United Nations

CRC/C/SR.1448

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

1 April 2009

English

Original: French

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Fifty-second session

Summary record of the 1448th meeting

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Wednesday, 30 September 2009, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson:Ms. Lee

Contents

Consideration of reports of States parties (continued)

Initial report of Yemen on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention o n the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

The meeting was called to order at 10 . 05 a.m.

Consideration of reports of States parties (agenda item 4) (continued)

Initial report of Yemen on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography ((CRC/C/OPSC/YEM/1); core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.115); list of issues (CRC/C/OPSC/YEM/Q/1); written replies of the State party to the list of issues (CRC/C/OPSC/YEM/Q/1/Add.1))

1.At the invitation of the Chairperson, the delegation of Yemen took places at the Committee table.

2.Ms. Algaefi (Yemen) said that a number of measures had been adopted to implement the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. All legislation containing provisions relating to children, in particular the Children’s Rights Act, the Criminal Code, the Juvenile Welfare Act and the Personal Status Code, had been amended with a view to bringing them into conformity with the provisions of the Convention and the two Optional Protocols, while at the same time ensuring that the amendments did not violate the teachings of Islam. The aim was to resolve any conflict of laws, in particular with regard to the definition of the child. Emphasis had also been placed on the need to provide better protection for children, in particular by increasing the penalties for the perpetrators of crimes against children’s rights. Certain crimes could even be punishable by the death penalty.

3.A number of plans and initiatives had likewise been adopted, in particular a national strategy for children and young persons as well as plans aimed at combating trafficking in children, reducing the number of street children and eliminating violence against children. A plan to combat female genital mutilation and early marriage would be adopted in the near future.

4.Specialized services for children’s issues had been established in the administration, for example a department for mothers and children in the Ministry of Justice, a department for women and minors in the Ministry of the Interior, a girls’ education service in the Ministry of Education and a girls’ education service in the Ministry of Technical Training. In order to strengthen and coordinate the measures adopted by the various bodies and follow up and evaluate the implementation of child rights programmes, national committees and networks had been established, for example the Higher Council for Children and Youth, headed by the Vice-President of the Republic, the Technical Committee on Combating Child Trafficking and the national child protection network.

5.Various studies on the issues dealt with in the Optional Protocol had been undertaken, in particular one on violence against children, street children and cross-border trafficking of children.

6.Training seminars had been organized for professionals who worked with children. There were awareness campaigns in the media about the issues dealt with in the Protocol. Many publications containing information about the protection of children, including brochures to provide guidance and advice to imams, had been prepared.

7.Regarding action to combat child trafficking, Yemen continued to cooperate with Saudi Arabia and negotiations were under way with a view to signing an agreement on measures to put an end to that practice. It was likewise cooperating with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy (ICCLR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) and the embassies of the United States, Netherlands and Japan.

8.A number of centres had been opened to care for child victims of trafficking, street children, orphans and child victims of physical and sexual violence. The centres supplied social and educational services, psychological counselling and health care, and provided children with legal assistance for proceedings in which they were involved. A non-governmental organization (NGO), the Arab Institute for Human Rights, had opened a centre for psychosocial care.

9.In spite of the progress made, her Government was aware that there were obstacles, for example the lack of available human and financial resources, affecting its ability to fully meet its obligations. The mechanisms for following up on implementation of the Optional Protocol must be strengthened and a national monitoring centre for children’s rights should be established in order to deal in particular with the issue of child exploitation. The Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood was working to raise the age of criminal responsibility and the minimum age for marriage. Her Government was endeavouring to create a database that would be accessible both to public institutions and to NGOs, and to strengthen cooperation between civil society and the Government.

10.Ms. Al-Asmar (First Country Rapporteur) welcomed the efforts made by the State party to bring domestic legislation into line with the provisions of the Optional Protocol and commended it for its candour in the report. She noted however that the report did not fully comply with the Committee’s guidelines regarding the preparation of reports.

11.She commended the establishment, by the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood, of the national network on violence against children, the national network for the welfare of children in conflict with the law and the National Committee against Child Smuggling. Finally, she welcomed the freedom enjoyed by the press in Yemen, particularly in reporting on grave issues relating to children.

12.According to various reports, approximately 200 Yemeni children were sold every month for illegal work to Saudi Arabia, where they experienced very harsh conditions and were victims of sexual exploitation. They were smuggled across the border between the two countries and were exposed to many dangers, including being arrested by the police and placed in detention with adults and subjected to all kinds of violence, because there were no centres for child victims of trafficking, who were treated like criminals.

13.She raised the issue of early marriage, in particular so-called “tourist marriages”, which were a form of sale and sexual exploitation of children. Very young Yemeni girls were frequently married off by their family to Saudi citizens on the basis of a rudimentary written contract which had no validity in Saudi Arabia. No case involving such tourist marriages had ever been heard by the Yemeni courts. At the end of such marriages and in cases where a child had been born, the child was abandoned by the father and the mother had no recourse. Young girls married in that way were often accused of having had extramarital sexual relations.

14.There was no juridical framework governing adoption and she asked what measures the State party was taking to combat illegal adoption, which was another form of sale of children. The phenomenon was particularly common in the province of Sa’dah, where many children had been orphaned as a result of the armed conflict. The Yemeni media had recently reported the sale of 10 children for the purposes of organ trafficking in a foreign country. That problem had been brought to the attention of the authorities but no steps had as yet been taken to eliminate it.

15.She wondered whether cooperation with the civil society organizations and NGOs working in the area of children’s rights that had helped prepare the State party’s report would continue following the Committee’s consideration of the report. She also asked whether negotiations were under way with Saudi Arabia with a view to ending the sale of Yemeni children in that country.

16.She asked whether the draft legislation on children’s rights would criminalize the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and impose penalties on those responsible. She wondered whether any study had been undertaken to determine the number of child victims of trafficking, their gender and the regions most concerned, whether information was available on the number of child victims of sexual tourism, whether any measures had been adopted to prevent early marriages, whether a national plan had been formulated with a view to ending the sale and trafficking of children, and whether the fight against child trafficking was a priority for the State party, particularly in the border regions.

17.Since most of the traffickers were well known to tribal chiefs, she asked whether those chiefs had been consulted and whether agreements had been concluded with them so that they would come forward when they became aware of cases involving the sale, abduction or sexual exploitation of children.

18.Mr. Filali (Second Country Rapporteur) requested information on the relationship between the Optional Protocol and the domestic legal framework and wondered whether, in cases where domestic legislation did not clearly define a violation covered by the Protocol, a judge could invoke the definition contained in the Protocol.

19.The State party had indicated in its report that the successive delays in the process of adopting draught amendments to legislation dealing with child rights were one of the difficulties hindering the implementation of the Optional Protocol; he wondered when those amendments would be adopted. He also enquired about the current status of the process for the establishment of an independent national human rights institution and whether the State party was considering the establishment of a children’s ombudsman or some other mechanism empowered to receive complaints from child victims of violations of the Optional Protocol.

20.Not all the offences referred to in the Optional Protocol were included in the Criminal Code, for example transfer of organs, offering a child for sexual exploitation, or improperly inducing consent, as an intermediary, for the adoption of a child or kafalah. Moreover, the Criminal Code criminalized sexual exploitation and rape, but not prostitution within the meaning of the Protocol. The definition of child pornography in domestic legislation must likewise be brought into conformity with the definition in the Protocol.

21.Lastly, he noted that Yemen had not asserted its universal jurisdiction for the offences dealt with in the Protocol and asked whether extradition was possible and even mandatory for such offences.

22.Mr. Kotrane emphasized that the definition of an offence was decisive in determining how that offence was punished. Currently, for instance, forced labour was punishable in the State party by a fine of 15,000 rials; in order to ensure that that practice was duly punished, it should be classified as a criminal offence involving child exploitation. That would be appropriate given that Yemen had ratified International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions No. 29 concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour and No. 105 concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour.

23.More information was lacking on protection provided to child victims and witnesses as well as on the possible criminal responsibility of legal persons.

24.Mr. Koompraphant said that even if no specific legal protection services were available for child victims and witnesses, measures could and should be adopted to protect them. He asked what steps the State party had taken to avoid the risk of revictimization and, in cases where the victim was a foreign citizen, how it ensured that repatriation occurred under good conditions.

25.Mr. Zermatten, referring to paragraphs 119 et seq. of the report, expressed concern that child victims or witnesses themselves appeared to be considered criminals by the judicial system and asked the delegation to explain. He wondered whether measures had been taken to protect child victims, whether compensation had ever been paid out, and what protection was available to children, in particular with regard to use of their name or picture by the press. More information would be appreciated on implementation of the principle of the best interests of the child, effective participation of children in proceedings and training for individuals who questioned them.

26.With regard to the issue of non-discrimination, he emphasized that street children and young girls in the State party were particularly exposed to the offences set out in the Protocol. The State party must therefore adopt preventive measures and he drew its attention in that regard to the references to articles 32 and 33 of the Convention in the Committee’s general comments.

27.Ms. Aidoo wondered if any body was responsible for coordinating the efforts of the many stakeholders in the area of protection of children. If, as she assumed, that body was the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood, she asked whether the Council had sufficient human, technical and financial resources for the task and how all the governorates in the country could be covered. She asked the delegation to explain why there was a lack of coordination between the authorities and NGOs, as indicated in paragraph 82 (b) of the report.

28.She welcomed the State party’s efforts to increase awareness in many groups, including journalists and imams, about children’s rights. She wondered whether those dissemination and awareness efforts focused on specific issues dealt with in the Protocol and the assistance to which victims might be entitled. She asked whether the Protocol had been translated and widely disseminated in all the governorates; it was her understanding that to date efforts had been concentrated mainly on the capital. She asked what was being done to educate illiterate parents and children who were not in school about children’s rights.

29.Mr. Citarella asked whether children between the ages of 16 and 18 benefited from protection under the Protocol. He wondered whether Yemeni legislation made a distinction between child trafficking and the sale of children; if not, he asked if the courts had applied the provisions of the Protocol in that regard.

30.Mr. Pollar welcomed the cooperation between the State party and UNICEF and asked whether cooperation agreements had also been concluded with bilateral or multilateral partners and whether activities had been undertaken on a regional scale to ensure implementation of the Protocol.

31.Mr. Krappmann asked whether children who were victims of acts covered by the Protocol, or who feared they might become victims, knew to whom they could turn for help. It was his understanding that the emergency phone number was only accessible in the capital; that number should be accessible throughout the country 24 hours a day. Statistics should be kept on the number of calls received; such data would be a valuable analytical tool for the definition of optimum prevention strategies.

32.The Chairperson requested more information on any compensation available under the law for victims, on compensation actually paid out, and on any recovery programmes that had been established.

33.Referring to the extensive media coverage of the case of a young girl victim of early marriage and the resulting trial, she welcomed the court decision to grant her a divorce but noted that the girl’s life was currently very difficult because of the publicity given to the affair and the stigmatization suffered by divorced women in the State party. It would certainly have been much better if that early marriage had never occurred. She wondered whether divorced women received any assistance and follow-up from the social services and whether the public was educated about the fact that women in such situations were victims.

The meeting was suspended at 11.10 a.m. and resumed at 11.45 a.m.

34.Ms. Algaefi (Yemen) said that the main role of the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood was to develop strategies and monitor their implementation and to coordinate and support the efforts of the public authorities and civil society organizations relating to children and the family. Based in Sana’a, the Council also undertook activities in the governorates with the support of staff from the municipalities and the social services. Its work was therefore nationwide in scope even though it lacked local structures.

35.The legislative amendments currently under review would raise the legal age of majority to 18 and the legal working age to 15. The slow progress with those reforms could be largely explained by the parliamentary elections which had seriously disrupted the legislative agenda. A broad consensus had however been reached. The two remaining stumbling blocks were the age of criminal responsibility and the age for marriage. Her Government was working tirelessly to ensure that definitions of the child consistent with the Convention were adopted.

36.While children had not participated directly in the preparation of the report, they had played an active role in the preceding data collection stage, through youth group networks. NGOs and donors, for example UNICEF, had likewise been prime sources of information for the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

37.Negotiations were under way with Saudi Arabia with a view to signing a memorandum of agreement to protect children from trafficking. In coordination with UNICEF, her Government was currently carrying out an analytical survey of child victims of trafficking.

38.Information campaigns about early marriage were being undertaken with the support of the Sharia Committee and religious leaders. The Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood was trying to link the issue of early marriage with health-related issues in coordination with the Ministry of Health and women’s associations, which had for example prepared a study and statistical survey on early marriage and its social and psychological effects on young girls. A study on the risk of malformation as a result of early pregnancy would be undertaken in the near future.

39.Her Government was cooperating with UNICEF and the World Bank in a survey of poverty in five countries in the Middle East. The survey would help measure the effect of poverty in Yemen and increase the budget allocated to medical and social services for children.

40.The Ministry of Health was conducting a study of violence against children. Guidelines on identifying ill-treatment would be published for health system personnel and distributed to all health centres. A committee for reporting cases of ill-treatment and assessing the impact of ill-treatment on children would also be created. It would be chaired by the chief of the paediatric service and work in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs. In addition, the Prime Minister had approved the establishment of a centre for follow-up of cases of ill-treatment, although it had not been able to open in 2005 as planned, due to lack of resources. Funding should however be available from UNICEF beginning in October 2009.

41.Mr. Alshraabi (Yemen) said he did not have any specific information about the approximately 200 children who were allegedly sold every month in Yemen. The only official information consisted of testimony from children housed in the shelters established along the border and in Sana’a. His Government condemned the sale of children. He stressed however that the situation did not really involve the sale of children as such. Generally speaking there was an agreement between the trafficker and the child’s parents to take the child to work in a neighbouring country. His Government had designed a comprehensive plan, approved by the cabinet, to combat that practice. The primary aim was to amend the law to ensure more effective application of existing provisions. A bill enjoying widespread support had been tabled in the House of Deputies. It imposed more severe penalties — 6 to 12 years’ imprisonment for families responsible for trafficking their child — and granted special protection to child victims of exploitation. Whenever cases involving child exploitation had been brought to court, guilty verdicts had been pronounced. The children involved had been protected throughout the proceedings.

42.His Government had established a plan to coordinate activities for putting an end to the exploitation of children. At the national level it had established a technical committee to combat child exploitation; at the regional level it had set up commissions responsible for identifying cases of exploitation and ill-treatment. In areas where exploitation of children was particularly common, it had promulgated a law requiring tribal chiefs to report such exploitation or face heavy penalties. That had led to a 60 per cent reduction in the number of cases recorded.

43.Mr. Kotrane said that the Committee was concerned about the sale of children as defined in articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol, including for example forced labour when families sent their child to work in another country. He asked whether future legislative reforms would incorporate all the offences referred to in articles 1 and 2 into domestic legislation and whether the sale of children would be punished.

44.Mr. Citarella said hewould welcome more information on the definition of the child. As he understood it, children from 16 to 18 were considered to be adults and were not therefore protected against the offences defined in the Protocol.

45.Mr. Alshraabi (Yemen) noted that certain legislative provisions had been applied in some cases involving child trafficking. Pursuant to those provisions, anyone responsible for child prostitution or child forced labour was subject to imprisonment; penalties could be more severe if the person responsible was a member of the child’s family. Those provisions had been approved by Parliament but had not yet been adopted.

46.Ms. Al-Asmar (First Country Rapporteur) emphasized that the Committee had reliable information according to which persons responsible for child trafficking had not been punished, in particular if the parents had given their consent.

47.Mr. Alshraabi (Yemen) admitted that no proceedings had yet been instituted in the courts because, once provisions to protect children and punish those responsible for child trafficking had been promulgated, the perpetrators had ceased that activity or changed their methods. He noted that conveying children to the border had been an offence since 2005–2006.

48.The provisions of the Protocol were disseminated by the media, and awareness campaigns had been undertaken in all regions affected by child trafficking. The Government had encouraged the population to participate in those initiatives. Over the past two years an awareness campaign had been undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Human Rights, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and the Children’s Parliament.

49.His Government was training border guards and persons who worked with children to detect cases of child trafficking.

50.Government-subsidized protection and recovery centres were available for child victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation or other violations. They provided victims with psychological support and reintegration assistance before the children were returned to their families.

51.His Government, in cooperation with the Government of Egypt, had investigated complaints of the sale of organs for use in that country, but no evidence had been found to substantiate the allegations.

52.Domestic legislation contained no provision specifically allowing prosecution of persons for crimes committed outside the country. Such offences were beyond the jurisdiction of Yemeni courts. That said, police and judicial cooperation agreements had been signed with neighbouring countries, for example Saudi Arabia, which provided for the extradition of persons responsible for crimes against Yemeni children, even if those crimes had been committed in another country.

53.His Government had adequate budgetary resources to provide the services child victims needed. It subsidized the child protection and recovery centres as well as private centres. There were self-financed recovery centres in addition to the public protection and recovery centres. The rehabilitation of child victims of offences under the Protocol began as soon as a child was identified as a victim, at which time care and services, including legal assistance, were offered. The child was then returned to his family and followed a social and school reintegration programme undertaken in cooperation with his family. In order to ensure that the child would not be revictimized after rejoining his family, protection measures could be implemented, in particular measures to help the most disadvantaged families contribute to the psychological and social readjustment of their child.

54.The Chairperson asked whether there were any judicial cooperation agreements other than the one with Saudi Arabia and whether precautions were taken to ensure that a child victim was not treated as a criminal during legal proceedings.

55.Mr. Alshraabi (Yemen) said that bilateral police and judicial cooperation agreements had been concluded with other countries in the Arabian peninsula, for example Egypt and Libya. He had mentioned Saudi Arabia earlier because 99 per cent of extradition cases involved that country, on account of the long border it shared with Yemen.

56.He stressed that child victims of exploitation were never considered to be criminals during court proceedings but, rather, victims or witnesses. A child could be placed in the care of a specialized centre until his family was located, but such centres were in no way detention centres.

57.Mr. Kotrane said he wondered whether the reform of the Criminal Code would incorporate all the violations described in the Protocol so that they could be prosecuted even if they were not crimes in the country where they had been committed. He asked if the State party was considering adopting specific protection measures to protect children during judicial proceedings, as required under article 8 of the Protocol, for example by having them testify via videoconferencing.

58.Ms. Al-Asmar (First Country Rapporteur) said that not every region in Yemen had child protection institutions. A child might therefore be held in an adult prison where the guards or police officers had not been trained to deal with children. Cases of sexual exploitation had for example been reported. She would welcome information on what was being done to address that situation.

59.The Chairperson requested clarification about how offences described in the Optional Protocol relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography were reflected in the State party’s domestic legal order and whether the definitions pertaining to those crimes were in conformity with those in the Protocol. She also wondered if those crimes were extraditable.

60.Mr. A l shraabi (Yemen) said that under current legislation child protection provisions did not extend to other countries, but legislation in that regard was currently before Parliament.

61.There were no specific legislative provisions relating to child witnesses or child victims, but such children were taken into care in the specialized centres, all of which were subsidized by the Government. Yemen had recently concluded an agreement with UNICEF for the development of concrete protection measures for children.

62.There were only 32 childcare centres in Yemen, which was unfortunately not enough to meet the needs in the country’s 21 provinces. Two of the main centres, one in Sana’a and the other at the border, worked to rehabilitate child victims of trafficking. Children were not usually placed in the same institutions as adults because they were cared for in protection centres.

63.Mr. Filali (Second Country Rapporteur) said that, under article 246 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a Yemeni national who committed acts in a foreign country that were crimes under Yemeni law could only be prosecuted in Yemen if the crime in question was also punishable in the State where it had been committed. That situation was not in conformity with the Protocol and should be remedied. As for extradition, he said that the State party should meet the requirements of article 5 of the Protocol and ensure that domestic legislation criminalized the practices set out in the Optional Protocol.

64.Ms. Abdullah (Yemen) said that the Ministry of Justice was working to implement the provisions of the Protocol and ensure respect for children’s rights by improving the relevant legislation. Juvenile courts had been established with specialized staff responsible for processing cases involving minors from the early stages of procedure. Children received appropriate assistance during trials and urgent cases were dealt with on a priority basis. A plan for assisting children had been developed in cooperation with UNICEF and would soon be launched in the so-called child-friendly courts.

65.Ms. Algaefi (Yemen) said that the offences defined in the Protocol would be reflected in domestic legislation in all cases where that had not yet been done. With regard to the imprisonment of children, she admitted that there had been some violations but emphasized that the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice had adopted measures to eliminate such errors.

66.Mr. Alkhaybari (Yemen) said that there was a department for minors in the Ministry of the Interior that worked to combat child trafficking and protect children in both the public and private spheres. The efforts of the Ministry of the Interior to combat child trafficking were supported by the social affairs services and numerous non-governmental groups. That work was coordinated through a technical commission that included representatives of all the State bodies concerned. Cooperation between the border guards and the Government had even helped save 84 persons from being abducted, leading to the arrest and prosecution of the people smugglers involved.

67.Cooperation with the local authorities, in particular in border areas, might include awareness campaigns aimed at combating the abduction and trafficking of children and systematically taking into care unaccompanied children in places of transit or travel, for example airports and bus terminals.

68.The “tourist marriage” phenomenon was a relatively recent one; only a few cases had therefore been reported to date in Yemen. Such marriage contracts had no official standing with the local authorities. To enter into marriage with a Yemeni woman, a foreign citizen had to meet a certain number of conditions.

69.Cases of violence against children were relatively rare and every case was reported to the Ministry of the Interior. Perpetrators were always prosecuted.

70.Mr. Filali (Second Country Rapporteur) said that measures adopted to combat tourist marriages seemed to be of a mainly administrative nature. It was therefore difficult to know how many such marriages occurred and to monitor them, especially if the couple left the country.

71.Ms. Aidoo said she was concerned about the nature of some tourist marriages and wondered if they were not in fact a form of sexual tourism involving children. Some families, suffering from poverty and the effects of the economic crisis, seemed to have had no choice but to give up their children in return for money. The State party should indicate what it was doing to assist the impoverished families whose children were the main victims of such practices.

72.The Chairperson noted that the phenomenon was specific to Yemen and requested more information on the financial aspect of such arrangements.

73.Mr. Alkhaybari (Yemen) said that there had been judicial decisions ordering the payment of compensation to victims of such marriages. The Ministry of the Interior had appointed psychologists, most of them women, to care for and support girl victims during the court proceedings.

74.Turning to the treatment of children in prison, he said that, other than in exceptional circumstances, children and adults never shared a cell. Children were seen as victims and not criminals.

75.Ms. Al-Asmar (First Country Rapporteur) asked if there was a minimum age below which marriage was forbidden and whether that limit applied to tourist marriages.

76.Mr. Alkhaybari (Yemen) said that no age limit had been set but generally speaking the minimum age for marriage was 17, whether for a traditional marriage or a so-called tourist marriage.

77.Ms. Algaefi (Yemen) said that there was no specific budget allocation for children’s issues. Her Government was requesting financial assistance from the Gulf States to improve its public finances. Emergency telephone numbers for children had been introduced in the context of cooperative efforts between the public authorities, NGOs, UNICEF and the national child protection network.

78.Lastly, she said that her Government was cooperating with various countries, the Arab League and IOM to combat child trafficking and promote children’s rights, for example by organizing seminars and other events. Domestic law on the extradition of criminals who had committed acts violating children’s rights would also be amended.

79.Mr. Alshraabi (Yemen) noted that procuring and incitement to prostitution were criminal acts punishable by imprisonment, the length of which could be as much as 10 years if the victim was under the age of 15.

80.Mr. Filali (Second Country Rapporteur) said that the State party’s ratification of the Optional Protocol and submission of its initial report under that Protocol were important steps forward that testified to its determination to improve the situation of children.

81.The State party had recognized the difficulties it faced in fully implementing the Protocol, including lack of resources, lack of coordination and data and constant delays in the application of legislation. The Committee took note of those problems. Its principal expectations were that the State party should adopt the bill concerning the definition of the child; criminalize the offences set out in the Optional Protocol; adopt legislation on the responsibility of legal persons; adopt measures facilitating the recovery and reintegration of child victims; and, lastly, address the situation regarding the extradition of criminals.

The meeting rose at 1 p.m.