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Print this pageCRC 63rd SESSION: Committee issues Concluding Observations to six States

Date:

20/06/2013

Organisation:

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Resource type:

News release

Summary:

Armenia, Israel, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Uzbekistan and Slovenia all under review.


Web link http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/crcs63.htm


At the close of the Committee on the Rights of the Child's 63rd session - in which Kirsten Sandberg of Norway was elected as the new Chairperson - Concluding Observations were issued to six States.

Below you will find:


Round-up

News outlets around the world reported on the Committee’s strong criticism of Israel’s reported torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children. But this wasn’t the only noteworthy outcome of a session in which Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Slovenia and Uzbekistan also had their children’s rights record examined. Below is a brief snapshot. You can find more, including full text of the CRC’s Concluding Observations and NGO alternative reports, on our website.  

Right to be heard and freedom of expression

These rights are so interlinked - how can you be heard if you can’t freely express yourself? So we were pleased to see the Committee pay attention to both. For Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda and Uzbekistan, the Committee expressed concern that traditional attitudes sometimes limit respect for children’s views and their ability to express themselves within the family, schools and other institutions. The Committee further criticised Uzbekistan for a law that explicitly says children’s freedom to have and express opinions may be limited, and for rules from the Ministry of Higher and Special Secondary Education prohibiting students from publishing materials which do not “correspond to national values”.

Linking back to the Human Rights Council’s Annual Day on the Rights of the Child on the right to health in March, the Committee also expressed concern that in Armenia consent to medical intervention for children under 18 is given only by the child’s representative, and not by children themselves.

Harmful practices - male circumcision; ritual murders

It is not often that male circumcision is considered a children’s rights issue. So it’s very interesting that the Committee referred to it in its Concluding Observations on Israel, expressing concern about reported short and long-term implications around some traditional forms of the practice, recommending Israel undertake a study looking into the complications.

The International NGO Council on Violence Against Children includes non-therapeutic male circumcision performed on children within its report on harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition. You can download the report which is available in  Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The Committee also noted with “deep concern” reported ritual murders of children accused of witchcraft in Guinea-Bissau, including albinos, disabled children and twins. Interestingly, for the first time the Human Rights Council (HRC) during its recent 23rd session adopted a resolution urging States to protect people with albinism. The Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) will submit a report during the HRC’s next session in September, and is calling for contributions from civil society.

Children in conflict with the law

Juvenile justice was a key thread running through the 63rd session, and the Committee was highly critical of most countries examined. Israel was heavily criticised, with the Committee expressing “deep concern” over the arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinian children as young as 12 for throwing stones - an offence carrying a penalty of 20 years in jail - and other alleged security reasons. The CRC’s Concluding Observations details the torture and degrading treatment - including the use of leg chains and shackles - that some detained Palestinian children endure.

The Committee also criticised Armenia for subjecting children to lengthy pre-trial detention and the inhuman treatment of five to 10 days solitary confinement as punishment. The Committee recommended Slovenia and Uzbekistan promote alternative and non-judicial resolutions for child offenders, ensuring that deprivation of liberty is used only as a last resort. Rwanda was urged to establish independent children’s courts, as the current ‘special chamber’ operates on an ad hoc basis and lacks judges and lawyers specialising in children’s rights and juvenile justice.

Corporal punishment

The CRC was “gravely concerned” that corporal punishment is still considered appropriate and is widespread across all settings in Rwanda. Perhaps most worryingly, the CRC noted that parents have a “right of correction” in Rwanda’s Civil Code, recommending the Government immediately repeal it. The CRC noted that in Guinea-Bissau corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and in alternative care settings, while in Slovenia it is not explicitly prohibited in all alternative care settings. Both States were asked to consider enacting legislation banning it completely.

 

Concluding Observations issued to six States

For each of the States reviewed, you will find the Concluding Observations issued by the Committee; session reports compiled by Child Rights Connect; alternative reports submitted by NGOs prior to the session; and CRIN's wiki page for each country concerned.

The following States were examined on their compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC):

  • Armenia

- Concluding Observations / Session Report / Alternative Reports / CRIN's Wiki page

  • Guinea-Bissau

- Concluding Observations / Session Report / Alternative Reports / CRIN's Wiki page

  • Israel

Concluding Observations / Session Report / Alternative ReportsCRIN's Wiki page

  • Rwanda 

Concluding Observations / Session Report / Alternative Reports / CRIN's Wiki page

  • Slovenia

- Concluding Observations / Session Report / Alternative Reports / CRIN's wiki page

  • Uzbekistan 

- Concluding Observations / Session Report / Alternative Reports / CRIN's Wiki page


The following States were examined on their compliance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC):

  • Armenia

- Concluding Observations / Session Report

  • Rwanda

- Concluding Observations / Session Report

  • Uzbekistan

- Concluding Observations / Session Report

The following States were examined on their compliance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC):

  • Armenia

- Concluding Observation / Session Report

  • Rwanda

- Concluding Observations / Session Report

  • Uzbekistan

- Concluding Observations / Session Report

 

Further news

During the session, the Committee were scheduled to continue work on a draft joint General Comment on harmful practices in collaboration with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. More information in our UN CRINmail next week.

A reminder that the Committee has recently adopted four General Comments:

- Visit our main General Comments page for a full list, including NGO submissions.

 

Opportunities for NGOs

NGOs have an important role to play in monitoring the progress made by States in implementing the set of recommendations issued to them by the Committee in their Concluding Observations.

 


Further Information

Previous News release items


Organisation Contact Details:

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Last updated 17/07/2013 11:26:28

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.

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