Swaziland: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also included is the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.

Swaziland - Twenty Fifth Session - 2016

10 May 2016 - 9:00 - 12:30

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National Report

Compilation of UN Information

Stakeholder Information

Accepted and Rejected Recommendations 


National Report

III. Developments since the last review: normative and institutional frame work 

13. Swaziland is progressively moving towards honouring its reporting obligations to the treaty monitoring bodies. To this end, on 13 March 2012 Swaziland submitted its combined initial and second periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The Committee considered the combined reports on 10 July 2014. Currently the country has started working on its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

14. On 24 September 2012 Swaziland implemented recommendations made in the first cycle of the UPR by ratifying the following international instruments:

(a)  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

(b)  Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with


(c) Optional Protocol on the Convention on the Rights of the child on the involvement of children in armed conflict;

(d) Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the child on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography. 

IV. Follow up to the last review: implementation of accepted recommendations 

B. Thematic human rights issues    

Abrogate without delay the legislative and regulatory provisions that discriminate women, and adopt new laws in accordance with the principle of gender, as set out by CEDAW.

24. To  illustrate  the  country’s  commitment  towards  gender  equality,  over  and  above  the   ratification of CEDAW, the country has committed itself to a number of instruments to this effect. These include the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Locally, these have been domesticated: ...

(b) The Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Bill seeks to address all forms of sexual violence against women and children. The Government of Swaziland is investing all necessary efforts to accelerate enactments by Parliament;...

Develop and implement a national strategy to eliminate stigma and discrimination against  people  living  with  HIV/AIDS,  and  ensure  that  OVC’s  have  access  to  health   and education services and protected from violence and abuse. 

29. There has been a drastic scale up of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) by the Ministry of Health (MoH). An increase in the number of ART sites from only 24 ART sites in 2006 to 133 by end of 2014. By the end of 2014, a total of 125,421 people on ART, with 7,906 (6%) being children under 14years. With an increase in the number of people on ART, a key priority for the MoH is to ensure that there is minimal deaths of people on ART. These figures demonstrate the survival rate of people on ART. In the past, the MoH was losing almost 60% of people within the first three months after initiating treatment (ARVs). This has improved over the years and from the figure it is worth noting that +/-3% are lost either through death, stoppage of treatment within the first six (6) months. Government continues to subsidise health care in public facilities.

30. The country enacted comprehensive protective legislation for children in 2012 (Child Protection and Welfare Act 2012). This legislation seeks to provide protection for children from abuse and to promote their welfare and best interests. Over and above this legislation, the country has a children’s  policy  which  also  provides  a  clear  position  of  the   policy  statements  that  illustrate  prioritisation  of  the  protection  and  promotion  of  children’s   rights, in particular vulnerable children. Under the strong government social protection program, government   offers   an   Orphan   and   Vulnerable   Children’s   (OVC)   grant   which   caters  for  vulnerable  children’s  education.

31. The government of Swaziland has ensured free primary education for all Swazi children as enshrined in the Constitution and the Free Primary Education Act, 2012. Even though secondary school education is still not free, the government supports the vulnerable children by paying their fees through the through the OVC grant under the Deputy Prime Minister’s  portfolio.

32. According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, (MICS) 2014, the percentage of orphans and vulnerable children stands at 45.1% of all children in the country. Orphans who attend school are at 97.2% as compared to 98.6% of attendance of non-orphans.

Put in place rights training programmes for members of the judiciary and law enforcement officials, including the Police, Security forces and Correctional Officers.

33. Through support from Development partners, a number of duty bearers have been trained  on  protection  of  people’s rights. Over the last 2 years, Judicial officers have been trained on the how to invoke international instruments ratified by the country in particular the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The Judicial officers were equipped with skills to ensure that they can properly handle cases involving children in their courts. The trainings covered Magistrates from all the regions in the country. Other officers of the court who support the cases were also extensively trained to better understand how to handle cases involving victims of abuse and children. These training have also been offered to prosecutors for reasons of consistency. 

Prohibit corporal punishment in all settings

47. Although the country did not accept the abolishment of corporal punishment in all settings, but limited it to adults, the Child Protection and Welfare Act has abolished the use of corporal punishment as sentence in cases involving children. Over and above this provision, the Ministry of Education has rolled out a program on Positive discipline and is working on revising its policies and rules to be in line with the principles of positive discipline. The Ministry has also partnered with civil society organisations to promote the use of positive discipline in family settings. This initiative is aimed at gradually incorporating these principles in the different settings where corporal punishment has been practiced. 

V. Achievements and best practices, challenges and constraints A. Achievements and best practices 

59. Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme: This programme is designed to remove barriers and increase access to primary education for all school-going age children. It provides relevant quality education and eliminates all forms of disparities and irregularities in primary education. It is calculated to eradicate illiteracy and to equip every child with basic skills and knowledge in an endeavor to alleviate poverty. This is in line with Section 29(6) of the Constitution of Swaziland, which guarantees the right to free primary education in public schools.

60. FPE was successfully rolled out from grades 1–2 in 2010, by 2015 it was extended to grade 7 in 2015. The enrolment rate has increased from 231,555 in 2009 to 239,422 in 2012 and 247,717 in 2015. Indicators suggest that Swaziland is on track in achieving universal access to primary education specified in Millennium Development Goal 2. Achievement of access is but one aspect of the progress, there is need to ensure that all children complete primary education. Completion rates at primary levels suggested that repetition and dropout may have still pushed some of the children out of the system. In 2006/2007 the completion rate was about 59.3 percent, it increased to 76.4% in 2012, suggesting that more children stayed on to complete primary education. This is an improvement, which implied that more children are being retained by the system.

61. FPE provides support to primary education in the form of grants, free stationery and textbooks for all primary school pupils including those with special needs. Furthermore, the Swaziland Government has invested an average of E 560.00 (US $80) capitation grant per child. What is observed is that although boys participated more efficiently in the past, girls had taken over as their net enrolment figures rose above that of boys in 2009 and have remained higher ever since. Learners with special needs also benefited from FPE initiatives through getting specialized teaching and learning material and equipment.

62. The programme has resulted in the construction of more schools and additional classrooms in most schools, in an effort to reduce traveling long distances. The programme has led to the engagement of additional teachers, approximately one hundred and ten (110) per year. The programme has created more posts for the inspectorate to monitor quality standards in schools. The posts includes those of inspectors for Special Education Needs.

63. In   addition   to   FPE   Swaziland’s   commendable   progress   in   the   achievement   of   universal primary education has been caused by the improvement in school feeding schemes and the increase in school infrastructure. Over 90% of schools have access to electricity and potable water. 

65. There has been a drastic scale-up of ART by the Ministry of Health (MoH). By the end of 2014, a total of 125,421 people were on ART, with 7,906 (6%) being children under 14 years. With an increase in the number of people on ART, a key priority for the MoH is to ensure that those on ART stay alive. In this regard it is pleasing to note that ART retention for adults and children at 36 months is 78% and 83% respectively.

66. The percentage of HIV infected infants born to HIV positive mothers has continued to reduce from 16.4% in 2011 to 9.17 in 2014 with a target of reaching 5% by 2018. This is as a result of increased coverage on ART for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The Ministry is progressively rolling out early ART initiation for all pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who are HIV positive where they receive ART as soon as possible regardless of their CD4 count. ART is known to have a preventative effect on transmission of HIV.

67. There has been an increase in the proportion of children having access to HIV testing as early as 6 weeks, and the coverage has reached 81%. More than 80% of public facilities are now able to collect blood for early infant diagnosis of HIV. Early infant diagnosis of HIV has ensured that more children in need of ART are provided with ART, as a step towards Universal coverage for Children on ART by 2018. The Government remains committed to financing the procurement of antiretroviral drugs, catering for approximately 90% of the budget. 

69. During the Declaration period 2000–2014, the following Policies have been put in place to support the effective National HIV response:.. 

(e) Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT): Swaziland has played a pivotal role in that by the end of 2004 there were only 4% of women receiving PMTC and by the end of 2014 it had increased to 86%. HIV infections amongst children have been reduced from 21.6% in 2006 to less than 10% by end of 2014; ...

(g) National Policy on Children (2009). The policy aims to ensure that appropriate interventions are put in place to adequately care for and protect children in general; and orphaned and vulnerable children in particular; 

73. Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women: The Government has made significant strides in policy and legislative reform in addressing the challenges of gender based violence in the country evidenced by the approval of the National Gender Policy of 2010, the enactment of People Trafficking and People Smuggling Act, as well as the Child Protection and Welfare Act of 2012. Implementation of these legal frameworks included; construction of child friendly courts, toll free lines, establishment of the Domestic Violence and Victims support Centres in police stations, establishment of one stop centres (to provide care and support for gender based violence survivors). 

B. Challenges and constraints

76. Free Primary Education: Despite the success of the programme in increasing enrolment rates, challenges remain. In some cases there was a wide range in the ages of the children that were enrolled and this offered some teaching frustrations as the levels of development of the children varied greatly. The removal of all barriers to access primary education had not been fully realized; some children are still not in school. There are social factors that still hinder  some  children’s  access  to  education and these include issues of uniform, child headed families where food and other amenities are not easily accessed. The Ministry is working hard to ensure that these issues are addressed through the Care and Support to Teaching and Learning (CSTL) programme.

77. The high demand for primary education created a need for additional teachers. However, there was a shortage of appropriately qualified teachers. According to the Annual Education Census Report (2010), 25% of the primary school teaching staff was not appropriately qualified to teach at that level. This necessitated the deployment of irrelevantly qualified teachers into the primary level, mainly teachers qualified for the secondary level, thus compromising the quality of education. This is because in Swaziland secondary level teachers at times take a single major and cannot offer all the subjects like primary trained teachers, importantly, they do not possess the pedagogy skills to teach children between ages of 6 to 18 years in one class in some cases.

78. Intake rates also imply some policy shifts. Swaziland witnessed an increase in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) centres during the 2010-2015 period which influenced some primary schools to begin demanding a child to have a pre-primary experience before they enrolled them. The Completion cycle of children enrolled has not been fully realized; a sizeable number of children have not reached grade 7. Out of 40,000 enrolled, about 27,000 sat for Swaziland Primary Certificate (SPC) examinations. 

80. As  Government  took  over  the  payment  of  fees,  schools’  income  gradually  declined in some schools which were previously charging above the government approved grant per learner.    This  has  unfortunately  led  to  a  phenomenon  where  schools  were  charging  a  ‘top- up’  fee  alleging  that  the  Government  grant  is  not  enough.  This  has  created  problems for Government as those marginalized children who had entered under FPE are being gradually forced out of the system by the charging of top-up fees. However, the Government is looking into this issue with an aim of coming up with a lasting solution. 

VI. Key national priorities

89. Providing Quality Education And Lifelong Learning: In taking the education development agenda forward, the Government in collaboration with the World Bank and the European Union (through the Support to Education and Training (SET), undertook a comprehensive Education Sector Review in 2009. The aim was to amass critical knowledge on how the sector could be restructured so that it supports accelerated growth, reduces poverty and enhances the standards of living of the people of Swaziland. The Review has assisted the Education Sector to consolidate its priorities and has created a key information base for development of two key documents:

(a)  Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) in 2010; and

(b)  Education and Training Sector Policy in 2011.

90. These policy documents provide a strategic and visionary framework for the sector and support the wider context of Vision 2022. The objective is to provide an equitable and inclusive education system that affords all Swazi citizens access to free primary education of real quality, followed by opportunities of life-long education and training, thus enhancing   personal   development   and   contributing   to   Swaziland’s   cultural   development,   socio-economic growth and global competitiveness. The Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) is long term, covering the period from 2010 to 2022. It covers key sub-sectors including Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), General Education (Primary and Secondary Education), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Higher Education, and Adult and Non-Formal Education. 

94. Innovative and creative programmes that selectively target vulnerable groups such as orphans, women, children and the elderly were put in place to rectify social imbalances and meet the pre-set targets for 2015. These included: establishment of the Youth Enterprise Fund, Regional Development Fund, Poverty Reduction Fund, subsidising farming inputs, establishment of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) grant, the elderly grant, Free Primary Education (FPE), Free Ante- and Post Natal Care for women, & children and Medical Phalala fund. Furthermore, measures to promote youth employment, regional   and   agricultural   development   as   well   as   commercialization   and   women’s   empowerment were introduced. 

95. Ensuring Healthy Lives. To ensure healthy lives the Health sector has developed the Health Sector Strategic Plan 2014-2018. This plan highlights priority areas that are addressed under five broad thematic areas, that will take into account the newly agreed Sustainable development goals: 

(a) Promoting health through the life course. A focus on promoting health through the life-course calls for addressing the barriers to good health that occur throughout gestation, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and elderly phases of life. The health sector intends to introduce and scale up a range of interventions aimed at promoting health throughout the life course. It intends to achieve this by focusing on enhancing the integrated approach to delivery of child and maternal survival services; providing a male-tailored Essential Preventive Health Service Package; promoting understanding and practice of healthy ageing for men and women; making physical Exercise for All (E4A) a popular sustained national campaign; as well as promoting, protecting and supporting appropriate infant and young child feeding practices and behaviours with focus on the first 1000 critical days. 

(c) Influencing health action in key sectors. Many factors outside the health arena affect the health of individuals and the communities they live in. Such factors include environmental, cultural and socio-economic influences. The health sector intends to develop relevant strategies to guide its work with health-related sectors so as to achieve the prioritization and implementation of critical health-related actions. Since such actions fall within the mandate of other sectors, but have a significant influence on health outcomes, the health sector will build linkages with the sectors responsible for these actions so as to work with them and ensure that the actions are properly implemented to achieve better health outcomes. This will include addressing issues of access to safe water, improving sanitation, access to education for young girls, access to proper housing ventilation and work place safety measures. 


Compilation of UN Information 

I. Background and framework

A. Scope of international obligations

1. International human rights treaties 

2. The United Nations country team noted that, in 2012, the country had ratified 29 international instruments, which included the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. 

B. Constitutional and legislative framework 

10. In 2011, the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice sent a letter to Swaziland concerning discriminatory provisions against women in nationality legislation. According to the information received, legislation discriminated against women in that they were not able to confer their Swazi nationality to their children. Reportedly, according to the 2005 Constitution, children born inside or outside of Swaziland prior to 2005 to at least one Swazi parent acquired Swazi citizenship, but children born after 2005 only acquired citizenship from Swazi fathers.

11. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recommended that Swaziland amend its nationality law to include a safeguard to ensure that children born on the territory who would otherwise be stateless automatically acquire Swazi nationality; amend articles 43 and 44 of its Constitution so that Swazi women can transfer nationality to their children and their foreign spouse on the same basis as men; and consider undertaking a study or survey to identify the number of stateless people in the country. 

15. UNHCR recommended that Swaziland insert the principle of the best interest of the child as a horizontal provision in the 2015 Refugee Bill and incorporate the full wording of article 3 (1) of CRC. 

III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international
humanitarian law

A. Equality and non-discrimination 

27. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women noted the efforts of Swaziland to tackle challenges relating to its nationality legislation, but expressed concerns that both the Constitution and the Citizenship Act contained provisions depriving children born to Swazi women and foreign husbands of nationality. 

B. Right to life, liberty and security of the person

32. Concerned at the gruesome murders of women and girls with albinism, whose body parts were harvested for rituals, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Swaziland urgently establish a national register of persons with albinism and provide protection to women and girls with albinism.

33. The country team stated that national police statistics showed that the incidence of violence (particularly physical and sexual violence against women and children) remained unacceptably high. 

35. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also urged Swaziland to establish a national violence coordination mechanism with a mandate to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls and to coordinate national efforts to prevent and eliminate such violence.

36. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged Swaziland to encourage reporting of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls, to ensure that complaints are effectively investigated and perpetrators punished with sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the offence and to address the culture of impunity.

37. Concerned about the widespread cases of abuse of and sexual violence against girls in schools by teachers and when travelling to and from school, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Swaziland adopt measures to prevent and eliminate all abuse of and sexual violence against girls in schools and ensure that perpetrators are adequately punished.

38. Noting that shelters remained inadequate for and inaccessible to women and girls in regions away from the capital, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged Swaziland to decentralize one-stop centres and shelters to the four regions of the country in order to ensure that women and girls who are victims of violence can gain access to them. 

40. The country team recalled that, in its first review, Swaziland had received recommendations regarding the rights of children that focused on the acceleration of the enactment of the Child Protection and Welfare Bill and the strengthening of the functionality   of   the   country’s   juvenile   justice   system   to   ensure   that   it   complied with acceptable international standards. 

41. The country team noted that, in 2012, Swaziland had incorporated CRC into its national legislation,  by  enacting  the  Children’s  Protection  and  Welfare  Act,  to  improve  the   legal and institutional frameworks necessary for the protection of children. The Act provided a wide range of protective measures for children, including the establishment and strengthening of national and community structures for the protection and care of children, the setting up of child-sensitive juvenile justice systems and protection from all forms of abuse and exploitation. 

44. Concerned about the lack of appropriate measures to criminalize corporal punishment and prevent its use in all settings, especially schools, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Swaziland prohibit corporal punishment and adopt measures aimed at eliminating its use in all settings and promote the use of non-violent forms of discipline.

45. While welcoming the adoption of the People Trafficking and People Smuggling (Prohibition) Act in 2009, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Swaziland intensify efforts to tackle the root causes of trafficking in women and girls and ensure the rehabilitation and social integration of victims. It also recommended stepping up efforts aimed at bilateral, regional and international cooperation to prevent trafficking. Finally, it recommended that Swaziland increase awareness-raising efforts aimed at promoting reporting of trafficking crimes and early detection of women and girls who are victims of trafficking.

C. Administration of justice and the rule of law    

50. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was concerned at reports that perpetrators of murders of girls and women with albinism were prosecuted for less serious crimes, such as causing grievous bodily harm, and therefore received lenient sentences upon conviction. It recommended that Swaziland ensure that all complaints relating to violence against women and girls with albinism are effectively investigated and perpetrators prosecuted and punished with appropriate sanctions upon conviction.

51. According to the country team, the juvenile justice system remained largely unchanged and no comprehensive assessment had been conducted.

D. Right to marriage and family life

52. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged Swaziland to take effective legal measures to prohibit and eliminate child and/or forced marriage and abolish polygamy.

F. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work    

69. In 2014, the ILO Committee of Experts requested Swaziland to take or envisage taking measures to, inter alia, improve women’s  access  to  employment  and  occupation,   education, vocational training and occupational guidance. 

H. Right to health    

77. The country team noted that Swaziland had the highest HIV prevalence in the world at 26 per cent among the sexually active population, with the rate of HIV infection higher among women than men. In 2014, the Extended National Strategic Framework on HIV/AIDS (2014-2018) had been adopted, the main goals of which were: to reduce new HIV infections among adults and children by 50 per cent by 2015; to reduce mortality and morbidity among people living with HIV; to alleviate the socioeconomic impacts of HIV/AIDS among vulnerable groups; and to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in the national response planning, coordination and service delivery.

78. According to the country team, Swaziland had made progress in its HIV response since 2011. Coverage of prevention of mother-to-child transmission had increased over the years and HIV testing had been decentralized to the primary health-care level. However, the achievements had been compromised by the high rate of new HIV infections. Although HIV incidence decreased from 2.5 per cent in 2011, it was still high at 1.8 per cent in 2013. 

80. Recalling that it had been recommended in the 2011 review that Swaziland increase investments to reduce the high maternal mortality and the rate of child mortality, the country team stated that overall maternal mortality and neonatal mortality remained high, with maternal mortality currently estimated at 593 per 100,000 live births and neonatal mortality at 20 per 1,000 births. 

I. Right to education

82. The country team recalled that Swaziland had been encouraged in the first review to continue pursuing the right to education for all, with particular attention given to the realization of that right for girls. Strengthening awareness-raising campaigns to ensure the use of alternative disciplinary measures to corporal punishments, in accordance with the human dignity of the child, had also been recommended.

83. The country team stated that Swaziland had continued its efficient implementation of the Free Primary Education programme, with net enrolment rates remaining above 90 per cent. Primary school attendance stood at 97 per cent for boys and 98 per cent for girls. About 60 per cent of learners in primary schools were orphaned or vulnerable children.

84. Noting that net enrolment at secondary level was extremely low (27 per cent) and that it was coupled with a low retention rate, especially for boys, the country team stated that contributing factors included the prohibitive cost of secondary school education, adolescent pregnancy and violence in and around schools.

85. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Swaziland remove the indirect costs of primary education, such as payment for school uniforms, to ensure that it is free and accessible to girls. 

86. Concerned about the increasing number of girls who drop out of school, mainly as a result of teenage pregnancy, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Swaziland promote their re-entry after they have given birth.

87. In 2013, the ILO Committee of Experts urged Swaziland to strengthen its efforts to improve the functioning of the education system and to provide concrete information on the measures taken to improve access to free basic education to children at the primary level and decrease dropout rates.

88. UNESCO strongly encouraged Swaziland to continue efforts to guarantee better implementation of education plans and strengthen access to education for all, including reintegration of dropout students, students with prison sentences, immigrant students and other marginalized groups of society.

89. UNESCO encouraged Swaziland to continue putting in place human rights education, including conducting awareness-raising campaigns to prevent corporal punishment in all settings and violence against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in teacher training and as part of school curricula.

J. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

90. UNHCR stated that, as of June 2015, Swaziland was hosting some 539 refugees and 321 asylum seekers and that education, health and other services were provided by the Government for the asylum seekers and refugees who resided in the Malindza reception centre. 


Stakeholder Information 

I. Information provided by stakeholders

A. Background and framework 

2. Constitutional and legislative framework    

20. JS3 noted that even though Swaziland had enacted the Child Protection and Welfare Act in 2012 which was a step towards domesticating the CRC, the institutions and programmes proposed by the Swaziland National Youth Policy had not been established.

21. JS3 recommended that Swaziland align the Child Protection and Welfare Act with international law as well as resuscitate the National Child Coordination Unit for better coordination, monitoring and evaluation of programmes targeted at children. 

2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person    

51. JS2 stated that detention centres and prison conditions were labelled to be below humane and liveable standards. Prisons are overpopulated; there is no separation between female detainees and convicts and female juveniles are held in adult correctional facilities. 

55. The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC) recalled that during its first UPR, Swaziland had accepted a recommendation to raise awareness on alternatives to corporal punishment. GIEACPC noted that the  Children’s   Protection and Welfare Act 2012 included prohibition of corporal punishment as a sentence of the courts, but corporal punishment remained lawful in all other settings. JS3 stated that corporal punishment by teachers was legal and routinely practiced.

56. GIEACPC recommended that Swaziland clearly prohibit all corporal punishment of children in all settings including the home and explicitly repeal all legal defences for the use of corporal punishment in childrearing and education.106 JS3 made a similar recommendation.

57. JS3 stated that there was a growing trend of child and youth abuse by the State and parents purportedly in  “the  best  interests  of  the  child”.  It added that children and youth were illegally incarcerated in prison centres by parents in collaboration with the Commissioner of Correctional Services, who claimed that the children were unruly.

4. Right to privacy, marriage and family life

69. JS3 noted that the legal age of marriage was 18 years for both boys and girls, but, with parental consent and approval from the Minister of Justice, girls may marry at 16. It added that although the Deputy Prime Minister had spoken out against the traditional practice that permit marriages for girls as young as 13, civil law was generally not enforced to prevent it. 

6. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living

95. JS3 stated that Swaziland seemed to be regressing in terms of its commitment to improving the rights of children and youth. It added that the Government did not have any social services for children from evicted families, children with disabilities, children living with HIV/AIDS, child headed households, and children in poverty.

7. Right to health 

96. EGPAF stated that Swaziland had the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, with almost 28 percent of persons of 15 and older living with HIV. According to EGPAF, Swaziland has shown remarkable political commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and was close to achieving elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.199 Noting that women and children suffered heavily from HIV in Swaziland, EGPAF explained that prevention would require societal behavioural changes and the intensification of education and awareness-raising among all parts of the population.

97. EGPAF recommended that Swaziland continue to provide significant financial support for the national HIV/AIDS response; ensure sufficient numbers of properly trained health care workers and take further steps to improve access to high-quality, age- appropriate sexual and reproductive health care education and services.

8. Right to education

102. JS3 noted that the quality of education needed to be improved, including of infrastructures, and the number of trained and qualified teachers and funds to cover all expenses for children be increased. Nonetheless, statistics show that the enrolment of grade one students who graduated from primary school has increased from 59.8 per cent in 2007 to 77.9 per cent in 2014.

103. JS3 stated that Government offered tuition fees and basic stationery for orphaned and vulnerable children from primary up to high school. According to JS3, this effort is welcome though very limited and does not comprehensively cover all school necessities such as uniforms for the children.

104. JS3 stated that girl children were often discriminated against and this was reflected in school enrolment ratio with girls at 47 per cent against 53 per cent boys.

105. JS3 recommended that Swaziland standardise tuition fees in public schools to curb the issue of top-up fees which renders education inaccessible and unaffordable for some sections of the society and ensure quality and relevant education at primary, high school and at tertiary level.

106. JS3 stated that children with disabilities remained side-lined in terms of specialised social services; but the Government had managed to accommodate the needs of these children in terms of education.


Accepted and Rejected Recommendations 

The recommendations listed below enjoy the support of Swaziland:
107.9 Strengthen the programmes of the national policy for childhood (Sudan);

107.12 Reinforce its campaign to raise awareness of human rights issues through the media, at the school level, in youth forums and in community activities (Mauritius);

107.13 Establish a national strategy for human rights education and training (Morocco);

107.20  Take all necessary measures to end discrimination and violence  against women and girls (Cyprus);

107.24  Work further to promote the rights of women and girls (Senegal); 

107.25  Abolish laws and practices that encourage discrimination and 

violence against women and girls (Panama);

107.31 Abrogate the domestic legislative and regulatory provisions that discriminate against women and children (Ukraine);

107.40 Quickly pass pending legislation related to the protection of women and children including the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill and the Draft Land Policy (United States of America);

107.43 Adopt measures to prevent and eliminate all abuses of sexual violence against girls and women and ensure that perpetrators are adequately punished (Turkey);

107.45 Encourage reporting of cases of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls, and ensure that complaints are investigated and the perpetrators are punished with penalties proportional to the seriousness of the offence, ending the culture of impunity (Uruguay);

107.47 Apply effectively all protection measures provided for in the Law on the Welfare and Protection of Children (Cabo Verde);

107.48 Take concrete measures towards protecting children from sexual exploitation, including violence against girls with albinism, through law enforcement and appropriate sanctions, and active awareness campaigns and partnerships with local communities to combat impunity (Malaysia);

107.54 Ensure the functioning juvenile justice system throughout the country and raise the age of criminal responsibility that comply with the acceptable international standards, as previously recommended (Slovenia);

107.63 Continue to take actions to eradicate poverty and reduce the disparities between rural and urban communities through providing the basic necessities, quality education, health services, and the creation of jobs and income-generating opportunities for all (Malaysia);

107.74 Pursue national efforts to reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortality (Egypt);

107.75 Step up efforts to pursue the right to education for all, particularly in the realization of the right to education for girls (Indonesia);

107.76  Continue to provide access to education to children (Pakistan); 

107.77  Continue to implement measures to improve and facilitate access to education (Angola);

107.78 Take the necessary steps to improve access to education at all levels (Armenia);

107.79 Redouble   efforts   for   the   full   realization   of   the   “Education   for   All”   policy (Burundi);

107.80 Improve school enrolment rates by removing all obstacles to access to primary education (Congo);

107.81 Further continue efforts to remove all barriers to access primary education (Ethiopia);

107.82 Overcome the challenges and constraints in the free primary education programme, particularly the social factors that limit enrolment for primary education and shortage of appropriately qualified teachers (Nigeria);

107.83 Give priority to the objective of attaining an inclusive and equitable education system that affords all citizens of the country access to high quality free primary education (Cuba);

107.84 Eliminate factors preventing boys and girls from enjoying secondary school education and reduce the dropout of school rate (Turkey);

107.86 Put in place protection measures that would allow the reintegration of teenagers into the education system after having given birth (Djibouti);

108.5 Ensure and guarantee non-discriminatory access to health services, education, justice and employment for all persons, irrespective of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity (Spain);

109.11 Consider ratifying the Optional Protocols to the Convention against Torture, Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Philippines);

109.29 Take new measures to put an end to cultural practices that discriminate against children with disabilities, women and all persons living with HIV/AIDS (Haiti);

109.40 Create a national registry of persons with albinism to prevent the killing of women and girls with albinism that are used for rituals (Uruguay);

109.41 Prohibit traditional practices that endanger the physical and psychological integrity of women, such as those affecting women and girls with albinism (Argentina);

109.44 Adopt measures for providing protection to women and girls with albinism, including by effectively investigating all instances of violence against them, and by prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators appropriately (Slovenia);

109.49 Take immediate action to align all domestic laws and pending legislation with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopt without further delay the Bill on Sexual Offences and Domestic violence, and take all necessary measures to abolish traditional practices that are harmful to women and girls (Latvia);

109.53  Take effective legal steps to eliminate child and forced marriage (Ghana);

109.54 Take concrete measures to prohibit and eliminate child or forced marriage (Panama);

109.55 Take action to ensure that the legal age of marriage of 18 years is enforced nationwide for both boys and girls (Maldives);

109.56 Raise the legal minimum age of marriage to 18 years for girls (Sierra Leone);

109.57 Protect girls from early or forced marriage both in law and in practice (Spain);

The recommendations listed below do not enjoy the support of Swaziland and are therefore noted:

109.31 Align national laws in accordance with the principles outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women to   address   women’s   rights, which include land acquisition, equality and citizenship of children (Botswana);

109.32 Enact legislation to ensure the ability of all Swazi citizens, regardless of their sex, to confer citizenship upon their children (Australia);

109.33 Consider amending its domestic laws to grant women equal rights with men with regard to transmission of their nationality to their children (Republic of Korea);

109.34 Modify articles 43 and 44 of the Constitution so that Swazi women, in the same way as men, can transmit their nationality to their children and their foreign spouses (Djibouti);

109.35 Modify its national laws to ensure that mothers can pass on nationality to their offspring regardless of the nationality of the father (Sierra Leone);

109.36 Amend legislation that denies Swazi citizenship to children born of foreign fathers (Honduras); 



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