Held by the Committee: 3 June 2015

Published by the Committee: 8 June 2015

Issues raised:



The Committee expresses concern at the continuous discrimination of girls, children with disabilities, children belonging to ethnic minorities, children in poverty and street situations and children living with HIV/AIDS and with noma.  (para. 23)

Best interests of the child: 

 The Committee remains concerned that the best interests of the child are not adequately considered with respect to decisions concerning adoption and family reunification processes and legal proceedings, alternative care and early marriage. para. 25)

Rights to life, survival and development:

The Committee is seriously concerned about the high rates of poverty affecting children especially in rural areas,  resulting  in  deprivation  of  children’s  right  to  survival and development.  The Committee is also deeply concerned about the reports of excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and detentions by the federal forces during the April 2014 demonstrations in the town of Ambo in Oromia, causing death and physical injuries to a number of children, in particular children belonging to ethnic minority groups. (para. 27 & 29)

Respect for the views of the child:

The Committee remains concerned that traditions and cultural attitudes continue to limit the full implementation of the right of the child to be heard. Furthermore, the Committee notes with concern that except for the specific provision in the Revised Family Code concerning the adoption process, there is no information on other legal provisions guaranteeing the respect of the right of the child to be heard in schools, judicial and administrative proceedings, alternative care settings, and in the family, and there is no reference to programmes and initiatives for children in vulnerable situations. (para. 31)

Birth registration:

The Committee remains concerned about the high rate of unregistered children and that only 5 percent are reported to be registered in rural areas. (para. 33)

Freedom of opinion and expression:

The Committee is concerned that the diversity of ethnic, social and cultural expression is not guaranteed to all children in the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the negative impact of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Act on the rights of the child to freedom of expression. (para. 35)

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion:

The Committee is however concerned about the recent clashes that occurred between religious communities which resulted in the deaths of and injuries to many children. (para. 37)

Freedom of association and peaceful assembly:

The Committee is concerned that these clubs and associations are controlled by the Government. The Committee is also deeply concerned about the brutal repression of peaceful meetings of children and young people which took place in Addis Ababa in 2014, resulting in several deaths. (para. 39)

Corporal punishment:

The Committee is concerned that the law does not expressly prohibit corporal punishment in the home and in the institutional child and day care centres where adults exercise parental authority over children. The Committee is also concerned that corporal punishment is still widely practiced and accepted in schools, the home and other settings. (para. 41)

Sexual Exploitation and abuse:

The Committee remains deeply concerned at the high levels of child sexual abuse in the State party, and at the absence of information on specific strategies and initiatives targeting children at particular risk of becoming victims of sexual abuse. The Committee is also concerned at the large proportion of girls who experience forced sexual initiation, particularly within the context of early marriage and sexual harassment, and it regrets the significantly low reporting rates of child abuse, including sexual abuse, the absence of mechanisms to assess and monitor the extent of such violations, lack of prosecution and conviction and the lack of adequate rehabilitation and reintegration services for victims. (para. 43)

Freedom of the child from all forms of violence:

The Committee is deeply concerned that violence against children still persists in the school, home and alternative care settings, and deeply regrets the absence of information on the number of investigations and prosecutions of such cases. (para. 45)

Harmful practices:

The Committee is seriously concerned that the relevant legal provisions prohibiting and criminalizing such practices are not adequately enforced, as shown by the very high number of children, particularly girls, subjected to FGM/C in all its forms (cliteridectomy, excision, infibulation, cauterization, scraping), as well as forced, early and promissory marriages and marriages by abduction, and the lack of criminal proceedings against those performing those practices. (para. 47)

Children deprived of a family environment:

The Committee remains deeply concerned at the significantly high number of children deprived of family environment and at the absence of a national strategy and action plan focusing on alternative family and community-based options for children deprived of a family environment. The Committee also regrets the absence of detailed statistical information on children placed in different types of alternative child care, including community based care services, and particularly regarding children in vulnerable situations. (para. 49)


The Committee is concerned about the provision of the Family Code which allows for the adoption of children who are “merely  conceived.” (para. 51)

Children with disabilities:

The Committee remains deeply concerned at the persistence of negative attitudes and discrimination against children with disabilities, and at the fact that the vast majority of children with disabilities are deprived of education and face obstacles in accessing appropriate social and healthcare services. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of reliable disaggregated data, and the absence of specific information on initiatives and programmes for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children with disabilities, particularly for those children suffering from multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. (para. 53)

Health and health services:

The Committee remains, however, concerned that the per capita spending on basic health is well below the internationally accepted levels, and deeply regrets the persistence of regional disparities in the provision of health services, and that malnutrition, infant, under-five, prevalence of noma and maternal mortality rates remain high. (para. 55)


The Committee remains concerned that HIV/AIDS still remains a major challenge, particularly in the urban areas and for children in vulnerable situations, including orphans, children in street situations, and children living in poverty and in single parent and child headed households. The Committee also regrets the absence of information concerning the allocation of resources to institutional structures mandated for the management of HIV/AIDS. (para. 57)

Adolescent health:

The Committee regrets the absence of information on specific programmes targeting vulnerable adolescents and teenagers, particularly those in street situations, orphans, pregnant teenagers, and those living in poverty and in single-parent households. The Committee also regrets the insufficient available information on reproductive and mental health services for adolescents as well as institutional coordination in implementing and evaluating adolescent health programmes and policies. (para. 59)

Education, leisure and cultural activities (arts. 28, 29, 30 and 31):

The Committee is concerned about the lack of national legislation on free and compulsory education. The persistent regional disparities in enrolment rates and the high number of school aged children, particularly girls, who remain out of school, as well as the high drop- out rates, the significant low enrolment rates in pre-primary education and secondary education.The scarcity of school facilities to accommodate children’s  education  needs,   especially for refugee children, children of displaced indigenous and minority ethnic groups, teenage girls, as well as children with disabilities. Furthermore, there is an absence of detailed information on programmes of vocational training for those children and adolescents who leave school. (para. 61)

Economic exploitation, including child labour:

The Committee is nevertheless concerned about the persistent high prevalence of child labour, including its worst forms, the lack of disaggregated data on children engaged in the worst forms of child labour, and about the fact that the existing legal framework allows children above the age of 14 to be engaged in hazardous work, when this work is part of vocational training programmes. The Committee is also seriously concerned about the situation of child domestic workers, called seratenyas, of orphans and children in street situations, as well as of young girls moving to foreign countries and being economically exploited and abused. (para. 63)

Children in street situations:

The Committee remains concerned at the high number of children living and/or working in streets, particularly in urban areas. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the absence of specific programmes with a view to facilitating access to education and healthcare for children in street situations, programmes for children in street situations with disabilities, girls and those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as at the lack of shelters and rehabilitation centres. The Committee notes with concern that the State party considers the involvement of children and youth in street situations in public construction activities as part of their rehabilitation and social reintegration. (para. 65)

Refugee, asylum seeking and internally displaced children:

The Committee is concerned about the lack of security and protection of refugee, asylum seeking and internally displaced children from violence, exploitation and abuse within and outside the refugee camps. In this context, the Committee is seriously concerned about the reports of disappearances of refugee and asylum seeking children from the refugee camps, and about the living conditions in those camps. The Committee is further concerned that children of refugees are not registered at birth. The Committee also regrets the absence of information on the situation of internally displaced persons, particularly children, due to natural disasters, as well as of asylum seekers, particularly the Eritrean asylum seekers, including a large number of unaccompanied children. (para. 67)

Sale, trafficking and abduction:

The Committee is deeply concerned that while trafficking in children abroad and within the country for the purpose of domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation and exploitation in the worst forms of child labour persists, no information was provided by the State party on the number of affected children, and on the number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions. The Committee is also deeply concerned at the lack of rehabilitation and reintegration centres to provide child victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation with the adequate, age-sensitive medical and psychological assistance.   The   Committee   also   regrets   that   the   “sale   of   children”   is   neither   defined,   nor   criminalized  in  the  State  party’s  Criminal  Code  and  Criminal Procedure Code, and that the relevant trafficking provisions of the Criminal Code do not comply with the international standards as set by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000). (para. 69)

Administration of juvenile justice

The Committee remains deeply concerned that the minimum age of criminal responsibility remains at nine years, that children aged 15-18 are prosecuted as adults, and that child offenders are not separated from adult detainees. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of disaggregated data of children in conflict with the law, the limited psychological and legal counselling, and the insufficient rehabilitation and reintegration services. (para. 71)


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