary laws which inter alia allow family members to confiscate the property of deceased men from their widows and children.
(para. 11 a)
The State party should take comprehensive measures to eliminate stereotypical conceptions of gender roles, involving and targeting traditional leaders and the public at large. It should also: Cooperate with traditional leaders to abolish discriminatory customary laws.
Harmful practices against women and girls:
The Committee is concerned about the reported prevalence of harmful practices against women and girls, including various sexual initiation practices, such as forcing girls to have sex with their grandfather, uncle or brother (arts. 3, 7, 24 and 26).
The State party should conduct extensive public education measures, informing communities that such harmful practices are, inter alia, linked to discrimination against women and girls, gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and that they may propagate sexually transmitted diseases. It should ensure that existing laws criminalizing rape and violence are enforced with regard to these practices.
Marriage and Harmful practices:
The Committee remains concerned about the high number of customary marriages that are not registered, leading to the deprivation of women and children of their rights, particularly concerning inheritance and land ownership, and encouraging the practice of polygamy and bride price lobola, the latter of which remains legal under the Bill on the Recognition of Customary Marriages. The Committee is also concerned about reported cases of forced marriage of children under customary laws, as well as about the ongoing practice of forcing a widow to marry the brother of her deceased husband, so-called “widow inheritance” (arts. 2, 3, 7, 8, 23, 24 and 26).
The State party should include the prohibition of lobola in the bill on the recognition of customary marriages and speedily adopt it to ensure the registration of customary marriages. It should also ensure that early and forced marriage is criminalized. It should further, in cooperation with traditional leaders, abolish the practice of so-called “widow inheritance”.
The Committee is concerned that women and children are trafficked within the State party for the purpose of forced labour and sexual exploitation, including forced prostitution, and notes with concern that specific anti-trafficking legislation is lacking and the low number of prosecutions. It furthermore notes with concern that the State party has made insufficient efforts to tackle forced labour, including child labour and that the Labour Inspectorate is under-resourced (arts. 3, 7, 8 and 24).
The State party should speedily adopt anti-trafficking legislation, and ensure that adequate frameworks are in place to identify victims, investigate all human rights violations relating to trafficking, prosecute the perpetrators and establish comprehensive gender and age-sensitive measures to rehabilitate victims. Furthermore, the State party should significantly increase the number of labour inspectors and the resources available to them, particularly vehicles, as well as ensure they have full access to private farms.
The Committee is concerned that unaccompanied or separated children are treated like adult asylum-seekers (arts. 2, 9, 24 ). The State party should ensure that unaccompanied or separated children are afforded special protection and systematically provided with a regularly monitored guardian upon their arrival.
The State party should remove restrictions on the ability of refugees and asylum seekers to move freely within the State party. It should also include persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity among the grounds for protection against refoulement. Furthermore, the State party should ensure that unaccompanied or separated children are afforded special protection and systematically provided with a regularly monitored guardian upon their arrival.
Last Reported: 14 and 15 July 2004
Concluding Observations Adopted: 26 July 2004
Marriage equality: The Committee welcomes the Married Persons Equality Act, which eliminates discrimination between spouses. It nevertheless remains concerned by the high number of customary marriages which continue to be unregistered. It is also concerned about the deprivation of rights that women and children experience as a consequence, in particular with regard to inheritance and land ownership (arts. 3, 23 and 26).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Take effective measures to encourage the registration of customary marriages and to grant the spouses and children of registered customary marriages the same rights as those married under civil law. The future Bill on Intestate Inheritance and Succession and the future Bill on Recognition of Customary Law Marriages should take these considerations into account. (Paragraph 9)
Child Status Bill: Committee takes note of the draft Child Status Bill, which seeks to enable children born out of wedlock to have the same rights as those born within wedlock. The Committee, however, notes with concern that children do not get the type of special protection which they require in the area of administration of justice, in particular in the criminal justice system (arts. 10, 14 and 24).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Take measures to establish an appropriate juvenile criminal justice system in order to ensure that juveniles are treated in a manner commensurate with their age. (Paragraph 19)
Domestic Violence: While the Committee commends the State party for the enactment of the Combating Domestic Violence Act which criminalises domestic violence, the Committee regrets that, despite wide prevalence of domestic violence, so far only 62 persons have been prosecuted and no victims have been compensated (art. 23).
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Encourage further use of this Act, especially by training the police force and sensitising it to the needs of victims. Additional special shelters for those suffering from domestic violence should be created. (Paragraph 20)
Adopted by Commmittee: 18-21 November 2016
Published: 1 December 2016
Ratification and National Policies:
The Committee welcomes the State party’s ratification of the Optional Protocols to the Convention of the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict on 16 April 2002; The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child on 23 July 2004; The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime on 6 August 2002; The ILO Conventions No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour on 15 November 2000; The Committee also welcomes the Sate party’s initiatives to revise its legislation in areas of relevance to the Convention including the Education Act (Act No. 9 of 2003) and the Child Protection Act (Act No. 3 of 2015) (para. 4).
Violence against Children:
The Committee shares concerns expressed by the Human Rights Committee over the high rate of children victims of sexual violence, including rape. The Committee is also concerned at the low rate of prosecutions, lack of an available protection mechanism for immediate protection orders and at information that cases of rape are being decided by customary courts that do not impose criminal liability and may not provide full compensation to victims (para. 8).
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts in raising awareness on violence against children. It should also educate children on violence against women and children through training teachers and develop trainings, curriculums and textbooks content, using new educational technology. The State party should ensure that prompt, impartial and effective investigations are conducted into allegations of violence; including rapes against women and children and those perpetrators are prosecute and punished. The State party should provide specialized sensitizing training on sexual violence to the police and law-enforcement forces. The State party should also take effective measure to put in place special programs and separate sanctions when children are victims, taking into consideration their possible stigmatization, their special need for confidence building measures and their lack of access to justice in accordance with the principle of the best interest of the child. The State party should strongly discourage the settlement of sexual violence cases outside of the formal justice system and ensure that all courts, including customary courts, function in accordance with respect for the rule of law and international human rights standards (para. 29).
The Committee remains concerned at the prevalence of harmful traditional practices against women and girls, in particular ritual of Olufuko, which involves child marriages and sexual initiation rites, and the lack of investigations, prosecutions and criminal sanctions of perpetrators (para. 32).
The Committee recommends that the State party should continue to conduct intensive awareness-raising campaigns in communities and among Namibians to sensitize them on harmful traditional practices. The State party should strengthen its efforts to eliminate harmful traditional practices by criminalizing them as well as investigating and prosecuting alleged perpetrators, including traditional leaders who are involved in and promote such practices (para. 33).
The Committee remains concerned at the lack of information regarding the enforcement and implementation of the Child Care and Protection Act (para. 36).
The State party should ensure that all laws prohibiting corporal punishment are effectively implemented and that any allegation of corporal punishment is investigated prosecuted and that responsible for such acts are punished if found guilty. The State party should also conduct awareness- raising campaigns about the harmful effects of corporal punishment on children informing the public that such acts are prohibited (para. 37).
The Committee is concerned that (…) anti-trafficking legislation is still missing. It is also concerned that the number of prosecutions is low despite reports that women and children are trafficked in the territory of the State party (para. 40).
The Committee recommends that the State party should adopt anti-trafficking legislation that enables prosecution of offenders in line with international standards and investigate any person suspected of having committed human trafficking and prosecute and punish them if found guilty (para. 41).
Last Reported: 6 May 1997
Concluding Observations Adopted: 6 May 1997
No mention of children’s rights in this report.
Last reported: 16 July 2015
Concluding Observations adopted: 24 July 2015
Legal status of the Convention and harmonisation of laws: The Committee notes that the State party has a pluralistic legal system where customary and statutory law are both applicable and that section 66 (1) of the Constitution provides that customary law is only valid to the extent to which it does not conflict with the Constitution or any other statutory law. The Committee is, however, concerned that certain elements of customary law are not in compliance with the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in conjunction with the Law Reform and Development Commission conduct a thorough gender analysis of all laws in the State party in order to identify all customary laws that are in conflict with the Convention to harmonise them with statutory laws and the Convention (Para. 12 & 13).
Violence against women: The Committee notes the State party’s legislative and policy measures to combat violence against women such as the enforcement of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act (No. 4 of 2003) and the adoption of the National Plan of Action on Gender Based Violence (2012-2016). However, the Committee is concerned at the high prevalence of violence against women and girls such as rape and murder committed by intimate partners. The Committee is also concerned at the low rate of prosecution of perpetrators of violence against women and the frequent withdrawal of cases by women victims of violence. It is further concerned that notwithstanding the State party’s efforts to establish shelters in the State party, they remain inadequate. Recalling its General Recommendation No. 19 (1992) on violence against women, the Committee urges the State party to: (a) Ensure that all cases of violence against women and girls are thoroughly and effectively investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted ex officio and adequately punished; (b) Identify the root causes for the withdrawal of complaints about violence against women by victims and introduce effective measures to address such causes; (c) Expedite the development of the proposed national gender statistical system, which will have indicators and targets for all national programmes on gender, and ensure that the National Database on Gender Based Violence has up-to-date statistical data on cases focusing on all forms of violence against women including domestic violence, which should be disaggregated by age, type of offence and the relationship of perpetrators with the victims; and (d) Undertake a needs assessment to establish the demand for shelters by women victims of violence considering the magnitude of the problem of violence against women in the State party; and ensure that adequate shelters are accessible to women and girls who are victims of violence in all parts of the State party and that all shelters are sufficiently resourced (Para. 20 & 21).
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution: The Committee welcomes the adoption of the Child Care and Protection Act of 2015, which contains a chapter on combating trafficking in children, the inclusion of human trafficking among the 12 areas of focus in the revised National Gender Policy, the use of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 2004 to combat trafficking in human beings as well as the first criminal conviction in 2015 involving a case of human trafficking. However, the Committee is concerned that the State party remains a source and destination country of trafficking in human beings, in particular women and girls, mainly for purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of up-to-date data on the extent of trafficking in women and girls since the State party conducted national baseline study on trafficking in human beings in 2009. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Elaborate and enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in line with international norms and standards; (b) Undertake a comprehensive study to collect data on the extent and forms of trafficking in women and girls, which should be disaggregated by age, region or country of origin; (c) Intensify efforts to address the root causes of trafficking in women and girls and to ensure the rehabilitation and social integration of victims, including by providing them with access to shelters, legal, medical and psychosocial assistance; (d) Intensify awareness-raising efforts aimed at promoting reporting of trafficking crimes and early detection of women and girls who are victims of trafficking as well as their referral to appropriate services; (e) Intensify efforts aimed at bilateral, regional and international cooperation to prevent trafficking, including by exchanging information and harmonizing legal procedures to prosecute traffickers, particularly with neighbouring States such as Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa and other relevant States in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC); and (f) Allocate adequate resources for the effective running of shelters in the State party (Para. 24 & 25).
Nationality: The Committee commends the State party for its efforts in ensuring the registration of children upon birth since the launch of a pilot project on birth registration in 2009. The Committee notes that birth registration by mothers in their maiden names when the father of the child is absent is a culturally sensitive matter in the State party. However, the Committee is concerned that the requirement that both parents be present during birth registration is an obstacle to the timely registration of children in cases where one of the parents, usually the male parent, is absent. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Intensify its efforts and provide mechanisms to ensure timely birth registration in all parts of the State party; and (b) Consider revising its policy on birth registration by permitting the registration of a child on the application of a single parent and prescribing a period during which the absent parent can challenge the registration of the child and pursue de-registration, where appropriate (Para. 28 & 29).
Education: The Committee welcomes the revision of the Teenage Pregnancy Policy of 2009 on the prevention and management of pregnancy and the provision of life skills as a subject in schools which, inter alia, focuses on the dangers and effects of teenage pregnancies. However, the Committee is concerned at the high rates of pregnancy resulting in drop out of girls from school, particularly in Kavango and Kunene regions. It is also concerned that girls routinely avoid engineering courses. The Committee is further concerned about the lack of appropriate measures to enforce the law which prohibits corporal punishment and prevent its use in all settings, particularly in schools.The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Encourage girls and young women to choose non-traditional fields of study and professions, including through the adoption of temporary special measures, and implement programmes aimed at counselling girls on the full range of educational choices; (b) Intensify efforts to reduce school drop-out among girls by facilitating re-entry into school by young mothers after giving birth, particularly in Kavango and Kunene regions; (c) Intensify the provision of the “life skills” subject and ensure that age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights is systematically integrated into school curricula, including comprehensive sex education for adolescent girls and boys covering responsible sexual behaviours; and (d) Intensify law enforcement efforts to curb corporal punishment with a view to eliminating its use in all settings, particularly in schools, and promote the use of non-violent forms of disciplining (Para. 30 & 31).
Health: The Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/NAM/CO/3, paras. 24 and 25) and commends the State party for its successful programmes aimed at preventing mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. However, the Committee remains concerned at the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and unsafe abortions, which have contributed to the increase in the maternal mortality ratio in the State party. The Committee is particularly concerned that while abortion is permissible under prescribed grounds such as rape, incest, threat to the health and life of the pregnant woman and foetal malformation as provided by the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975, women still undergo complex and onerous administrative procedures in order to obtain approval for abortion. The Committee calls upon the State party to: (a) Implement strategies to combat HIV/AIDS, particularly preventive strategies, and to scale-up the provision of free antiretroviral treatment to all women and men living with HIV/AIDS, including pregnant women in order to prevent mother-to-child transmission; and (b) Step up efforts to reduce the incidence of maternal mortality, including through the provision of safe abortion and post-abortion care services by simplifying the existing complex and onerous administrative procedures that impede women’s access to abortion services (Para. 34 & 35).
Last Reported: 17 January 2007
Concluding Observations Adopted:
Trafficking: The Committee regrets that insufficient information was provided in the report on the issue of trafficking in women and girls.
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Carry out a study in order to assess the prevalence of trafficking in women and girls in the country and to include in its next periodic report a comprehensive assessment of the extent of trafficking and its root causes and measures taken to eliminate the vulnerability of women and girls to trafficking. Such information should be disaggregated by age and geographical areas and should also include information on the impact of measures taken and of results achieved. (Paragraphs 20 and 21)
Education: The Committee expresses concern about the high dropout rates of girls from formal education. The Committee is also concerned that the provision contained in the Policy on Pregnancy among Learners requiring that girls who become pregnant should be allowed to return to normal schooling only after spending at least one year with the baby could act as a deterrent for girls to resume their studies after childbirth. The Committee regrets that insufficient statistical data and information were provided on girls’ education.
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Implement measures to retain girls in school and monitor the impact of the Policy on Pregnancy among Learners on the rate at which girls return to school after childbirth. The Committee requests that the State party give high priority to the implementation of its programme on population and family life education. The Committee calls on the State party to include, in its next report, statistical data disaggregated by sex, ethnicity and region, as well as information on girls’ education, providing analysis of trends over time and progress towards the achievement of goals. (Paragraphs 22 and 23)
Marriage equality: While welcoming the passage of the Married Persons Equality Act (Act No. 1 of 1996), which gives wives and husbands in both civil and customary marriages equal power of guardianship in respect of children, the Committee is concerned that this law does not address the gender inequalities in customary marriages regarding property. The Committee is also concerned that Namibian law does not require the registration of customary marriages. The Committee is further concerned that early marriage continues in spite of the fact that the Married Persons Equality Act fixes the legal age of marriage at 18 years for both boys and girls.
The Committee calls upon the State party to:
(a) Review the Married Persons Equality Act (Act No. 1 of 1996), with a view to eliminating discrimination against women in customary marriages related to property rights in order to bring such rights in customary marriages into line with those in civil marriages. The Committee also calls upon the State party to take all necessary steps, including the process of consulting traditional leaders, women and civil society organizations, in order to draft a bill on the registration of customary marriages. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure that the legal age of marriage is respected. (Paragraphs 28 and 29)
Concluding observations on the combimed thirteenth to fifteenth periodic reports of Namibia
Adopted by Commmittee: 27-28 Marc4-6 May 2016
Published: 13 May 2016
The Committeee welcomes the adoption of the provision of free universal primary education since 2014, and free secondary level education since January 2016.
Committee expresses concern at the continued high rate of poverty and challenging economic and social situation of indigenous peoples, who face obstacles in accessing education, housing, employment, health care (including treatment for HIV/AIDS), ownership of ancestral lands, and political representation (arts. 3 and 5).
The Committee recalls its general recommendation no. 23 (1997) on the rights of indigenous peoples, and recommends the involvement of indigenous communities in the planning, implementation and review of development programs aimed at improving their situation. The Committee also recommends that the State party monitor the impact of measures taken on the enjoyment of rights by indigenous peoples, and update the Committee on the effectiveness of these measures, and on the work of the Division of Marginalized Communities. The Committee further recommends that the State party implement the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, following his visit to Namibia in 2012 (see A/HRC/24/41/Add.1).
(paras. 15, 16)
The Committee takes positive note of measures taken by the State party to overcome educational inequality and to increase access to education for ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, through: the extension of free education to the secondary level, the school feeding program, mobile school units, and other measures. The Committee, however, notes with concern continued challenges faced by these groups in obtaining quality education, and in particular notes: Information that the mobile school units are not properly resourced with teachers and materials; Information that indigenous native attire is only allowed until level 6 and instruction in mother tongues is provided only until level 3; Lack of updated information on drop out rates among ethnic minority and indigenous children; Lack of information on educational outreach programs for children from ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, in particular those living in informal settlements, on communal farms, in rural areas and the refugee settlement (art. 5(e)).
The Committee recommends the State party guarantee all children access to all levels of education, without discrimination, and in particular: Continue to develop the mobile school unit programs and allocate the adequate resources necessary to its proper functioning. Monitor the impact of these units on the enjoyment of the right to education, and provided updated information to the Committee in its next periodic report on progress; Continue to take the necessary steps to adapt education programs to the indigenous way of life and culture and to address special needs including dress and language, in consultation with these communities; Address the root causes of school dropout, and provide updated information on these efforts and on current status of school dropout rates; Strengthen educational outreach programs targeted at ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples with the goal of increasing educational enrolment and matriculation, and allocate necessary resources to ensure quality education.
(paras. 21, 22)
Last Reported: 29 and 30 July 2008
Concluding Observations Adopted: 12 August 2008
Discrimination: While noting the establishment of a Law Reform and Development Commission which is charged with, inter alia, the review of discriminatory laws dating back to colonial times, the Committee reiterates its concern about the discriminatory character of some Namibian laws that remain in force, including with regard to the administration of intestate inheritance. It also remains concerned about aspects of customary laws of certain ethnic groups on personal status that discriminate against women and girls, including laws pertaining to marriage and inheritance. (arts. 2 and 5(d)(iv) and (vi))
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Review its laws with a view to removing discriminatory laws in order to provide equal protection and treatment to all persons. Recalling its general recommendation No. 25 (2000) on gender-related dimensions of racial discrimination, the Committee recommends in particular that the State party urgently ensure that its laws, especially on marriage and inheritance, do not discriminate against women and girls of certain ethnic groups. It invites the State party to consider introducing a system which allows individuals a choice between customary law systems and the national law while ensuring that the discriminatory aspects of customary laws are not applied. (Paragraph 11)
Education: The Committee notes with appreciation the legal provisions regarding the desegregation of the educational system. However, it remains concerned about the persistence of de facto discrimination regarding access to education, as well as the high illiteracy rate that continues to exist among marginalized parts of the population.
The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Strengthen the implementation of its laws and policies aimed at the desegregation of education. In particular, the State party should increase its efforts aimed at reducing illiteracy, especially among the most marginalized communities. It requests the State party to provide, in its next periodic report, information on the impact achieved by these measures. (Paragraph 13)
Poverty: The Committee acknowledges the State party’s stated intention to review the development programmes currently in place, as well as the steps taken by the State party to improve the economic and social situation of the indigenous communities, including by mobile school units, scholarships for San children, and non-discrimination training for employers. However, it remains concerned about the extreme poverty of the indigenous communities and its impact on their equal enjoyment of human rights. The Committee is particularly concerned about the high rate of HIV/AIDS infection among the San, their lack of access to identification documents, their low level of school attendance, and the comparatively low life expectancy among those communities.
The Comittee urges the State party to:
(a) Enhance its efforts to reduce poverty and to stimulate economic growth and development for the most marginalized groups, namely the indigenous communities, especially with regard to education and health. It requests that the State party provide, in its next periodic report, information on the active involvement of targeted beneficiaries in the decisions directly relating to their rights and interests. (Paragraph 21)
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Concluding Observations on the Combined Second to Fifth Periodic Reports
Adopted by Commmittee: 23-24 February 2016
Published: 4 March 2016
National Policies and Legisltaion:
The Committee welcomes the extension of free education to the secondary level since January 2016.
The Committee expresses concern that, ascustomary law governs 80% of marriages in the State party, children are vulnerable to early marriage. The Committee is also concerned that the State party has notyetinvestigated any reports of harmful practices, such as sexual initiation, performed in certain regions of the country, which also involve humiliation and violence against of the victims, since they were first drawn to the attention of the State party by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2012.
The Committee is concerned about the high rates of poverty in the State party, especially in the rural areas and among children, in spite of the implementation of anti-poverty reduction programmes.
Access to Water and Sanitation:
While noting with appreciation the State party’s rights-based water and sanitation policy, the Committee is concerned that the responsibility for collecting water in rural areas falls mostly on women and girls who have to walk a long distance to access water points.
Right to Health:
The Committee is nonetheless concerned about the high maternal and infant mortality rates among low-income groups. (para. 64)
Substance and Alcohol Abuse:
The Committee expresses concern at the significant prevalence of alcohol consumption and drug use among school-aged children.
The Committee notes that, in spite of the near-universal enrolment at the primary level of education, some individuals belonging to certain groups such as indigenous peoples and those living in rural and remote areasstill do not have access to education. Moreover, the Committee also notes with concern that the capacity of schools, including for early childhood education,has not followed pace with the increased enrolment.Moreover, the Committee also notes with concern the relatively high rate of school dropout. The Committee isfurtherconcernedthat the system of voluntary contributionsby parents may perpetuate or even aggravate inequality inaccess toquality education, as those schools in more affluent areas will be able raise more resources.