United Nations


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

1 December 2009


Original: French

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Fiftieth session

Summary record of the 1388th meeting*

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Friday, 23 January 2009, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson:Ms. Lee


Consideration of reports of States parties (continued)

Third and fourth periodic reports of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Consideration of reports of States parties (continued)

Third and fourth periodic reports of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/PRK/4; CRC/C/PRK/Q/4 and Add.1; HRI/CORE/1/Add.108/Rev.1 )

1. At t he invitation of the Chairperson, the delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea took places at the Committee table.

2.Mr. Ri Tcheul (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that, ever since the establishment of the State of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, children had enjoyed royal treatment and had received the best possible attention. His Government regarded children as a priority and strove tirelessly to promote their intellectual and physical development by taking full advantage of the system of free and compulsory education and free medical care for all.

3.The period covered by the report had been marked by tensions and economic difficulties arising from initiatives undertaken by external forces seeking to destroy the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Government had nevertheless overcome those obstacles and had ensured observance of the rights of children. It had placed particular emphasis on strengthening guarantees of children’s rights and had endeavoured to create the necessary material and social conditions for the well-being of all children.

4.His Government, while acknowledging the challenges that lay ahead, would continue, in future, to give priority to children, in accordance with the spirit of the Convention, and focus on strengthening the human rights protection system.

5.Ms. Smith (Country Rapporteur) stressed that the Committee had very little information from sources other than the Government. The State party’s lack of transparency regarding the situation of children made it difficult to obtain reliable information on the fulfilment of its obligations under the Convention. Few problems were mentioned in the report. The Committee considered that much remained to be done in the State party with respect to the drafting of new legislation and the implementation of existing legislation. She requested additional information on any natural disasters that might have affected the State party since the preparation of its report and on any other significant difficulties it might have faced in implementing the Convention.

6.The Committee welcomed the efforts made by the State party to bring its legislation into line with the Convention but noted that a number of the recommendations that the Committee had made following its consideration of the State party’s second periodic report had not been acted upon, in particular those concerning data collection, allocation of resources, health, education and military service. She would like to know whether the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was considering the adoption of a comprehensive act on children’s rights.

7.According to several sources of information, although the principle of non-discrimination was enshrined in the Constitution, it was not fully respected in practice. She invited the delegation to inform the Committee how the country ensured that that principle was respected in all contexts, particularly with regard to girl children, disabled children, children in institutions and street children. Clarification was also required as to whether the authorities ensured that social services and food supplies were evenly distributed throughout the country. She also wondered whether the political classification system, which divided the population into three categories, was still in place and, if so, what impact it had on access to education, food and health care. According to the Committee’s information, a number of children suffered discrimination based, for instance, on the opinions of their parents, their origin or the fact that their parents had been in conflict with the law. She requested further information on how international assistance, which was meant primarily for vulnerable children, was used, and wished to know whether they really benefited from it.

8.The Committee noted that the minimum age for capital punishment had been raised to 18 years; however, since the age of majority was 17, it remained concerned that 17-year-olds did not enjoy the right to special protection guaranteed to children under the Convention, particularly legal protection. In that regard, she asked whether the authorities followed the Gregorian calendar or the traditional Korean calendar, noting that, if the latter were used, even children aged under 17 would not be covered by the safeguards contained in the Convention.

9.The prevalence of malnutrition was sometimes very high among children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with all the ensuing consequences for their mental and physical development. The situation of children in institutions, many of whom suffered from stunted growth, was particularly alarming. She encouraged the Government to provide additional information on the child mortality rate and to indicate whether it expected to achieve the Millennium Development Goal for reducing that rate.

10.Lastly, she wondered whether the principle of the best interests of the child was taken into account in legislation and in all decisions affecting children.

11.Mr. Krappmann (Country Rapporteur) regretted that the State party had not provided any data regarding the school enrolment rate, preschool education, the literacy rate, the teacher-pupil ratio, gender balance, the economic situation, poverty and HIV/AIDS. Various data regarding the health situation of children were also lacking. The Committee further regretted the absence of disaggregated data, particularly concerning certain groups of vulnerable children such as children living in poverty and disabled children, and noted that it was difficult to monitor the implementation of the Convention without reliable data.

12 The information before the Committee showed that the allocated funds were insufficient in many areas of particular importance for children, including education, health services and institutional care for children separated from their parents. The data provided in relation to budget allocations were inadequate. He understood that the education budget had been significantly reduced since the Committee’s consideration of the State party’s second periodic report. Was that the case?

13. The report referred to many organizations that assisted the Government in implementing the Convention. The Committee had not received any supplementary report from those organizations. He asked whether they were non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and whether restrictions had been placed on them. He also wondered why they had not communicated their views on the implementation of the Convention. In particular, the Committee would have appreciated a report from the youth league of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

14Mr. Siddiqui asked who chaired the National Coordinating Committee for the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and where its premises were. Moreover, he wondered how often that Committee met, what functions were performed by its members and what measures had been taken to strengthen their role and attributions.

15.Mr. Parfitt asked whether the Constitution and domestic legislation explicitly referred to the principle of the best interests of the child and how that principle was taken into account by the courts in cases concerning children or the family. He also wished to know how the best interests of the child were taken into account in administrative proceedings and in decisions by governmental bodies when the Government had higher priorities.

16.He wondered whether an independent mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Convention was in place. He also invited the delegation to describe the role of NGOs in promoting children’s rights and to specify whether there were any organizations devoted exclusively to the promotion of those rights. Furthermore, it would be interesting to know whether existing complaints mechanisms were easily accessible to children and juveniles.

17.Mr. Citarella requested clarification of the status of the Convention in domestic law. He also called for further information on the situation of foreign children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, who apparently did not enjoy the same rights as nationals, for instance with regard to access to education and health care.

18.Mr. Pollar asked the delegation to explain the significance of the principle of “best things for children” in the area of international assistance and to provide information on cooperation between governmental bodies and United Nations agencies, particularly regarding the dissemination of the Convention.

19.Mr. Puras requested details on the decision-making process within the youth league and the children’s union, on the individuals who chaired those bodies and on their appointment process. With a view to understanding how critical thinking and diversity were perceived in North Korean society, he wished to know whether young people could develop their own sub-culture, set up groups or organizations and express their views – even if they differed from those of others. Concerning the protection of privacy and access to information, he wondered who decided what information was “appropriate” and what criteria were used, and for what “unavoidable reasons” the State could be brought to interfere with the privacy of citizens.

20.Mr. Zermatten asked whether the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was considering acceding to those international instruments to which it was not yet a party, including the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182 and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption. He would also like to know whether civil and criminal law incorporated the principle that the views of children should be taken into account in all proceedings affecting them and how their views were ascertained in that context. Moreover, he invited the delegation to inform the Committee whether cases of torture and degrading or inhuman treatment committed by the police during the arrest of repatriated child refugees had been prosecuted.

21.Ms. Khattab said she would welcome information on the measures taken to combat de facto discrimination based on traditional social attitudes, particularly towards disabled children, and requested clarification of the role of the media in that connection. She asked the delegation whether the 2003 Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities had been followed by an implementing decree and what was being done to prevent the elimination of children with disabilities at birth.

22.It would also be interesting to know what measures had been taken to promote the rights of child refugees and minority children and what was the situation of children of detained mothers. Lastly, it would be useful to have further details on young people’s access to information, which was a precondition for the exercise of freedom of expression.

23.Mr. Kotrane asked whether the Government was considering the adoption of a comprehensive children’s act to ensure children’s fundamental rights and whether the prohibition of capital punishment for minors meant that it could no longer be imposed on individuals convicted of crimes committed when they were minors or whether execution could be deferred until the individuals reached the age of majority.

24.Ms. Ortiz asked for clarification of the amendments to the Law on Registration of Citizens and of the measures taken to ensure that all children were registered at birth, including those born in prison or in detention camps. She would also appreciate information on measures taken to grant citizenship of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to children born abroad to parents one or both of who had citizenship of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with a view to preventing statelessness.

25.The Chairperson invited the delegation to provide a detailed description of the activities for dissemination of the Convention conducted during the period under consideration.

26.Mr. Ri Tcheul (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that some of the questions raised by Committee members were based on misconceptions and misinformation spread by elements hostile to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, rather than intended solely to promote children’s rights and well-being. He hoped that the Committee would not be influenced by such information and that the current meeting would provide an opportunity for useful and constructive dialogue.

27.The Chairperson assured the delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that the Committee would confine itself to its mandate and expected no more than a frank and constructive dialogue.

The meeting was suspended at 11.10 a.m. and resumed at 11.40 a.m.

28.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that the National Coordinating Committee for the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child had taken into account the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child following its consideration of his country’s second periodic report and had used them as a basis for the preparation of the third and fourth periodic reports.

29.Mr. Kim Myong Chol (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) explained that the National Coordinating Committee was chaired by Mr. Kang Yun Sok, Director-General of the Department of Legislation, and that its five Vice-Chairpersons were the Deputy Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister of Health, the First Secretary of the youth league, the Vice-Chairperson of the Women’s Union and the Deputy Director of the Central Statistics Bureau. The Secretary-General of the Committee was the Director of the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

30.The main function of the National Coordinating Committee — whose members were elected for a five-year term — was to develop measures to ensure children’s well-being and to protect their rights. It was also responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention and for effectively coordinating the activities of the ministries involved. Its tasks comprised drafting and amending legislation implementing the provisions of the Convention, as well as making recommendations on the implementation of the Convention.

31.It met in plenary session and at meetings of the Permanent Committee. The members of the Permanent Committee, the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairpersons met in between plenary sessions – which took place at least twice per year and brought together all the Committee members. In plenary, members discussed amendments to the statutes, considered the Committee’s main decisions and its recommendations, reviewed the work carried out during the year, discussed the issues to be addressed the following year, considered the draft report to be submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and discussed the nomination of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and members of the Coordinating Committee.

32.The Permanent Committee convened plenary sessions, adopted follow-up measures in the context of decisions and recommendations arising from the plenary sessions, conducted a quarterly review of the work carried out by the Committee and defined the action plan to be adopted for the following quarter. Decisions were taken by a show of hands and a quorum was reached when two thirds of the members were present.

33.The National Coordinating Committee had a secretariat responsible for drafting reports for plenary sessions, formulating action plans, organizing the sessions, and preparing documents and publications that promoted greater knowledge of the Convention.

34.The National Coordinating Committee had carefully discussed the points raised in the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child following its consideration of the second periodic report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in which it had been suggested that the Government establish a single governmental body for the purpose of monitoring and implementing the Convention. Having finally concluded that it would be wiser to enhance the role of the existing machinery, the National Coordinating Committee had therefore taken measures to strengthen the role and responsibilities of the ministries responsible for youth issues, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health. It had also organized workshops, seminars and training courses for its new members.

35.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) explained that the age of majority was 17 years, rather than 18 years as provided for in the Convention, because young people had traditionally been considered sufficiently physically and emotionally mature to be treated as adults from the age of 17, on completion of compulsory education. That also entitled them to vote and to stand for election.

36.The Chairperson said she could see no objection to the age of majority being set at 17 years, but noted that the priority for the Committee on the Rights of the Child was to establish whether young people were protected until the age of 18 and whether the provisions of the Convention were respected for all. She requested clarification in that regard.

37.Mr. Citarella wondered whether it was true that, in view of the specific features of the calendar used in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the age of a child might be calculated in different ways and, accordingly, whether a child aged 17 according to the Korean calendar would be only 16 years old according to the Gregorian calendar.

38.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that the minimum age of capital punishment had been raised to 18 years and that children were therefore protected until that age. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea used the Gregorian calendar, and a child was deemed to have reached the age of 1 when a whole year had elapsed since its birth.

39.Mr. Filali, noting that minors could not be sentenced to death, enquired whether a minor who had committed an offence before turning 18 could, on reaching the age of majority, be held responsible for acts committed at a younger age and possibly be sentenced to death.

40.The Chairperson asked whether the death penalty could be imposed on individuals who had committed a crime while still under age if they turned 18 during their trial.

41.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) replied that a minor could not be sentenced to death even if the acts committed were discovered when the individual was over 18 years old. The age determining criminal responsibility was the age at which the offence was committed.

42.The population of the country was classified into three categories – workers, peasants and intellectuals. The idea that the education received by children reflected their parents’ social background was a misconception. Compulsory education lasted 11 years and was free of charge, and university entrance was based on school performance rather than on parents’ social status, profession or wealth.

43.Ms. Smith (Country Rapporteur) queried the purpose of such classification and asked in what context it was used. She also wondered whether all children had access to schools providing the same quality of education and whether all had equal chances of access to university, or whether there were schools for children of the elite.

44.Mr. Zermatten asked whether that classification had an impact on children’s access to health care and whether a child, on growing up, could belong to a different category from that of its parents.

45.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) explained that admission to university was based, first, on young people’s preferences and, second, on their school performance. Children did not suffer discrimination based on their category within the population. Moreover, since the country’s population was homogeneous, there were no problems regarding minorities.

46.Mr. Krappmann (Country Rapporteur) recalled that, during its consideration of the State party’s second periodic report, the Committee had expressed concern that girls and boys did not follow the same school curricula and had recommended to the State party that they be harmonized. He wished to know whether that had been done.

47.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that school curricula had been harmonized and were now the same for both girls and boys.

48.The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was a developing country that had not yet compiled all the necessary indicators for data collection. The authorities intended to make progress in that area with assistance from UNICEF and the Committee.

49.During the period under consideration, spending on education had accounted for 8 per cent of the State budget and public health expenditure had constituted 6.5 per cent of the budget. Inhabitants of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea received a salary determined by the quality and quantity of work performed. In addition to salary, benefits were provided, funded under a budget line entitled “Expenditure on the welfare of people”. Expenditure on science, education, culture, public health, sports, social security and social insurance accounted for approximately 40 per cent of the total State budget. Extra-curricular facilities such as libraries and even children’s palaces were funded separately. The funds allocated to education were used solely to pay teachers’ salaries and to finance the running of schools. The building and repair of schools were funded under a budget line entitled “Building fund”. Factories and farms with kindergartens and nurseries financed the fund.

50.Notwithstanding the economic difficulties faced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, expenditure on education and health had increased by 104 per cent during the period under consideration.

51.A bill on the protection of children’s rights was currently being drafted by the relevant ministries.

52.The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had established a complaints mechanism that operated at both the central and local levels. There was a complaints department within the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and in all the ministries, public prosecutor’s offices and people’s security organs. In organizations without such a department, an official was designated to receive and deal with complaints. Complaints could be made directly to the individuals responsible for receiving them or be placed in a box intended for that purpose, which was always accessible to children. They were subsequently entered in the complaints register, with an indication of the date of the complaint and the name of the complainant. Children aged under 14 years could lodge their complaints in person or through their legal guardian. Officials dealing with complaints met the complainants and investigated the allegations. A commission met once a month to consider complaints.

53.Ms. Smith (Country Rapporteur) asked whether boxes for the reception of complaints were available throughout the country or only in the capital – in which case, what complaints mechanism was provided for in the provinces?

54.Mr. Parfitt asked whether the Government planned to establish an independent complaints mechanism, so that complaints were not considered by officials of the bodies concerned.

55.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea preferred to maintain the existing mechanism, which enabled complaints to be dealt with rapidly while taking into account the best interests of the child.

56.Mr. Zermatten enquired about the number and type of complaints made against officials for violations of children’s rights.

57.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that when the complaints department of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, for instance, received complaints that did not concern it, it forwarded them to the complaints department of the relevant body. Complaints could be lodged in cases of infringement of the rights and interests of an individual or when officials did not perform their duties properly. The total number of complaints lodged to date was unknown.

58.Mr. Filali said he would like to know how urgent complaints were dealt with if the complaints commission met only once a month.

59.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) explained that, if complainants required their complaint to be considered immediately, they could contact the official dealing with complaints directly. For example, if criminal proceedings were under way and a complaint was lodged regarding their conduct, the proceedings were suspended and appropriate measures taken.

60.Mr. Kotrane asked whether children had access to a judge or to an independent ombudsman for children.

61.The Chairperson said she wondered to whom complaints could be addressed by, for instance, pupils whose teacher had asked them to look after his child while he taught.

62.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) replied that the pupil could complain to the school authorities. There were teachers’ unions responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention, inter alia. The official responsible for receiving complaints registered the complaint and conducted an investigation, consulted the child concerned and took appropriate measures.

63.Ms. Herczog asked how many complaints by children had been upheld and in how many cases teachers’ unions or school authorities had not ruled in favour of the child and, in such cases, what the consequences were.

64.The Chairperson enquired what happened if a child lodged a complaint against a teacher who denied the allegations or gave a different version of the facts.

65.Mr. Kang Yun Sok (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that, if parties to proceedings had differing accounts of the facts, it was for the trial judge to establish the truth at the hearing, by questioning each party.

66.Ms. Smith (Country Rapporteur) asked whether parents who had difficulties performing their parental duties received State assistance to prevent their children from being placed in institutions, how the State party ensured that placement was used only as a last resort, and whether the increase in the number of kindergartens and nurseries meant that more children now lived with their families.

67.Further information would nevertheless be welcome on the conditions that prevailed in institutions, in which children — mainly orphans — were allegedly undernourished, lacked access to health care and suffered, in many cases, from stunted growth. Did the institutions have qualified nurses?

68.In addition, it would be interesting to know how teaching was organized within the institutions, whether their teachers were qualified and whether children who left the institutions, particularly girls, received financial support or some other form of assistance to prevent them from becoming homeless.

69.It would also be instructive to know whether children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had access to leisure and recreational activities. Did they have access to children’s libraries and books, and to playgrounds or sports fields or clubs in the various provinces of the country? Lastly, what use was made of the funds allocated by the State to sports?

70.Mr. Krappmann (Country Rapporteur) asked why the excellent statistics recorded by the State party in the education sector — enrolment rates of 100 per cent in both primary and secondary education, for girls and boys alike, and also a graduation rate of 100 per cent after 10 years of school — were not published by UNESCO and UNICEF.

71.Despite those excellent results, the State party admitted the existence of attendance problems in some regions, where the school attendance rate was reportedly some 80 per cent. That situation was clearly due to economic hardship, malnutrition or child labour. The Committee would like to know what measures the State party had taken to encourage school attendance, and how it distinguished between absenteeism and dropping out. The Committee also wished to know whether the State party realized the consequences for quality education of children’s work in the fields — sometimes very physically demanding and lasting several weeks — and of the preparations for national festivities.

72.Further information would also be welcome on absenteeism among teachers, who were also obliged to perform other work because of economic hardships.

73.Noting from paragraph 217 of the report that the goals established by the State party with a view to enhancing the quality of education involved, in particular, the teaching of sciences and information technology, he enquired whether the State party was also endeavouring to introduce active learning methods.

74.Regarding the statement in paragraph 42 of the report that it had been decided to include teaching of the provisions of the Convention in subjects like “Socialist Morality”, he pointed out that respect for the rights of the child and other basic rights was not a matter of morality but of obligations assumed by the State party under the various international instruments to which it had acceded, including the Convention.

75.It would be interesting to know what action the State party was taking to achieve the aims of education as set out in article 29 of the Convention, and particularly to ensure that the principles of understanding, friendship among peoples and peace were instilled into children.

76.According to reliable sources, children whose parents had expressed deviant political opinions or had fled to China were discriminated against. He would like the delegation to provide further information on that matter.

77.Lastly, he requested clarification of the educational measures referred to in paragraphs 53 ff. of the report.

78.Mr. Filali asked whether or not a minor under the age of 17 who committed a murder automatically benefited from mitigating circumstances. Noting from paragraph 53 of the report that educational measures were applied when the offence was committed by a person above 14 and under 17 years of age, he asked what happened in the case of children in the 17–18 year age group, and in particular whether they were subjected to the penalties applicable to adults. He would also like further information on pretrial detention for minors in the different age groups. Lastly, he wished to know whether children aged 17 and above could be sentenced to forced labour under the new Criminal Law.

79.Ms. Aidoo asked whether, pursuant to the recommendation made by the Committee following its consideration of the second periodic report, the State party had undertaken a comprehensive study on the nature and extent of adolescent health problems, such as early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases — including HIV/AIDS — and on access by girls to health and nutrition services. If not, would the State party consider requesting technical assistance — for instance, from UNICEF — for that purpose? The delegation might also indicate whether the Reproductive Health Strategy for 2006–2010 contained a section on adolescent health.

80.In view of society’s disapproval of single mothers and the manifestly high number of clandestine abortions in the State party, she would like to know what the Government was doing to prevent early pregnancy and non-medicalized abortions, which endangered the health and life of adolescent girls. Did adolescents, both boys and girls, have access to reproductive health education, whether at school or outside, and to confidential services, both in towns and in rural areas? Were there awareness-raising campaigns for the general public and adolescents in particular?

81.Noting from paragraph 162 of the report that HIV/AIDS had not reached the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and that the competent sanitation and anti-epidemic institutions were working to the best of their abilities so that not a single HIV/AIDS carrier could enter the country, she wondered how those institutions managed to achieve that aim, given that AIDS existed in neighbouring countries such as China. Had the State party established confidential HIV counselling and screening services at the local level, and what had been the results of the Strategy for Prevention of AIDS, 2002–2007?

82.Referring to paragraphs 244 and 245 of the report, mentioning laws prohibiting sexual exploitation and abuse and the penalties incurred by persons committing such acts, she asked whether the State party, which claimed to be free of such practices, had conducted studies to assess the nature and extent of those phenomena in its territory and had developed overall policies and strategies to protect children of all ages from them.

83.The delegation might also indicate what was the age of sexual consent, whether trafficking in children for sexual abuse and prostitution existed and whether there were laws prohibiting such practices, what psychosocial services had been established to care for possible victims, and whether a special telephone line had been set up for such victims. Was the State party planning to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography?

84.Despite the legislation adopted to combat drug, tobacco and alcohol consumption, some secondary-school pupils drank and smoked. She asked the delegation to provide explanations on that subject. Lastly, according to some reports, children were used for opium poppy growing and harvesting in State farms and hence had access to, and were in danger of becoming dependent on, opium. She asked the delegation to indicate whether there was an inspection system to prevent such farms from employing children or, if they did, to remove children from such employment and place them in a reintegration programme.

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.