Held by the Committee: 27 May 2015

Published by the Committee: 8 June 2015

Issues raised: 



The Committee is concerned that children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations such as refugee children, asylum seeking children, undocumented children, children belonging to ethnic minority groups, children with disabilities, chronically ill children and LGBTI children, who continue to face discrimination. The Committee is also concerned that children in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom do not enjoy the same rights as children in the European Netherlands. (para: 24)

Right to life, survival and development:

The Committee remains concerned that euthanasia can be applied to patients under 18 years of age. The Committee is also concerned about the insufficient transparency and oversight of the practice. (para: 28)


The Committee is concerned about the  establishment  of  so  called  “baby-boxes”  that   allow anonymous abandonment of children in violation of, inter alia, the right of the child to know his or her origin, even though, as stated by the State party, no newborn has been placed  in  the  “baby-boxes”  so far. (para: 34)

Freedom of the child from all forms of violence including corporal punishment:

The Committee is concerned about the increasing number of incidents related to child maltreatment, in particular neglect of children and domestic violence, including witnessing domestic violence. There is sexual abuse of children in residential institutions and foster care, in particular abuse of children with mental health conditions.There is also insufficient reporting of child maltreatment by professionals working for and with children; as well as insufficient preventive measures in municipal policies and insufficient support and care for children victims of violence and maltreatment. Furthermore, there is an absence of legal provisions expressly prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, including at home, in Aruba; and in alternative care settings, day care and schools in the Caribbean Netherlands.(para: 36)

Children deprived of a family environment:

 The Committee is concerned that, despite some improvements, the number of placements of children in institutions remains high. It is also concerned about the shortage of suitable foster families and substitute family homes, especially for children aged 10 and older, siblings and children with immigrant background, as well as frequent transferrals of children in foster home system. The Committee is further concerned about the lack of structural follow up to children who leave care institutions and foster homes. (para: 38)

Children with disabilities:

The Committee is concerned that even if under the Inclusive Education Act, schools cannot turn a student down, it seems unclear in what school the child will be ultimately placed. A high number of children with disabilities or learning and behavioural difficulties have spent significant time out of school in earlier years and there is no information on the number in the present school year.With the shift of the duty of care to municipalities, even if the intention is for the care system to be flawless, it is not clear whether access to care for children with complex and multiple disabilities will be sufficiently available.The   reorganization   of   the   payment   from   “personal   budgets”   has   created bureaucratic problems and long delays in payments. (para: 40)

Health and health services:

The Committee is concerned about the High incidence of infant mortality in the State party. Also, there a significant numbers of overweight and obese children throughout the Kingdom. There is limited access to health care services for children with low economic and/or social status; and limited access to health care services for undocumented children. Furthermore, the Committee is seriously concerned about the reports that the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) has significantly increased. There is an overmedication of children with ADHD and ADD diagnosis with psycho- stimulant drugs, most of which have serious side-effects. Reports of wrongful diagnosis of children with ADHD or ADD and, their unnecessary medical treatment is concerning; as is the high rates of suicide among adolescent children. (para:42& 44)

Adolescent health:

The Committee is concerned that despite some improvements, the number of teenage pregnancies, especially in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, remains high. It is also concerned that large numbers of children in the State party continue abusing of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. (para: 46)

Standard of living:

The Committee is concerned about the substantial increase in poverty among children, in particular children in single parent families and children in welfare dependant families. It is also concerned that only few municipalities have adopted policies tackling poverty among children from such families. (para: 48)

Education, including vocational training and guidance:

The Committee is concerned about inadequate training of teachers to address developmental differences among children. There has been a significant number drop-outs of children from lower socio-economic background and single parent families from secondary schools. There is also a lack of monitoring of the quality of home-schooling. There is further concern over the large numbers of children subjected to bullying in and around schools throughout the Kingdom. Lastly, there is an inadequate quality of pre-school and early childhood education especially in relation  to  language  skills  and  children’s  development. (para: 50)

Asylum-seeking and refugee children:

The Committee is concerned about that the  “eight-day   procedure”   aimed   at   speedy   consideration of asylum applications is placing constraints on procedural safeguards. There are reports  that  inconsistencies  in  a  child’s  statement  or  between  statements  of  a   child and his or her siblings or parents during the interviews with immigration authorities may  count  against  them  without  proper  attention  to  the  child’s  developmental  stage. There is also a lack of adequate consideration for the best interests of the child in asylum cases and insufficient training of professionals dealing with asylum requests involving children. Children live in poor conditions in asylum reception centers, where children are not allowed to move freely and there is a  lack of monitoring of the reception of children and families. There is also a practice of deportation of children in vulnerable situations to their countries of origin where they may end up in orphanages. (para: 52)

Economic exploitation, including child labour:

 The Committee is concerned about the large number of violations of child labour regulations with respect to working and resting time, hazardous work as well as the lack of sanctions against companies violating the regulations. It is also concerned that despite the age limit of 15 years for employment, many children of 12 years of age are reportedly involved in the labour market, in particular in hotels, restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and the agricultural and horticultural sectors. (para: 54)

Sale, trafficking and abduction:

In   particular,   it   is   concerned   that   the   State   party   does   not   adequately address the protection of victims and there is a lack of cooperation among responsible agencies. The Committee is also concerned that child victims of trafficking may not benefit from the special residence scheme for victims of trafficking as such procedure is available only upon cooperation of the victim with the criminal proceedings against the trafficker, which places the child under great risk. (para: 56)

Administration of juvenile justice: 

The Committee notes the adoption of the new Adolescent Criminal Law, but is seriously concerned that the law allows for children of 16 and 17 years of age to be prosecuted under the adult criminal law in cases where charges involve very grave offences (homicide) and sent to serve their sentence in adult penitentiary institutions. It is also concerned that the PIJ (Plaatsing in een Inrichting voor Jeugdigen) treatment measures under the new law can imply deprivation of liberty of children aged 12 years and older in penitentiary institutions. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the systematic detention of children in police custody for lengthy periods of time (up to 16 days), and the absence of specific protocols for juvenile suspects in police cells; where they are detained in the same cell blocks as adults. Poor conditions in police cells and lack of monitoring on the conditions of detention of children,is also of concern; as is high numbers of children in pre-trial detention in judicial youth centers for lengthy periods of time. There is an absence of legal aid to children below the age of 12 years old who are interrogated by the police and to children who are suspected of committing minor offences. There is also insufficient   training   provided   to   the   police   and   prosecutors   on   children’s   rights. Furthermore, there is DNA testing of children in conflict with the law and difficulties in obtaining a certificate of good conduct for children with a criminal record. (para: 58)

Sale of children and child pornography: 

The   Committee   regrets   that   the   State   party’s   legislation   does   not   yet   fully   prohibit   the sale of children as defined in articles 2 and 3 of the Optional Protocol. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that persons who download child pornography are rarely prosecuted and that child victims between the ages of 14 and 17 years are considered as physically mature and not a priority for investigation. (para: 61)


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