COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Initial reports of States parties due in 1994
[12 September 2003]
Introduction 1 – 12 3
I. General measures of application 13 – 37 5
II. Definition of the child 38 – 41 10
III. General principles 42 – 65 10
IV. Civil rights and freedoms 66 – 97 14
V. Family environment and alternative care 98 – 118 19
VI. Basic health and welfare 119 – 195 22
VII. Education, leisure and cultural activities 196 – 227 33
VIII. Special protection measures 228 – 238 37
IX. Conclusions and recommendations 239 – 268 39
I. Documents consulted 42
II. List of persons interviewed 45
III. List of abbreviations 48
1. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a legal instrument which came into being as a result of a global concern to ensure the survival, well-being and development of children and to secure their right to participate in social life. The Convention also came into being because, throughout the last century, children were the witnesses and passive victims of a world dominated by armed conflicts, social injustice, ecosystem destruction, and natural disasters.
2. Its history goes back to 1924 when the then League of Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, on the basis of which the United Nations adopted in 1959 the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child. During the celebration of the International Year of the Child in 1979 the United Nations decided to initiate the process of drafting the Convention, which entered into force in 1990 and was ratified by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in 1992.
Under article 44 of the Convention States parties undertake to submit to the Committee on the Rights of the Child reports on the measures they have taken which give effect to the rights accorded to children in the Convention and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights within two years from their ratification of the Convention and thereafter every five years.
4. Pursuant to its commitment under the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted at the World Summit for Children in New York in 1990, the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea produced in 1992 the National Plan of Action for Children and Women (PNA) for the period 1992-2000 and created in 1997 the National Children’s Rights Committee (CNDN).
5. Eight years after signing and ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child without reservations the Republic of Equatorial Guinea had not submitted any reports under article 44. The delay in preparing the present report, six years after the time limit, was due to various reasons, all of them beyond the Government’s control.
6. Between 1992, when Equatorial Guinea ratified the Convention, and today, the country has undergone enormous political, economic and cultural changes, such as the establishment of a multi-party system and the holding of a National Economic Conference. The economic changes resulting from the exploitation of hydrocarbons are having a strong impact on the improvement of the standard of living of all levels of the population.
7. This first report, produced by the CNDN with UNICEF support, describes in detail the situation of children’s rights in Equatorial Guinea.
8. In addition to compliance with the article 44 commitment, this report has the following objectives:
(a) To determine the degree of implementation of the Convention in Equatorial Guinea with respect both to the effective implementation of existing legislation and sectoral policies and to the design of new laws and strategies to improve the application of the Convention in the country;
(b) To help to encourage a collective awareness of the rights of the child;
(c) To encourage new thinking about the obligations resulting from the ratification of the Convention by Equatorial Guinea, with corresponding renewal of its commitment; and
(d) To provide guidance for future action by establishing, in terms of legislation and sectoral policies, concrete proposals and recommendations which will make it possible, once the overall situation is known, to improve the Convention’s application in the country.
9. This report is divided into three parts, in accordance with the presentation guidelines issued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The first part describes general aspects of the country’s situation. The second analyses, by groups of rights, the degree of implementation of the Convention in Equatorial Guinea, examining the current legislation and its application and the national plans designed and carried out within the framework of sectoral policies relating to children’s rights. And the third and last part contains the report’s conclusions and recommendations in the light of the achievements made and the difficulties observed.
10. The realities of Equatorial Guinea’s society suggest that this report should be drafted without reference to problems and practices which, owing to the country’s particular characteristics, do not exist or have minimal impact there. This applies to the topics referred to in chapter VIII: (a) children in situations of emergency (such as refugee children and children in armed conflicts); (b) children deprived of liberty (there are no children in the country’s prisons); and (c) the sexual exploitation of children. In addition, there have been no cases of child suicide and there are no traditional harmful practices such as genital mutilation.
11. At the time of its ratification of the Convention in 1992 Equatorial Guinea found itself deep in an economic crisis which demanded great sacrifices, adjustments and cuts in public spending. Since 1997, thanks to the national economic growth, a number of measures have been introduced which, in conjunction with the efforts already made with bilateral and multilateral support, are helping to protect the rights of the child contained in the Convention.
General information about the country appears in the core document.
I. GENERAL MEASURES OF APPLICATION
A. Scope of the measures
¨ Article 4: States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international cooperation
13. The country’s democratization process has seen the promulgation of laws and provisions consistent with the spirit of the Convention; attention may be drawn in this connection to the 1990 Labour Act, the 1992 Constitution (Fundamental Law), and the 1997 Press, Publications and Audiovisual Media Act. Since ratifying the Convention on 15 June 1992 the Government has promulgated the following laws: the 1995 Education Act, the 1996 Family Planning Act, the 1996 decree creating the Central Civil Registry of Testamentary Acts and the Registry of Customary Civil Marriages, and the 1997 decree creating the National Children’s Rights Committee (CNDN).
14. According to article 22 of the Constitution, “the State shall protect the human person from the moment of conception and shall protect children so that they may develop normally and with security of moral, mental and physical integrity and home life”. The Constitution also guarantees the integrated development of the person. It recognizes the equality of rights of all persons and prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race, belief or ethnic group; article 24 states that “the State shall promote responsible parenthood and appropriate education for the development of the family”.
15. Article 1 of the Labour Act regulates child labour, stating inter alia :
(a) The minimum age for admission to employment which by its nature or owing to the conditions under which it is performed may place at risk the health, safety or morals of children shall be 16 years. In any event, there shall be prior consultation of workers’ occupational organizations, where they exist, and the labour authorities shall ensure that sufficient guarantees of the protection of children are adopted and that, before they are admitted to employment, children receive suitable and specific vocational instruction in the branch of activity in question. The labour authorities may in addition raise to 18 years the minimum age for admission to some jobs of this kind provided that such action does not infringe the principle of equality of work opportunities;
(b) Children may not enter into labour contracts without the authorization of their father or mother or a person legally responsible for them;
(c) An employer who recruits children who are below the minimum age for admission to employment or are not legally authorized to perform the work in question shall, in any event, pay them the legal wage and provide the other benefits stipulated by law, without prejudice to any legal action which may be taken against him.
16. Article 18 of the Press, Publications and Audiovisual Media Act states that “a special statute shall regulate the printing, issuance and distribution of publications which by their nature or style of presentation appear to be aimed principally at children and adolescents”.
17. Article 3 of the Education Act stipulates that education “shall be compulsory, free and guaranteed at the primary level”.
18.The Family Planning Act provides broad protection for children and mothers; article 2 states the following objectives:
(a) To reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality;
(b) To improve life-expectancy at birth;
(c) To ensure the survival and development of children;
(d) To encourage breast-feeding for at least six months;
(e) To prevent births constituting a high risk to the health of the mother, subject to prior medical explanation in the presence of the father.
19. The CNDN was established by Presidential Decree No. 100/1997 of 30 September as a national organizational platform for directing, coordinating and promoting both internal and external initiatives for the benefit of children in order to implement in the country the recommendations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The CNDN, chaired by the First Lady of the Nation, operates under the Ministry of Education and Science (MINEDUC). The following governmental departments have responsibilities in the areas covered by the Convention: MINEDUC, the Ministry for Social Affairs and the Status of Women (MINASCOM), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. According to article 2 of the Decree, the CNDN has the following functions:
(a) To provide reports in due form and to ensure that the best interests of the child are always taken into account in all measures affecting children taken by public or private institutions, administrative authorities or legislative organs;
(b) To coordinate activities so as to ensure that all public and private institutions work to develop children’s personalities, attitudes and mental capacities, as well as their respect for their parents, their own cultural identity and language, the national values of Equatorial Guinea and of other civilizations, and the natural environment in which they live;
(c) To introduce measures to ensure that children lead responsible lives in a free society in a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, gender equality, and friendship among all human beings and national and foreign ethnic groups, with a view to enhancing harmonious social awareness in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea;
(d) To fight to protect children against economic exploitation and prevent them from performing any kind of work which may endanger or impede their intellectual growth or their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development;
(e) To collaborate with public and private institutions in the adoption and implementation of legislative and administrative measures to protect children against the illicit use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and against any form of sexual exploitation or abuse;
(f) To ensure that no child is subjected to torture or cruel treatment or deprived of his or her liberty, except in the cases prescribed by law, and to ensure in such cases that the dignity of the human person is respected;
(g) To encourage measures to ensure that all public and private institutions and the legal and education systems promote the physical and psychological recovery and the social reintegration of all children victims of any form of neglect, exploitation or abuse, or torture or other kinds of treatment inconsistent with their age;
(h) To ensure that the public authorities take suitable measures to secure the establishment of specific laws, procedures and institutions for children in conflict with the law or accused of having infringed some other legal provision, with a view to furnishing for such children guidance and counselling services, education and vocational training programmes, and other facilities to ensure their recovery and well-being;
( i ) To coordinate with international institutions and agencies measures to benefit children in Equatorial Guinea through the legal channels already established by the Government;
(j) To propose to the Government and the international agencies measures for the benefit of children and to produce a biennial report on the progress made in the protection of children in Equatorial Guinea, together with studies and other reports on child development.
20. Provincial and district committees are planned. The village councils have health and development committees, which were created in 1990 and are responsible for the communal management of health services.
21. The Spanish Civil Code, which is in force in Equatorial Guinea on a subsidiary basis, also provides broad protection for children in relation to their families.
22. The Civil Registration Act establishes inter alia the obligation to register births.
23. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified by the country’s Parliament on 15 June 1992; the Convention thus became part of the national legal order and consequently acquired the status of a law.
The National Plan of Action for Children and Women (PNA) for 1992-2000, adopted by the Government in 1992, has the following goals:
(a)To secure a marked improvement in the well-being of infants, pregnant women, mothers, children and young people in the fields of health, education, sanitation, nutrition, and child development and protection;
(b) To expand the cover and improve the quality of the basic services for children and women;
(c) To build up the State’s capacity to develop policies, programmes and services for children and women;
(d) To enhance the capacity of the people and of grass-roots organizations to programme and deliver services for mothers and children.
25. A national forum on the implementation of the Convention in Equatorial Guinea was held in 1997 for the purposes of applying and following up the PNA recommendations.
26. Equatorial Guinea’s current legislation protects the rights of the child as a whole. The national forum on the implementation of the Convention held in November 1996 recommended to the Government, amongst other things, that it should publicize the Convention, prepare the report on its implementation, create the CNDN, and bring national legislation into line with the Convention. The study “Analysis of school attendance by girls in Equatorial Guinea” was produced in that same year. The establishment of the CNDN in 1997 marked not only a major step forward in the implementation of the Convention in Equatorial Guinea but also compliance with the national forum’s recommendations.
27. In 1998 the Government and UNICEF approved a framework plan of operations for 1999-2003, which envisaged inter alia the implementation of two projects: “Social statistics” and “Advocacy of the rights of children and women”. Both these projects are being carried out as means of helping to solve the problem of the lack of social statistics and conducting the necessary advocacy with the decision-making bodies, as well as making the various population groups more aware of the situation of children and their rights, the specific problems of women, and the struggle for equality of opportunities and rights for girls.
28. There is growing interest in the Convention among members of the Chamber of Representatives of the People, as can be seen from the appeals made to the members of the Government concerning aspects of the rights of the child, especially in relation to education and health.
29. All of this formed the background for the approval of the ratification of the 1999 ILO Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
30.Society in general is insufficiently aware of the rights of the child. The prevailing traditional outlook gives greater weight to respect for the rights of boys than of girls.
31. There are still no explicit budgetary allocations for the CNDN; this is impeding the work of this important body, which is responsible for coordinating the activities of the various governmental departments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to apply the Convention in Equatorial Guinea.
32. There is also the problem of the complexity of the administrative procedures for using the budgetary funds allocated to the ministries.
B. Publicizing the Convention
¨ Article 42: States Parties undertake to make the principles and procedures of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike.
33. A large part of the country’s population is unaware of the Convention’s existence. This ignorance extends to children themselves, although they have been informed about their rights.
34. The Convention has not been translated into the vernacular languages - for one reason because these languages are not written. The campaigns to publicize the Convention are carried out at commemorative events and by several other means, such as radio and television programmes. The education plans of MINEDUC envisage the possibility of introducing several elements of the Convention over the coming years.
35. Numerous campaigns have been conducted through the mass media to make the people more aware of the rights of the child. These campaigns have been stepped up in recent years through the use of radio and television programmes. At present the radio and television services broadcast, with UNICEF assistance, several programmes in which the main players are children and adolescents, who discuss with a specialist the different problems affecting children (health, schooling, etc.).
36. There are NGOs, such as the Committee for Support of the Child in Equatorial Guinea (CANIGE), the Equatorial Guinea Family Welfare Association (ABIFAGE) and the Red Cross of Equatorial Guinea working in several of the areas covered by the Convention, and they have taken part in campaigns to publicize the Convention. Children are playing an ever increasing role in campaigns to publicize and promote the Convention and have participated in several seminars.
37.Despite the efforts made by the Government in collaboration with international agencies, society’s awareness of the Convention remains at a low level. Knowledge of the Convention is limited, and a cultural tradition which has its own perception of the rights of boys and girls prevents them from enjoying fully the rights recognized by the Convention.
II. DEFINITION OF THE CHILD
¨ Article 1: For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
38.The Civil Code of Equatorial Guinea provides that the age of majority is attained at the age of 18 years, which is consistent with the Convention. It provides further that emancipated children may receive legal advice without the consent of their parents. The Health Act does not state a minimum age for receiving medical advice or treatment or undergoing surgical intervention without parental authorization. The Family Planning Act provides that sterilization of married women by surgical means requires the mandatory consent of the husband , or of the parents or guardians in the case of single girls aged under 18.
39. The Education Act stipulates 12 years as the minimum age for terminating compulsory school attendance.
40. Article 6 of the Elections Act stipulates 18 years as the age of acquisition of the right to vote.
41. The national legal order is a very important starting and reference point for the purposes of protection of children’s rights. It has been noted that the specific legal provisions on this matter are consistent with those of the Convention.
III. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
¨ Article 2.1: States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parents’ or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
42. Article 13 (c) of the Constitution, as well as other legal provisions in force in Equatorial Guinea, provides for the equality of all persons without any discrimination on the grounds of sex, ethnic or social origin, tribe, race, religion or political ideology.
43. The country’s peaceful nature offers no nurture to ethnic conflicts.
44.MINEDUC and MINASCOM initiated in 1996, in conjunction with UNICEF, some studies on “School attendance by girls”, which provided the basis for the start-up in 1998 of an awareness campaign designed to help to reduce the disparities between boys and girls in respect of school attendance.
45. With the help of bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies MINASCOM has been carrying out intensive awareness-raising activities (seminars, conferences, talks, press releases, special days) in order to make society realize the need for equality of rights between males and females. In addition, and as a follow-up to the agreements reached at the Fourth World Conference on Women, this Ministry, with technical support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF, held two seminars on gender, population and development with a view to creating a favourable climate for the integration of the gender perspective as a development tool.
46. Several activities have been carried out to combat inequality and promote the integration of women in the society of Equatorial Society. There now exists a national policy document on the advancement of women, which is awaiting approval following its endorsement at a seminar/workshop held in Mongomo from 6 to 10 November 2000.
47. The population is becoming more aware of the issue of gender equality; this represents a considerable achievement. In fact, girls in rural areas have been freed from many of the tasks which they used to perform and which placed them on an unequal footing with boys, such as for example looking after their younger siblings. The informal pre-school programme has played an important role in this.
48. The persistence of traditional habits remains an obstacle in the struggle to eliminate inequality between boys and girls.
49. For various reasons the Government’s efforts are not yet sufficient to meet the education and survival needs of children from poor families.
B. The best interests of the child
¨ Article 3.1: In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
50.The spirit of the Constitution and the other legal provisions adopted to date take account of the best interests of the child.
51. In its development plans the Government gives priority to the housing problem, with a view to providing better living conditions for families and children. The corresponding programme is being gradually implemented.
52.In 1997 the Government convened in Bata the first National Economic Conference, which adopted the medium-term economic strategy. At the Conference the Government decided to allocate 40 % of public expenditure to the social sector, 15 % to education and science, 10 % to health and social welfare, four per cent to social affairs and the status of women, three per cent to youth and sports, three per cent to culture, three per cent to mass communication media, two per cent to the labour sector and one per cent to the population sector.
53. The principle of the best interests of the child has not been taken sufficiently into account in policy design and programme implementation or, more importantly, in the actual spending of the resources allocated to the social sector.
54. Some of the country’s social groups still lack a clear perception of the scope and implications of this principle, which involves not only the State but also civil society and the family. For the family just as much as for the State, children’s needs are important but not a priority and are still regarded as needs and not as essential rights.
C. Right to life, survival and development. Standard of living
¨ Article 6.1: States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
¨ Article 6.2: States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
¨ Article 27.1 States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
¨ Article 27.3: States Parties shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right.
55. Articles 13 and 22 of the Constitution guarantee the right to life and the development and protection of all of persons, in particular children. A broad legal framework for the attainment of these purposes has been established on this constitutional basis.
56. Under the national anti-poverty programme there has existed since 1997 a poverty-alleviation project financed by the Government and the African Development Fund. The aim of this project is to improve the standard of living of the most vulnerable population groups (women, unemployed young people, small farmers, and former civil servants affected by the structural adjustment programme) by granting loans to finance micro-projects.
57. Project EQG/97/001 has been established in the Ministry of the Interior and Local Corporations; this is a local development programme funded by the Government and UNDP. It has three objectives: to promote local economic and social development; to encourage a dialogue on decentralization; and to strengthen civil society by promoting the people’s participation in development.
58. Church organizations and other NGOs have been making efforts to improve the living standards of the country’s population by building schools and health centres.
59. There is still no specific legal system for children.
D. Respect for children’s opinions and freedom of expression
¨ Article 12.1: States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child.
¨ Article 13.1: The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.
60. Article 13 (b) of the Constitution guarantees all persons the right freely to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions. The Press, Publications and Audiovisual Media Act, which regulates the development of the country’s communication media, refers explicitly to children, stating in article 18 that a special statute shall regulate the printing, publication and distribution of publications which, by their nature and style of presentation, appear to be aimed principally at children and adolescents.
61.There is a concern to create and develop spaces for free expression by children. At present the State television service broadcasts, with UNICEF support, several programmes for children as part of the promotion of the Convention.
62. A number of teaching establishments publish student reviews to encourage freedom of expression in the school context.
63. The first national forum on the implementation of the Convention, convened by the Government in 1996, was attended by children, who stated their views, worries, complaints and comments. There have also been meetings between children and the First Lady of the Nation and Chairman of CANIGE, which were also attended by Government ministers. A “Children’s Parliament” was held in 1996 in the form of a special meeting of the Parliament with the participation of children.
64. It is a family tradition that all decisions are taken by the father, mother and/or other family members, as the case may be, with any older male children being allowed to state their views. Children do not take part in the talks and/or debates among the adults.
65. There has been no substantial change in this situation to date: as before, little attention is paid to the views of children, either in the family or in the adoption of public policies.
IV. CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
A. Name and nationality
¨ Article 7.1: The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
¨ Article 7.2: States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national laws and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field.
66. Articles 17 and 328 of the Spanish Civil Code, which is in force on a subsidiary basis in Equatorial Guinea, and the Civil Registration Act state expressly the right of the child to be entered in the Civil Register. It is stipulated that there is no need to present a new-born child to the official responsible for registration in order to have the birth recorded; a declaration by the person required to declare the birth is sufficient.
67. Article 109 of this Code provides that a child’s names shall be determined by its parentage, in accordance with the provisions of the Act. In order to prevent cases of stateless children, it also guarantees nationality of Equatorial Guinea to babies whose parentage is uncertain or whose parents have no nationality or when the legislation to which the parents are subject does not accord the baby a nationality..
68. Act No. 8/1990, which deals with nationality, also guarantees this right to children born in the territory of Equatorial Guinea, except in the case of children of foreigners who are in the country in the service of their Government. It also guarantees nationality of Equatorial Guinea to children born abroad to a father or mother who is a national of Equatorial Guinea.
69. In order to give practical effect to the Act’s provisions the Government decided to implement, in 1990, project EQU/90PO2 on civil registration. The most relevant aspects of the Act included inter alia the registration of births, the training of Civil Registry personnel, and the conduct of a country-wide awareness campaign to promote the registration of children; this has helped to increase the rate of registration of new births.
70. In 1996, Presidential Decree No. 7/1996 established the Central Civil Registry, in the Ministry of Justice and Worship, as the agency for collating the registrations effected in all the country’s registry offices.
71. The practice of broadcasting promotional spots on radio and television in order to encourage the registration of births has declined. Many children, especially in rural areas, are still not being registered. The Civil Registration Act penalizes persons who allow 30 days to pass without registering the birth of their child.
72. A system of affiliation adapted to the country’s different cultures has not been introduced. As a result, first names and surnames are still being assigned as the family sees fit.
B. Preservation of identity
¨ Article 8.1: States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity.
73. In 1983 the President of the Republic, in a solemn ceremony, proclaimed 4 June “Cultural Revolution Day” and invited all the country’s intellectuals and technical and professional personnel to become involved in the process of recovery and reappraisal of the national culture, in order to improve the assimilation and development of modern technology. In the following year the Government convened in Bata the first international Hispano-African cultural congress with a view to adopting strategies for the reappraisal of indigenous culture and the promotion of its enrichment, including the incorporation of acceptable elements of other cultures.
74. The Government has created the important role played by culture in the consolidation and preservation of personal identity. There is a Department of Culture as well as other institutions responsible inter alia for promoting the country’s various cultures while respecting its ethno-cultural diversity.
75. Furthermore, one of the purposes of the Education Act (art. 2) is to encourage the creation and development of national self-awareness and reassert the country’s cultural identity.
76. The Government is very concerned to enhance the country’s cultural values and safeguard its cultural diversity. The Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture has an office of Ibero -American culture, which is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Executive in cultural matters.
77. The national dance company CEIBA was founded in 1991 under the auspices of this Ministry; it develops and promotes all the country’s dances. The major workshops for promoting the arts, in which many children receive artistic training on their way to becoming good professionals, offer a further means of promoting cultural identity.
78. Despite the Government’s efforts in this field, there is to some extent a crisis of values among young people, who seem more inclined to follow models and adopt symbols from other cultures.
C. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
¨ Article 14.1: States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
79.Equatorial Guinea has an extensive legal framework protecting this right. Article 13 (b) of the Constitution guarantees all persons the free expression of their thoughts, and article 13 (f) the exercise of freedom of religion. In addition, article 2 (c) of Act No. 4/1991, on exercise of the freedom of religion, provides that emancipated children shall have the right to choose their religion and religious and moral education.
80. Equatorial Guinea has many religions, but no one is persecuted for religious reasons and there are no conflicts of a religious nature. The promulgation in 1991 of the Act mentioned above legalized this situation.
81. The new Education Act covers such important matters as the need to aim the training given in primary school at the acquisition and development of the exercise of the capacity to imagine, observe and think; it also addresses other matters such as the possibility of pupils’ opting for courses in the religion to which they belong.
D. Freedom of association and peaceful assembly
¨ Article 15.1: States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly
82. National legislation guarantees everybody the rights to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. Attention may be drawn in this connection to article 13 (k) of the Constitution, the Associations Act, the Non-Governmental Organizations Act, the Trade Unions Act, and the Meetings and Demonstrations Act, all of which provide for the exercise of these rights.
83. The established legal framework and the democratization process have brought into existence associations and NGOs concerned exclusively with children.
84. Such associations and NGOs remain very small in number in relation to the country’s child population.
E. Protection of privacy
¨ Article 16.1: No child shall be subject to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.
85. Article 13 (a) of the Constitution protects people’s privacy and safeguards their dignity, honour and good reputation, the inviolability of the home, and the confidentiality of communications.
86. The first step taken was to provide constitutional protection of the privacy of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea.
87. Article 134 (e) of the Education Act provides for the legal protection of education in order to ensure that it may be conducted normally at all times and that the assessment of educational performance is entirely objective.
F. Access to relevant information
¨ Article 17: States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health.
88. The lack of newspapers means that people have little choice when it comes to receiving written information. On top of this there is the lack of libraries adequately equipped to create and encourage the reading habit. In this context, the media most commonly available to both adults and children are the audiovisual ones. Furthermore, the information offered by radio and television is biased against the child audience, bearing in mind that children and adolescents constitute a majority of the population.
89. The country has several newspapers and magazines appearing on a regular basis; this means that the national press is to some extent diversified.
90. In addition, there are seven radio stations (five State and two private) and two television stations (one State and one private) with three studios. All of this helps to augment the information available to children.
91. Since 1996 the Government, supported by UNFPA, has been implementing project IEC/Population, the aim of which is to put out awareness-raising and information programmes on population, health, education, women, children, etc.
92. The coverage of the mass media is clearly still insufficient. Radio reaches the whole population, but television is not received in the country’s interior, and the existing press is read mainly in Malabo and Bata.
G. Right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment
¨ Article 37: States Parties shall ensure that: (a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.
93.Article 420 of the Spanish Civil Code, which is in force on a subsidiary basis in Equatorial Guinea, provides penalties for torture.
94. Society is increasing aware of the need to reduce the ill-treatment of children in the family. The use of beatings as a punishment in the country’s schools has actually been eliminated. State television has been building up the people’s awareness in this area by reporting cases of the ill-treatment of children.
95. MINASCOM has initiated systematic awareness-raising campaigns designed to reduce violence against children and women in the family.
96. The last paragraph of article 420 of the Spanish Civil Code, mentioned above, provides sanctions for harm done by parents to children when exceeding the requirements of the children’s correction.
97. Society still regards striking children as a necessary and effective means of correction in the home.
V. FAMILY ENVIRONMENT AND ALTERNATIVE CARE
A. Assistance and guidance of parents, and parental responsibilities
¨ Article 5: States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents in providing appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of his or her rights.
¨ Article 18.1: States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child.
¨ Article 18.2: States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents in the performance of their responsibilities.
98. Article 21 of the Constitution provides that the State shall protect the family as the fundamental unit of society and guarantee it the moral, economic and cultural conditions to facilitate the attainment of its objectives. Article 24 goes on to stipulate that the State shall advocate responsible parenthood and appropriate education in the interests of the family.
99. Generally speaking, the country’s cultural context does not provide for any shared responsibilities for the care of children but rather for distribution of responsibilities. Within the still prevailing patriarchal system, many of the responsibilities for the care of children fall on the mother.
100. Although national legislation does not provide expressly for State assistance to parents in the care and upbringing of their children, when it comes to health care the State supports families by offering free medical treatment in specified cases: paediatric medical consultations, antenatal and postnatal care, and vaccinations. Moreover, education is free at the primary level, providing some relief for poor families.
101. Increasing change is apparent in the ways in which men and women discharge their responsibilities for the care of children. The integration of women in the labour market and the need for general enhancement of women’s status have stimulated in fathers a greater awareness concerning the care of their children.
102. Apart from some isolated individual initiatives, the measures taken by the State with respect to the assumption of shared responsibility for the care of children have not yet had a due impact.
B. Parental separation
¨ Article 9.1: States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.
¨ Article 20.1: A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State.
103. In the event of parental separation or divorce, the Spanish Civil Code stipulates that measures for the care and education of the children shall be taken in the children’s interest, after hearing their views if they are capable of forming them and provided that they are at least 12 years of age. However, customary law accords parental authority to the father on the delivery of the dowry, according to the traditional practice of each ethnic group.
104. Current legislation allows separated or divorced persons to appeal against decisions of the local and district courts before the Supreme Court of Justice.
105. Customary law does not accord parental authority to the wife.
C. Family reunification
¨ Article 10.1: Applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner.
106. Article 13 (d) of the Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to move about within the country and to leave and enter it. Where children are concerned, applications are processed without discrimination of any kind.
107. All children who so wish may obtain permission from the national authorities to be reunited with their families, within or outside the country.
108. Foreign nationals resident in Equatorial Guinea also have the right to be reunited with their families, provided that they are staying in the country legally.
109.The right guaranteed by article 13 (d) of the Constitution remains subject to the requirement of obtaining a visa to leave the country.
D. Illicit transfer and non-return of children
¨ Article 11.1: States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
¨ Article 11.2: To this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or accession to existing agreements.
110. Equatorial Guinea has a legal procedure applicable to the departure of children from the country. This procedure requires the presence of both parents or the production of an authorization signed by them for the issuance of the corresponding visa.
111. This procedure is an effective means of preventing the illicit transfer children abroad.
E. Recovery of maintenance for the child from the parents
¨ Article 27.4: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance for the child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child.
112. The Spanish Civil Code, which is in force in Equatorial Guinea on a subsidiary basis, stipulates the obligation of compliance with the Convention where maintenance for the child is concerned (arts. 90, 97 and 103) and sets out the family responsibilities which each spouse must bear in the event of separation, divorce or annulment, taking into account their personal circumstances. Failure to comply is dealt with by the local and district courts, whose decisions may be appealed before the Supreme Court of Justice.
113. In the event of failure to comply with the obligation to pay maintenance for a child, the courts may take whatever discretionary measures may be necessary to secure compliance.
114. The ignorance of many citizens of the legislation establishing the obligation to pay maintenance for a child and of the mechanisms for enforcement of this legislation.
¨ Article 21: States Parties that permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
115. Adoption is regulated in articles 175 to 180 of the Spanish Civil Code. The competent authorities for authorizing the adoption of a child are the courts of first instance. The minimum age for becoming an adoptive parent is 25 years, and the minimum age-difference between an adoptive patent and the child to be adopted is 14 years. The adoption legislation is applied so as to guarantee compliance with the best interests of the child. The adoption process takes place under the supervision of the Government Procurator’s Office, from the initial stage to the authorization by the courts.
116. The existence of an administrative procedure for adoption, regulated by the Civil Code, allows adoptions to be made legally. In addition, the supervision of the procedure by the Government Procurator’s Office means that it is conducted under the control of the public authorities.
117.The lack of knowledge of and information about the procedures gives rise to illegal adoptions.
118. The Spanish Civil Code does not guarantee the right of a child to know his or her biological family and/or to return to it once the adoption has been completed.
VI. BASIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
A. Disabled children
¨ Article 23.1: States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life and a right to special care.
119. The problem of disabled persons is addressed by different parts of the Administration. Articles 56 and 57 of the Education Act provide for the establishment of special training centres for the disabled. The Labour Act provides for benefits for persons disabled as a result of industrial accidents.
120. The establishment in 1995 of the National Association of Disabled Persons (ASONAMI), an NGO working for the disabled, was a milestone in the development of grass-roots awareness of this population group. In conjunction with WHO, the Ministry of Health held an awareness-raising course for the various ministerial departments and health personnel on the situation of disabled persons in the country.
121. ASONAMI is carrying out a number of activities to help the disabled, giving special attention to disabled children. In addition, the Red Cross of Equatorial Guinea initiated in 1997 a census of deaf mutes on Bioko island in order to obtain statistics broken down for this disability group. Owing to the shortage of resources for carrying out the work, the census was not completed. Nevertheless, surveys carried out in Malabo and Baney revealed the worrying dimensions of this problem. At present Malabo has a school for deaf mutes run by the Red Cross, with a very large enrolment.
122. Society continues to show little awareness or recognition of the fact that disabled persons have rights and aptitudes which can and should be promoted in order to give them the possibility of taking an active part in the community and being self-sufficient.
B. Health and health services
¨ Article 6.1: States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
¨ Article 6.2: States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
¨ Article 24.1: States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of heath.
C. Health services
123. The country has extensive legislation guaranteeing the right of the child to life and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and the right to health services, without discrimination of any kind. Pursuant to article 22.2 of the Constitution, the State promotes and develops primary health care as a cornerstone of the implementation of the strategy for this sector. Furthermore, the preamble of Decree-Law No. 13/81 of 25 September, on the Bases of the Health Services, provides that the State has a duty to adopt measures to safeguard and improve the health of its citizens, being supported in this task by public corporations, para -State agencies and private bodies, subject to direction, inspection, supervision and discipline by the health agencies of the State.
124. The general rules contained in this same legal instrument make the following provisions:
(a) The State shall ensure through its competent agencies that the community makes a greater contribution to securing more effective management of health services;
(b) One of the State’s fundamental aims in the health sector is to furnish every citizen with access to qualified medical and pharmaceutical services;
(c) The Ministry of Health shall ensure that materials and methods of proven effectiveness are used for prevention, cure and rehabilitation.
125. In this connection Base IV, on maternal and child health and school health services, provides that the State’s functions with respect to the maternal and child health services include inter alia : (a) antenatal health and material medical assistance; (b) hygiene and protection during the school years; and (c) proposal of logistical social measures for children and mothers. In addition, Bases XV, XX, XXI and XXV deal respectively with drinking water and sanitation, information and education, medical and prophylactic treatment, and primary and secondary health centres and hospitals.
126. Since 3 August 1979 the Government, with support from bilateral and multilateral assistance, has been making big efforts in the national health sector by implementing programmes to combat such diseases as malaria, onchocerciasis and trypanosomiasis . Cuba has provided 140 doctors and China and Nigeria 20 doctors each, while France furnishes advice to MINISABS. At the multilateral level, the African Development Bank is supporting the construction and equipment of eight health centres, the European Union is financing a reproductive health programme with emphasis on combating sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, and the United Nations system has been implementing its Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). WHO is collaborating with MINISABS on several health programmes. UNICEF is supporting health measures for mothers and children, in particular vaccination programmes and drinking water projects. UNFPA is supporting a reproductive health subprogramme , and UNDP is active in environmental anti-poverty programmes.
127. The country has made major progress during the past decade with respect to the population’s health. Infant and maternal mortality have been declining steadily as a result of a considerable expansion of the coverage of the health and basic sanitation services (health posts and centres and hospitals, and drinking water and latrines, particularly in rural areas). With the country’s own 68 doctors, the 141 members of the Cuban team, and the doctors from Nigeria, China, Spain and other countries, the doctor/inhabitant ratio showed a great improvement to one doctor for 2,459 inhabitants in 2000. This indicator may improve further as a result of the recent establishment of a medical faculty in the National University. Moreover, some 60 % of the public health nursing staff were trained in the University School of Health in Bata, and others are currently receiving training.
128. All the MINISABS programmes include a health education component designed to provide the population with basic health knowledge.
129.The existence of areas which are difficult to reach owing to the poor state of the roads and areas which are reached by river or sea obstructs normal access to the MINISABS health services.
130. With no tradition of community cooperation, the people themselves remain passive with respect to the health tasks, and the health committees do not operate properly owing to this lack of awareness and of medical logistics for their support and inspection, such as vaccinations, restocking of health-post medicines, and supervision of the activities of the health workers.
131. The 10 % of the general State budget allocated to health by the National Economic Conference has not been disbursed to the sector.
D. Infant mortality rates
132. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is 111 per 1,000 (106 in urban and 114 in rural areas). By sex, infant mortality is commoner among boys than girls: 115 and 107 per 1,000; by place of residence, it is 62 per 1,000 in the towns, as against 71 per 1,000 in rural areas. The provinces most distant from the two big towns are also the worst affected. For example, in Wele-Nzás it is 121 per 1,000, and in Kie-Ntem 116 per 1,000. By region, Río Muni has a rate of 112 per 1,000, compared with 107 per 1,000 in the island region. Despite its steady decline, the country’s IMR is one of the highest in the world. No data disaggregated by ethnic groups are available. The following are the main causes of death among under-fives: malaria (38%), acute diarrhoeal diseases (16%), acute respiratory infections (13.7%) and measles (1.9%).
133. With a view to improving children’s health, the Government proposed inter alia the following targets in the 1992 National Action Plan for 1992-2000: (a) to bring the IMR down to 80 per 1,000; (b) to bring the under-five IMR down to 137 per 1,000; (c) to increase the full vaccination coverage of under-ones from 80 to 90 %; (d) to eliminate deaths from measles; and (e) to eliminate poliomyelitis by 1995. The strategy adopted by the Government for attainment of these targets was to provide vaccination coverage for all children through implementation of an expanded programme of vaccinations (EPV) supported mainly by UNICEF, WHO, the Red Cross of Equatorial Guinea, UNDP, Rotary Club International, and the Spanish Federation of Nursing Sisters (FERS). Support has also been provided more recently by the Exxon Mobil oil company. The EPV includes routine vaccinations at health centres and boosters during the national vaccination days. For 1997, it is estimated that 77 % of children were vaccinated against poliomyelitis, 79 % against measles, 98 % against tuberculosis, and 77 % against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis . In 1996 the rates of vaccination against immuno-preventible diseases for under-ones were: poliomyelitis - 81 %; measles – 82 %; tuberculosis - 99 %; and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – 81 %. This favourable trend also included pregnant women with regard to vaccination against tetanus: in 1994 - 63 %; and in 1996 - 67 %.
134. National vaccination days are currently being held annually throughout the country with the aim of eradicating poliomyelitis. These days are funded by the Government with support from Rotary Club International, WHO, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States of America. The Head of State, the Prime Minister and members of the Government took an active part in the launching of the national vaccination days. The coverage of children has evolved as follows: 100 % in 1996; 98.5 % in 1997; 91 % in 1998; and 93 % in 1999.
135. Generally speaking, the measures taken to deliver a comprehensive vaccination system have been effective and the results satisfactory.
136. The EPV has been experiencing a number of problems since 1996 owing to the gradual assumption by the Government of part of the financing provided by international cooperation.
137. At the grass-roots level, most parents have still received little training in the health of their children; this is the reason for the ignorance of the principles of preventing the main childhood infections, the late detection of abnormal symptoms, and the late admission to hospital of children with seriously advanced conditions.
138. Another problem is that very few studies have been made to evaluate the impact of the EPV and the other measures, especially with respect to the reduction of infant mortality.
E. Antenatal and postnatal care
139. The maternal mortality rate in Equatorial Guinea is 352 per 100,000 live births, accounting for 10 % of deaths of females aged between 13 and 50 years.
140. The country’s health services offer system-wide mother and child care. The use of these services is nevertheless low. In 1995, 55 % of the health workers caring for pregnant women were qualified, and 45.7 % of births were attended by trained personnel. A capacities, aptitudes and practices (CAP) survey carried out in 1998 by IFORD in Malabo, Bata and Luba found that 27.7 % of the women surveyed had attended for a medical check during their latest pregnancy and that most pregnancies had been poorly monitored or not monitored at all. According to the same source, 12.9 % of the women surveyed had had an illness during pregnancy (50% malaria, 10.7% anaemia); 87.8 % of these women had visited a doctor.
141. Some 60 % of the deliveries took place away from hospital and were attended by traditional midwives. Following delivery, 24.6 % of the women visited a doctor; 88.5 % of the women with a live baby possessed a vaccination card for the baby in Malabo, 85 % in Bata, and 82.8 % in Luba .
142. With respect to abortion, 36.1 % of the women surveyed had lost one pregnancy during their lifetime, for various causes: illness (23.9%); voluntary interruption (22.3%); and other unspecified causes (17.7%).
143. The Government’s concern for the health of mothers is expressed in the PNA, which sets the following targets for maternal health, to be attained in the period 1992-2000: to reduce the maternal mortality rate to 200 per 100,000 live births; to boost the information and services for prevention of pregnancies which are early, poorly spaced, too numerous, or late ; to increase the coverage of antenatal care of pregnant women to 100 %; and to increase the coverage of institutional delivery or access to trained personnel to 100 %, with the training of one midwife per village.
144. As a result of these measures, antenatal care has reached 80 %, institutional delivery 40 %, and postnatal care of mother and child 80 %.
145. Antenatal care is still encountering considerable difficulties with regard to the early detection of risk situations for the mother and her future child.
146. There are still deficiencies in postnatal care.
F. Food and nutrition
147. The population’s food needs have traditionally been met from the national farm output, small-scale sea and river fishing, and small-scale hunting. However, this output remains at subsistence levels; hence the large imports of basic foodstuffs.
148. MINISABS has established a National Nutrition Office.
149. The Government convened in 1999 a National Conference on Rural Development and Food Security, attended by the public and private sectors and by international financial and cooperation agencies, in order to seek solutions to the food deficit problem.
150. The PNA provides for reductions of 0.5 % in the rate of severe malnutrition and 11 % in the rate of moderate malnutrition, a reduction to under 10 % in the rate of low birth-weight, the elimination of ailments caused by vitamin-A deficiency, the conduct of studies on morbidity due to iodine deficiency, and the programming of measures to eliminate the diseases which result from this deficiency.
151. The heavy exodus from the countryside which, among other things, makes it difficult to improve the national farm production systems.
152. The entrenchment of the traditional production systems and the inadequate implementation of the programmes set up by the Government to combat malnutrition..
153. Inadequate knowledge of balanced nutrition.
154. The lack of resources to ensure the effective functioning of the National Nutrition Office.
155. Breast-feeding is practised mainly in the country’s rural areas and for an average period of 19 to 20 months; this period is longer among married than among single mothers.
156. The period is much shorter in the big towns, where breast-feeding is often replaced by artificial feeding methods.
157. Through the mass media (radio and television) and by means of talks and wall-posters, MINISAB conducts intensive awareness-raising campaigns aimed at parents concerning the importance of breast-feeding for children’s health and development.
158. The breast-feeding campaigns have not been kept up.
159. The supply of drinking water is inadequate.
H. Water and sanitation
160.The supply of drinking water for human consumption is inadequate in quantity and quality.
161. Food is handled in the markets and other public places under poor conditions of hygiene.
162. There is a regional imbalance in the water-supply coverage: while 56 % of the population of the island region has running water, only 1.2 % of the mainland population has this service. The national rates for provision of drinking water and basic sanitation are 31 and 13 % of the population respectively.
163. The Government established by Decree No. 17/1984 of 12 November the National Drinking Water and Environmental Health Committee.
164. The Government has made great efforts to improve the supply and accessibility of drinking water for the population. Several projects supported by a number of international cooperation agencies and by the local communities have constructed protected wells with hand pumps and provided protection for natural springs: the NGO Rural Autonomous Development (DAR) - 175 wells in Añisok district; UNICEF in conjunction with local authorities and the communities themselves - 90 wells (and currently continuing this work in collaboration with the Red Cross); the Spanish Federation of Nursing Sisters (FERS) – 17 wells and 12 springs in Nsork , Ebibeyín and Evinayong ; Médecins sans Frontières – 20 wells; French cooperation - four wells in Bata; Red Cross - five wells; and the Sardinian Organization of International Christian Volunteers (OSVIC) - 12 wells in Mikomeseng district. Other projects have been undertaken by PADREM, Spanish cooperation, and EURO-ACCORD ACTION.
165. The Ministry of Forests, Fisheries and the Environment is carrying out a programme for the drilling of public wells in Bata.
166. In 1998 the Government approved a five-year health and environment plan for 1998-2003. This plan envisages the extension of the provision of drinking water supplies in the country’s rural areas.
167. Under the programme of cooperation between the Government of Equatorial Guinea and UNICEF, the Red Cross of Equatorial Guinea has built 250 latrines and trained personnel to maintain them.
168. The European Union is currently financing the repair of the sewerage and water supply systems in Malabo; it expects to reach the whole of this town’s population over the next two years.
169. There is no sectoral policy establishing development standards with regard to water and sanitation.
170. There is insufficient coordination between the various projects executed in the sector.
171. The choice of technology is inadequate to guarantee a reasonable working life for protected wells and springs, and there are few local or national water-supply systems.
172. The numbers of trained local personnel are insufficient to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the measures.
I. Reproductive health and family planning services
173. Since the 1980s the Government, with the support of bilateral and multilateral cooperation (UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, Spanish cooperation) has been making big efforts to improve maternal and child health in the country. For example, UNFPA helped to improve maternal and child health through two projects: EQG/83 PO1 “Maternal and child health, first phase”, and EQG/88/PO2 “Maternal and child health, second phase”.
174. In 1994 the Government approved the implementation of project EQG/94/PO1MSR “Family planning and risk-free maternity”, designed to incorporate family planning in the maternal and child services as a component of primary health care.
175. Since 1994 the country has had six family planning centres: three in Malabo, two in Bata, and one in Luba .
176. In 1996 the Government promulgated the Family Planning Act.
177. In 1997 the Government formulated and implemented the reproductive health subprogramme for 1998-2002. This subprogramme has two components: (a) reproductive health services; and (b) information, education and communication (IEC) activities.
178. Grass-roots initiatives such as those of the NGO Family Welfare Association of Equatorial Guinea (ABIFAGE), which provides family-planning information and assistance to the population (with systematic distribution of condoms and other means of contraception), have demonstrated a growing grass-roots awareness of the need for responsible sex.
179.Family planning is confronted by several problems in Equatorial Guinea: (a) a traditional outlook which encourages a high fertility rate; (b) early sexual relations among adolescents; and (c) the shortage of family planning and information centres.
J. The high rates of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS
180. Studies carried out in 1985 and 1997 illustrate the evolution and high rate of HIV/AIDS in Equatorial Guinea. According to these studies, the AIDS virus affects women more than men (67.8% against 32.2%). The persons most commonly affected are women in the 20-24 age group and men aged 40 to 44. Infected children aged four years and under account for 3.3 % of the total seropositive population, probably as a result of transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breast-feeding, or of transfusions. The rate was 0.3 % in 1985, 1.1 % in 1992, and 3.48 % in 1997. If this trend continues and unless urgent is taken against the epidemic, 23,398 and 34,520 persons will be seropositive by 2005 and 2010 respectively (7.3% and 9.7% of the population aged over 14 years).
181. Sexually transmitted diseases are extremely common.
182. In 1998 the Government established a national committee to combat and prevent STD/AIDS, setting it the main task of devising a national strategy to combat and prevent these diseases; this resulted in the creation of a national STD/AIDS programme under the primary health programme.
183. In collaboration with international cooperation, the Government has been training personnel to conduct the fast HIV/AIDS test in the laboratories of all the country’s hospitals. There is also an information system for the results of the fast tests.
184. Various means of mass and personal communication are being used in systematic awareness-raising campaigns to disseminate knowledge about the AIDS pandemic and other sexually transmitted diseases.
185. Above all, there is the rejection of illness by a large part of the population.
186. There is a serious shortage of materials and equipment for conducting the tests to detect the virus.
187. The supply of drugs for fighting the virus is very limited.
188. The resources of the national HIV/AIDS programme are insufficient, and practically all the measures for fighting the pandemic are centred on this programme.
K. Social security and child-care services and facilities
¨ Article 26.1: States Parties shall recognize the right of every child to benefit from social security.
¨ Article 18.3: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible .
189. Article 4 of the Social Security Act provides that all citizens of Equatorial Guinea shall enjoy the protection of the social security system without discrimination as to their personal or social circumstances. Specifically, the Act stipulates the provision of social services for the protection of children. It also entrusts the management and administration of the social security system to the Social Security Institute (INSESO) under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
190. The Social Security Act was promulgated in 1984 and INSESO was in turn established under the Act.
191. INSESO covers 50 % of the medical and pharmaceutical benefits of its members and 100 % of their hospital costs. It also reimburses 75 % of the basic wages of insured women who take maternity leave, subject to a prior application in writing.
192. Public employees have enjoyed social security since 1998. At present, although INSESO does not offer child-care services, insured parents receive a monthly subsidy proportional to the number of their children, so that they may provide for their day-care.
194. The membership contribution required from private persons is a constraint for the poorer population groups, for it is fixed on the basis of a prior declaration of monthly income. Most of the country’s inhabitants, mainly in rural areas, have insufficient income, and what they have is spent on subsistence.
195. State funding of social security is still insufficient. Although insurance has been extended to public employees, the country is still far from attaining the target of 100 % social security cover.
VII. EDUCATION, LEISURE AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
A. Education, including vocational training and guidance
¨ Article 28.1: States Parties recognize the right of the child to education and shall adopt whatever measures may be necessary for the achievement of this right.
196. According to article 23 of the Constitution, education is a primordial duty of the State, and all citizens have the right to primary education, which shall be compulsory, free and guaranteed.
197. Article 3.1 of the Education Act provides inter alia that all citizens have the right of access to schools and to primary education, which shall be compulsory and free.
198. Article 134 of the Act accords pupils a series of rights, including in particular the right to educational and/or vocational guidance throughout their school lives.
199. The education system of Equatorial Guinea has four levels:
(a) Pre-school education , which is voluntary and available up to age six; it is divided into two stages: nursery (children aged one to three years), where the training is similar to that received at home; and infant (children aged four to six years), designed to develop the child’s potential;
(b) Primary education , which lasts for five years and is free and compulsory; it accepts children aged seven to 12 years, and the aim is to provide a comprehensive training, equal for all and adapted to the aptitudes and capacities of each pupil;
(c) Secondary education , which has two modes: baccalaureate and vocational training, each having two cycles of four and three years;
(d) Higher education , which includes all the subjects taught in the university faculties and schools and in schools of a similar standing and consists of three levels: a first cycle of three years, a second of two, and a third of three years.
200. In the 1998-1999 school year a total of 22,150 children were enrolled in pre-school education, 10,171 boys and 11,979 girls (46% and 54% respectively). There are more girls than boys at this level. By place of residence, 63 % of all the children enrolled live in urban areas and 37 % in the countryside. The gender disparities are minimal at this level.
201. The attendance rate is high at the primary level, reaching 86.7 % of the total potential population in the 1998-1999 school year. The attendance rate for girls was 86 %. By place of residence, 86.1 % lived in urban areas and 76.1 % in the countryside. The repeated-year rate is very high at this level: 22.6 % for boys and 27.4 % for girls. This figure is higher in rural areas, where it reaches 29.3 %. The promotion rate was 49.4 % (55.8% for boys and 51.4% for girls). Girls are more likely than boys to drop out of school (9.2% and 8.6% respectively).
202. Data from the 1994 Population and Housing Census show that 22.9 % of the population aged over 10 years are illiterate. More women (71.7%) than men are illiterate.
203. In the 1998-1999 school year 35 % of girls attended secondary school: at the elementary secondary level girls accounted for 41.2 % of the enrolment and boys for 48.6 %; at the higher secondary level the figures were 28.6 and 71.4 % respectively. The figures for the arts baccalaureate were 35.2 % for girls and 64.8 % for boys.
204. The establishment of the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) in 1995 had a decisive impact on higher education; in the 1998-1999 academic year girls accounted for 30 % of the enrolment and boys for 70 %. UNGE consists of five university schools: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests; Administration; Health and Environment; and Teacher Training (Malabo and Bata). It also has two faculties: Arts and Social Sciences; and Medicine. The University School of Technical Engineering was recently opened in Bata, offering courses in mechanical and electrical engineering and in applied architecture. UNGE has an enrolment of 1,025 students, with 179 teachers, 15 % of whom teach on an exclusive basis, 32.5 % full-time, and 29.6 % part-time; 22.9 % are employed under special contracts.
205. Since 1981 Malabo and Bata have had two associate schools of the National Distance Learning University (UNED). UNED offers the possibility of taking university courses to persons who, for work of family reasons, cannot attend university in person.
206. The promulgation of the Education Act in 1995 laid the foundations for the country’s education system, giving special emphasis to the development of private education.
207. The Act establishing UNGE, which was also promulgated in 1995.
208. The primary attendance rate was 86.7 % for boys and 86 % for girls in the 1998-1999 school year; the number of primary teachers increased from 1,440 in 1998 to 1,898 in 2000; the pupil/teacher ratio improved from 51 in 1998 to 41 in 2000. The country now has 848 primary schools, including 83 private ones.
209. The education sector has undergone a vast expansion over the past 20 years, thanks to the efforts of the Government supported by international cooperation.
Campaigns to encourage school attendance by girls
210. In 1997 MINEDUC, in conjunction with UNICEF, held the first national forum on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
211. The campaign to encourage girls to attend school was begun in 1998.
212. Pre-school education has made great progress in recent years thanks to the programmes carried out by the Government with the support of UNICEF, church organizations and NGOs. Progress has also been achieved through the implementation of the informal pre-school project.
213. Although primary education is free and compulsory, there are several obstacles preventing universal access to the benefits offered by the education system. No legal provision has yet been adopted to determine the scope of the principle of free primary education.
214. The poor rate of school attendance by girls remains a cultural problem. Despite legislation establishing gender equality, the persistence of cultural and/or traditional factors is impeding universal attendance by girls.
¨ Article 28.2: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.
215. The Education Act provides in general terms for the administration of discipline in schools with strict respect for the human dignity of the child. It also permits children to be members of school councils, where they can express their views and concerns and participate in the taking of decisions concerning the way their schools are run.
216. There is a greater awareness of the need to respect children’s dignity on the part of teachers and State institutions.
217. Continuing action is required to enhance the awareness of the main players in the education system of the need to encourage greater respect for children’s dignity, especially in the relations between teachers and pupils.
¨ Article 28.3: States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, taking particular account of the needs of developing countries.
218. Ever since Equatorial Guinea obtained national sovereignty the Government, in collaboration with international cooperation agencies, has been playing a fundamental role in the education and training of the country’s human resources.
219. In the case of the training of senior personnel, Equatorial Guinea has enjoyed support from several countries in the form of the award of scholarships for its nationals to train abroad. The main donors have been Spain, the former Soviet Union, Cuba, France, China, Morroco , Nigeria and the United States. Spanish cooperation is currently supporting a project on collaboration between UNGE and the University of Alacalá de Henares . Cuban cooperation provides scholarships, teachers and technical advice in connection with the consolidation of the UNGE medical faculty. For several decades UNESCO has been making a contribution to the training of human resources and providing technical assistance in all the areas within its competence.
220. Since 1989 UNICEF has been supporting the informal pre-school project, thanks to which nursery and infant education, little developed in the country at that time, has made considerable progress. WHO has contributed to the training of health personnel (doctors and pharmacists). And the European Union has awarded scholarships for technical training in agriculture and fisheries.
221. With the support of bilateral and multilateral cooperation the Government has made enormous efforts to eliminate ignorance and illiteracy and to train human resources for the country’s development.
222. Many of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea who were awarded scholarships to train abroad have not returned to the country; this has had the immediate consequence of producing the current human resources deficit.
B. The objectives of education
¨ Article 29: States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to the development of the child’s personality and talents in order to prepare him or her for an active adult life and develop a respect for the fundamental human rights. No part of the present article shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions.
223. The Education Act sets as its objectives the comprehensive education of the individual human being, harmonious development of the personality, preparation for the responsible exercise of liberty, cultivation of the noble values of Africanism and of the linguistic and cultural community of Equatorial Guinea, maximum respect for personal religious beliefs, and promotion of the spirit of international coexistence, understanding and cooperation. Article 84 of the Act makes provision for the establishment of private schools, which may receive State resources.
224. The country’s education system has advanced in terms of both quality and quantity, especially at the pre-school and primary levels. Furthermore, the new legal framework has facilitated a big upsurge in private education.
225.Despite the efforts made by the Government with the support of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, a further effort is required with regard to acquisition of the habits of analysis, assessment, thought and discussion.
C. Rest, leisure and cultural activities
¨ Article 31.1: States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
226. The right of the child to rest and leisure is unfamiliar in Equatorial Guinea, and the situation is beginning to worry certain groups in society. Spaces have been created for leisure activities of children and adolescents.
227. The rapid increase in the numbers of children and young people means that there are now insufficient places for recreation and cultural activities outside of school hours.
VIII. SPECIAL PROTECTION MEASURES
A. The economic exploitation of children, including child labour
¨ Article 32: States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and shall take whatever measures may be necessary to ensure the exercise of this right.
228. According to the national tradition, work is a virtue which must be cultivated from infancy, in order that the individual may be capable of developing on his own in an environment in which supervision is difficult. This traditional concept of work has nothing to do with the exploitation of labour.
229. The Labour Act sets the minimum age for admission to employment at 16 years. Article 11 of the Act defines work hazardous for children as work which, by its nature or owing to the conditions in which it is performed, may endanger a child’s health, safety or morals.
230. There are obviously large numbers of 12-year-old children employed in various activities throughout the country: in bars and restaurants, as street vendors, in transport, on market stalls, in workshops and in agriculture. In many cases their work is unpaid and restricted to the domestic sphere; even when it is not, their wages are lower than the rates set by law: the minimum wage for a learner should be equal to half the wage paid to a worker who knows the job.
231. Owing to the increasing awareness of the need for children to attend school, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has just produced a bill on combating the use of child labour outside the domestic and family sphere which is awaiting approval by the Council of Ministers.
232. With regard to the international instruments for the protection of the child, the Government has ratified all the ILO conventions on the employment of children: the Convention concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (No. 138), ratified in 1984; and the Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182), ratified in November 2000 by the Chamber of Representatives of the People. In another area, in 1998 the country adhered to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction.
233. In its present form the Labour Act makes no distinction between part-time and full-time employment.
234. Domestic work remains a reality in Equatorial Guinea, especially for girls.
B. Sale, traffic and abduction of children
¨ Article 35: States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.
235. The last 10 years, especially since the start of the exploitation of hydrocarbons in Equatorial Guinea, have witnessed a massive influx of foreigners into the country. A parallel development has been the presence in the street of many children of foreign nationality working as vendors.
236. The country’s society has always been worried about the traffic in children, a phenomenon foreign to its traditions. The Government has also demonstrated its increasing concern, for example in the draft proposal to ILO of a convention on the traffic in children, in the recent drafting of legislation to suppress the exploitation of children, and in its signature in 2000 of the Libreville Platform on the trafficking of children.
237. In addition to taking this legislative initiative, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is planning to conduct surveys and awareness-raising campaigns on the traffic in children and child labour, in conjunction with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Status of Women, and the Ministry of Justice and Worship.
238. The lack of a legal framework for regulation of these matters.
IX. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
239. In the light of the autonomy enjoyed by the local corporations, there is a need to build up their institutional capacity and consolidate their management, for most matters of social concern, including the situation of children, should be decided by the corporations themselves.
240. The embryonic civil society, in particular the organizations involved with children, is trying to carry out activities which, by their nature, are beyond its capacity; and it does not receive sufficient economic and material resources from the State and the donors. The various associations and NGOs also have problems with the training of human resources.
2. Economic and social matters
241. The rapid economic growth resulting from the exploitation of hydrocarbons since 1992 needs to take into account the various development requirements in order to improve the population’s standard of living.
242. The National Economic Conference held in 1997 opened up new and encouraging prospects for securing greater social justice and equity in the distribution of the revenues from the exploitation of hydrocarbons.
243. Institutions have special programmes for disabled and homeless children and orphans which are still insufficient to meet the demands from these vulnerable members of the population.
244. It is for this same reason that the PNA has not been implemented to its optimum levels.
245. Grass-roots awareness of the need for community involvement in activities for children is still weak. The organizations of civil society working with children, adolescents and young people have scant knowledge or financial and material resources for complying with the administrative requirements established by the relevant legislation.
246. Deficiencies in the national social statistics make it difficult to programme effective and sustainable measures for children.
3. Information, education and communication
247.The Convention is a little-known instrument. And little has been done to publicize it. There is scant participation by the citizenry. And there are not enough governmental organizations or individuals committed to the cause of the child.
4. Legal matters
248. Ignorance of the law impairs respect for and application of the law, especially in the remoter areas of the country. Legislation receives insufficient publicity and dissemination, especially on radio and television.
249. The application in Equatorial Guinea on a subsidiary basis of a number of Spanish laws dating back to 1968 runs counter to the spirit of the Convention in many instances. This arrangement is due to the absence of laws adopted by Equatorial Guinea itself. It may be noted here that the legislation in force does not take some aspects of the Convention into consideration - the best interests of the child for example.
250. Institutional capacity-building and strengthening of the management of the local corporations means entrusting them with the control of resources in order to bring development to the remoter areas and reduce the social and economic disparities between urban and rural children.
251. It is necessary to prevent duplication and the fragmentation of efforts among the various projects carried out by NGOs and bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies, and a considerable effort must be made to harmonize the initiatives and systematize all the information on achievements and problems in the different programmes and projects.
2. Economic and social matters
252. The PNA must be made operational as a reference programme for activities and policies relating to children. The attainment of the PNA targets must become a national priority.
253. Social policy measures must be boosted in step with the country’s economic growth in order to alleviate poverty.
254. The general State budget must allocate adequate funding to the National Children’s Rights Committee with a view to making it more operational and equipping it with its own full-time personnel.
255. The organizations of civil society must be strengthened, especially those whose work has a direct impact on children, by streamlining the administrative procedures, raising awareness, and establishing a State fund for their financing.
256. Primary health care must be consolidated with a view to securing increased grass-roots participation in stronger management of the social services, and the State must support NGOs working at all levels of primary health care.
257. The institutional backing for the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development must be stepped up with a view to establishing a national system of statistics.
258. Efforts must be made to attain the education objectives set out in the current legislation.
259. The rights of the child must exercised in full in education.
260. The operating costs of the informal pre-school project must be integrated in the general State budget.
261. A cultural policy must be devised to counteract the harmful assimilation of the customs of other peoples which clash with the morals and ethno-cultural principles of Equatorial Guinea.
3. Legal matters
262. The National Codification Commission working on existing laws must be activated and it must incorporate in legislation those aspects of the Convention which are not addressed by current legislation.
263. A juvenile protection court must be established as the agency responsible for safeguarding the rights of children and adolescents.
264. A structure must be established to promote awareness of the laws comprising the national juridical order, as well as their publication, dissemination and sale.
265. In order to prevent direct illegal transfers of children, it will be necessary to carry out information campaigns on the existing adoption regulations and give greater publicity to the adoption procedures throughout the country, as well as adhering to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption
4. Information, education and communication
266. The awareness-raising campaigns on the situation of children aimed at various sectors must be strengthened and conducted more systematically.. NGOs need to be involved in the publicizing of the Convention. The necessary advocacy must be conducted with political institutions and decision-makers. And there is a need to enhance the awareness of the people and encourage an outlook favourable to the delivery of equality of opportunities and rights for boys and girls.
267. The information aimed at children must be improved in both quality and quantity, and children and adolescents themselves need to be involved.
268.A vast programme of information, education and communication aimed at the various social groups must be established. This programme should incorporate components on reproductive health, especially family planning and sexually transmitted diseases and the AIDS virus.
Study on the need for desks in Malabo schools . Forestry Planning Cabinet, Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, 1997.
National Conference on Rural Development and Food Security . Final document, 1999.
Sectoral report on water and sanitation . Programme of cooperation between Equatorial Guinea and UNICEF, 2000.
National Nutrition and Micronutrients Policy (MINISABS). September 2000.
SIDA en Guinea Ecuatorial ? Reproductive health project. MINISABS/European Union, June 2000.
Forum on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (by Eulalia ENVO BELA). November 1996.
Education pour tous: bilan à l’an 2000 . MINEDUC, 2000.
Plan of Action 2000. Advocacy in favour of the rights of the child and women (Government of Equatorial Guinea/UNICEF). February 2000.
Comparative study of the legal provisions of Equatorial Guinea/Convention on the Rights of the Child (by Eulalia ENVO BELA). May 1994.
Mujer : educación , formación y alfabetización (Contribution to the preparation of the National Policy for the Advancement of Women by María Teresa AVORO NGUEMA). MINASCOM/UNFPA. June 2000.
Mission report on the project “Improvement of the Malabo and Bata registry offices ”, 19-31 August 1991 (by André MAYOUYA). August 1991.
Study on children aged 12 to 18 in particularly difficult circumstances in Equatorial Guinea (MINEDUC/UNICEF). September 1997.
National Plan of Action for Children and Women 1992-2000 (Ministry for Foreign Affairs and French-Speaking Countries). September 1992.
Mujer Guineoecuatoriana : derecho y acceso a la toma de decisiones (Contribution to the preparation of the National Policy for the Advancement of Women, by Angel- Obama OBIANG). MINASCOM/UNFPA. June 2000.
Survey on contraception and risk-free maternity in Equatorial Guinea (IFORD). September 1999.
Health profile of Equatorial Guinea (MINSABS). August 1995.
Análisis de situación de la mujer en Guinea Ecuatorial (Core document for the preparation of the PNPM and the PMGD in Equatorial Guinea). MINASCOM/UNFPA. August 2000.
Five-year health and environment plan 1998-2003 (Ministry of Forests and the Environment). February 1998.
Mid-term assessment of the medium-term economic strategy (1997-2001) . Government of Equatorial Guinea. November 1999.
Preparation of the national policy for the advancement of women and the framework gender and development programme . June 2000.
Análisis de situación de la infancia y de la mujer en Guinea Ecuatorial ( Government of Equatorial Guinea /UNICEF). 1998.
Ibid. September 2000.
Joint evaluation report (United Nations agencies in Equatorial Guinea). April 1999.
National Conference on Rural Development and Food Security (Government of Equatorial Guinea). January 2000.
National Health Policy (MINISABS). 1999. Awaiting approval.
Population and Housing Census (Ministry of Planning and Economic Development). 1994.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Judicial Organization Act. No. 10/1984 of 20 June
Decree No. 7/1996 of 25 November on establishment of the Central Civil Registry, the General Registry of Testamentary Acts, and the Registry of Customary Civil Marriages.
Yearbook of Legal and Judicial Professions in Equatorial Guinea (Ministry of Justice and Culture). June 2000.
Act No. 2/1990 of 4 January on the General Labour Regulations (the Labour Act)
Criminal Code (text revised in 1963)
Family Planning Act
Social Security Act
Freedom of Religion Act
Act No. 1/1991 of 4 April, on abortion
Act No. 14/1995 of 9 January (Education Act)
Constitution (Fundamental Law) of Equatorial Guinea
Non-Governmental Organizations Act
Civil Registration Act
List of persons interviewed
1. MABALE ONDO, Venancio : coordinator/section chief, Justice Office
2. NSUE OVONO, Eduardo: MINEDUC planning officer
3. MANGUE ESENG, Juliana: chief, Economic Section, MINSABS
4. ABIA NSENG, Salvador: Director-General of Public Health, MINISABS
5. ELA ONDO, Benigno : technical assistant, Hospital Assistance and Coordination Office, MINISABS
6. NDONG MICHA, Angel: Secretary-General, Ministry of Public Works
7. ANGONO EDU, Juliana: administrative officer, Housing Office, Ministry of Public Works
8. ASUMU MONGO, Aquila : Director-General, Educational Programming, MINEDUC
9. EDU, Martín : Director, ASONAMI
10. NGUEMA NGUEMA , Justino : Technical Manager, Malabo Regional Hospital
11. BORO BOHOTO, Mercedes: programming officer, WHO office in Malabo
12. SIMA, José- María : RBC programmes officer, WHO office in Malabo
13. MONTERO, Osvaldo : UNICEF coordinator, mainland region
14. CASTILLO, Luis: UNICEF education officer
15. ESONO KROHNERT, Felipe: UNICEF information officer
16. CARRASTATXU, Leire : UNICEF policy and legislation officer
17. OSA MICHA, Bienvenido : Director-General, Programming and Investment Promotion, MINIPLAN
18. MBA ADA, Tito: Director-General, Project Coordination and Monitoring, MINIPLAN
19. MITOGO, Bonifacio : FAO programmes officer
20. LOSOHA, Edgar Ricardo: leader of Arena Blanca
21. NDONG BEYENG, Basilio : national coordinator, Red Cross youth section
22. NVE NSENG, Antonio: presidential adviser on planning
23. SIMA OYANA, Victor: UNDP programmes officer
24. NDONG EKONG, Deogracias : architect and town planner, Malabo Council
25. MARTIN, Robert: French cooperation adviser
26. RIVERA, Manuel: Spanish cooperation officer in Malabo
27. BECA, Juan Martín : chief, economic section, MINEDUC
28. NDONG NSUE, Martín : President of Appeals Court, mainland region
29. ABAGA NGUEMA, José Luís : judge of first instance, Bata
30. NZAMBI ELONGA, Antonio: Prosecutor-General of the Republic
31. OYO EBULE, Evangelina : Deputy Minister of Justice
32. OLIVERA PACO, Purificación : Secretary of State, MINASCOM
33. ORTIZ DE ZARATE, Hernesto : Director of the REMAR religious association
34. MIYA NGUERE, Anita: Director a.i ., University School of Health, Bata
35. NDONG ALOGO, José: head of studies, Carlos Lwanga National Institute of Secondary Education
36. ANGUE BIBANG, Santos: Director, Unidad Aldea Infantil SOS, Bata
37. NZANG, María Nieves: Director, Family Planning Centre, Bata
38. ASUMU ENGONO, Juan: head teacher, Padre Sialo school, Bata
39. GONZALEZ MARTIN, José: head teacher, San José de Calasánz school, Bata
40. NCHASO BEHOBA, Hubaldo : Director, national expanded programme of vaccinations
41. ONDO ESONO, Anselmo : Director-General of Universities, MINEDUC
42. VILLEGAS, Teresa: head teacher, E Waiso Pola school
43. RAMOS GONZALEZ, Ildefonso : Administrator of the European Union office
44. BIVINI MANGUE, Santiago: Director-General of Secondary and Higher Education, MINEDUC
45. MADJA OBIANG, Modesta : Director, National Nutrition Programme
46. BATAPA SALOMOM, Armengol : head of technical services, INSESO
47. EKO NZOGO, Fortunato : official, J-20 Public Relations
48. BARRIL MEDIN, Miguel Angel: artistic director of Arena Blanca
49. NSUE NDONG, Baltasar : Director-General of Ibero -American Culture, Minstry of Information, Tourism and Culture
50. AVORO NGUEMA, María Teresa: member of the National Children’s Rights Committee
51. NDONG OWONO, Hugo: national expert, Local Development Programme
52. NDONG ASUMU, Dionisio : micro-projects analyst, poverty-alleviation project
53. NGUEMA NKILI, Montano: deputy technical manager, Bata regional hospital
54. MOKARA, Angel: representative of UNFPA office, Malabo
55. MAÑANA NSUE, Clemente : regional coordinator, Red Cross of Equatorial Guinea
ABIFAGE Equatorial Guinea Family Welfare Association
ADB African Development Bank
ASONAMI National Association of Disabled Persons
CANIGE Committee for Support of the Child in Equatorial Guinea
CAP Capacities, aptitudes and practices
CDHGE Human Rights Centre of Equatorial Guinea
CNDN National Children’s Rights Committee
CPDHD Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy
EPV Expanded programme of vaccinations
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FERS Spanish Federation of Nursing Sisters
IFORD Demographic Training and Research Institute
IEC Information, education and communication
ILO International Labour Organization
IMR Infant mortality rate
INSESO Social Security Institute
MINASCOM Ministry of Social Affairs and the Status of Women
MINEDUC Ministry of Education and Science
MINISABS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
NGO Non-governmental organization
PNA National Plan of Action for Children and Women
PNPM National Policy for the Advancement of Women
SOS Save Our Souls
STD Sexually transmitted disease
UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNED National Distance Learning University
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNGE National University of Equatorial Guinea
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund