Committee on the Rights of the Child
Concluding observations on the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Djibouti *
1.The Committee considered the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Djibouti at its 2598th and 2599th meetings, held on 12 and 13 May 2022, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 2360th meeting, held on 3 June 2022.
2.The Committee welcomes the submission of the combined third to fifth periodic reports of the State party and the written repliesto the list of issues, which allowed for a better understanding of the situation of children’s rights in the State party. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the constructive dialogue held with the high-level and multisectoraldelegation of the State party.
II.Follow-up measures taken and progress achieved by the State party
3.The Committee welcomes the progress achieved by the State party in various areas, including the progress in reducing infant and child mortality. The Committee also welcomes the various legislative, institutional and policy measures taken by the State party to implement the Convention, including the adoption of the universal health insurance, in 2014, and the Code on the Legal Protection of Minors, in 2015. It notes with appreciation the ratification of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Optional Protocol on children and armed conflict, in 2011.
III.Main areas of concern and recommendations
4.Committee reminds the State party of the indivisibility and interdependence of all the rights enshrined in the Convention and emphasizes the importance of all the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations. The Committee would like to draw the State party’s attention to the recommendations concerning the following areas, in respect of which urgent measures must be taken: birth registration (para. 20); corporal punishment (para. 23); harmful practices (para. 26); children deprived of a family environment (para. 30); nutrition and standard of living (para. 37); and children in street situations (para. 43).
5. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the realization of children ’ s rights in accordance with the Convention , the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography , throughout the process of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It urges the State party to ensure the meaningful participation of children in the design and implementation of policies and programmes aimed at achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals as far as they concern children .
A.General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44 (6))
6. The Committee takes note of the State party ’ s efforts to harmonize its legislation with the Convention, including through the adoption of the Code on the Legal Protection of Minors , in 2015 , and the amendments made to the Family Code. It recommends that the State party enact the decree for the implementation of the Code o n the Legal Protection o f Minors and adopt a comprehensive e law on the rights of the child that covers all areas of the Convention. It also recommends that the State party allocate the human, technical and financial resources necessary for the implementation of laws on children ’ s rights.
Comprehensive policy and strategy
7. The Committee takes note of the adoption of the national strategic action plan for children, 2011 – 2015 , and recommends that the State party update th e action plan, building on good practices and lessons learn ed , and allocate the human, technical and financial resources necessary for its effective implementation and coordination with other sectoral plans, in particular in the areas of health, nutrition, education, justice and social protection.
8. The Committee welcomes the establishment of the National Children ’ s Council , in 2013, as the government entity responsible for promoting and coordinating the realization of children ’ s rights and recommends that the State party ensure that it has the necessary competence and sufficient authority to coordinate all activities related to the implementation of the Convention at the national, regional and local levels, and across sectors, and is provided with the human, technical and financial resources necessary for its effective operation.
Allocation of resources
9. The Committee notes with concern the lack of public data on the budget allocation of resources for children ’ s rights and , i n the light of its general comment No. 19 (2016) on public budgeting for the realization of children ’ s rights, the Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the budget needs of areas concerning children , allocate adequate budgetary resources, in accordance with article 4 of the Convention, for the implementation of children ’ s rights and, in particular, increase the budget allocat ions to the social sectors and address disparities on the basis of indicators related to children ’ s rights;
(b) Utilize a child rights -based approach in the elaboration of the State budget, by implementing a tracking system for the allocation and use of resources for children throughout the budget;
(c) Ensure a transparent and participatory budgeting process , especially with children and civil society organizations working for and with children, to ensure proper accountability of the authorities;
(d) Seek technical cooperation from development partners, such as the United Nations Children ’ s Fund (UNICEF).
10. The Committee regrets the lack of public and updated disaggregated data on children ’ s rights, with most information provided in the State party report referring to the period 2012 – 2014. In the light of its general comment No. 5 (2003) on general measures of implementation of the Convention , the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Strengthen the National Institute of Statistics to expeditiously improve its data collection system and ensure that data collected on children ’ s rights covers all areas of the Convention and the Optional Protocols thereto, with data disaggregated by age, sex, disability, geographical location, ethnic and national origin and socioeconomic background, in order to facilitate analysis of the situation of children, in particular those in situations of vulnerability;
(b) Ensure that data and indicators on children ’ s rights are regularly updated, shared among the ministries and other partners concerned and used for the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects for the effective implementation of the Convention;
(c)Consider the conceptual and methodological framework set out in the guidelines of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, entitled Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation, when defining, collecting and disseminating statistical information;
(d) Seek technical cooperation from UNICEF, among other entities.
11. The Committee takes note of the measures taken to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission and recommends that the State party:
(a) Continue to take measures with a view to guaranteeing the independence of the National Human Rights Commission , including with regard to its funding, mandate and immunities, so as to ensure its full compliance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles);
(b) Establish a specific mechanism for monitoring children ’ s rights that is able to receive, investigate and address complaints by children in a child-sensitive and child-friendly manner .
Dissemination, awareness-raising and training
12. The Committee remains concerned that the Convention is not widely known and , recalling its previous recommendations , recommends that the State party:
(a) Strengthen awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns, in cooperation with civil society organizations, to ensure that the Convention and the Optional Protocols thereto are widely known by the general public, including parents and children themselves;
(b) Ensure that all professionals working with and for children, in particular social workers, lawyers, judges, law enforcement officials, health-care personnel, immigration and asylum officers, professionals and staff working in all forms of alternative care and members of the media, receive mandatory training on the rights of the child under the Convention;
(c) Promote the active involvement of children in public outreach activities, including in measures targeting parents, social workers, teachers and law enforcement officials.
Cooperation with civil society
13. The Committee, recalling its previous recommendations, recommends that the State party fully assume its responsibilities in the delivery of services for children and ensure that , when partnering with civil society organizations, the responsibility for the control and results remains with the relevant government entities. It also recommends that the State party systematically involve and ensure the meaningful participation of civil society in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, plans and programmes related to children.
B.Definition of the child (art. 1)
14. The Committee urges the State party to amend its legislation, and in particular the Family Code, to remove exceptions under article 14 that allow child marriage of those under 18 years of age.
C.General principles (arts. 2–3, 6 and 12)
15. Taking note of targets 5. 1 and 10.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals and recalling its previous recommendations, the Committee urges the State party to strengthen its measures to guarantee in practice the principle of non-discrimination to all children, in particular girls, children without birth registration, children with disabilities, children in street situations, refugee and migrant children, child ren who are victims of violence and abuse and children in the justice system, paying particular attention to ensuring their equal access to health, education, social protection services and freedom from violence.
Best interests of the child
16. The Committee welcomes the recognition of the principle of the best interests of the child in article 3 of the Code o n the Legal Protection of Minors and , i n the light of its general comment No. 14 (2013) on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that the principle of the best interests of the child is incorporated into legislation and into all policies, programmes and projects that are relevant to, and have an impact on, children and is consistently applied in all administrative and judicial proceedings;
(b) Develop procedures and criteria to ensure that the best interests of the child are properly assessed when a decision regarding a child is made and ensure that all relevant professionals are trained in those procedures.
Right to life, survival and development
17. The Committee appreciates the efforts that the State party has undertaken to reduce poverty and ensure the right to life, survival and development , which have resulted in decreased child mortality rates. However, the Committee remains concerned about the still high rates of infant and child mortality and malnutrition and urges the State party to strengthen its measures to address underlying determinants of infant and child mortality, including social and economic deprivation and inequalities.
Respect for the views of the child
18. The Committee welcomes the creation of the Children ’ s Parliament , in 2018, and notes that the Family Code establishes that children ’ s views should be respected. In the light of its general comment No. 12 (2009) on the right of the child to be heard and its previous recommendations , the Committee recommends that the State party :
(a) Amend article 172 of the Family Code to recognize the right of the child to be heard to all children and not only to those older than 13 years of age;
(b) Develop procedures and guidelines for social services and justice professionals to ensure in practice the application of children ’ s right to be heard in all administrative and judicial proceedings concerning them;
(c) Promote the meaningful and empowered participation of all children within the family, communities and schools and include children in decision-making in all matters related to children.
D.Civil rights and freedoms (arts. 7–8 and 13–17)
19.Taking note of the fact that the State party has initiated a remedial order to facilitate the issuance of birth certificates, including through school directors, to children not declared within the periods prescribed under the law, in order to allow them access to schools, the Committee is seriously concerned that children in vulnerable situations, such as refugee children, children of migrant families, children of nomadic families, children in street situations and children living in rural areas, are still not registered at birth.
20. T aking note of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals and recalling its previous recommendations , the Committee urges the State party to simplify and standardize the birth registration process and make it free of charge in all situation and accessible, and ensure the issuance of birth certificates for all children born in its territory, in particular in rural areas, and for nomad children, children in street situations, refugee and migrant children.
Freedom of expression and access to appropriate information
21. The Committee urges the State party to guarantee children ’ s rights to freedom of expression and access to appropriate information by creating an environment conducive to the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and amend ing its legislation to ensure that any restriction on press and media activities is in strict compliance with international human rights standards. It recommends that the State p arty p romote the availability of , and access to , adequate and age-appropriate information on matters related to children ’ s rights and the environment.
E.Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)
22.The Committee is seriously concerned that corporal punishment is still not explicitly prohibited by law and remains widely used in the family, with surveys showing a large number of children being subjected to highly violent forms of discipline.
23. In the light of its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment and its previous recommendations , the Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Amend the Penal Code and the Code on the Legal Protection of Minors to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in law in all settings, including in the home, childcare institutions, in alternative care settings and in the administration of justice;
(b) Promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline within families, communities and schools;
(c) Conduct awareness-raising campaigns for parents and professionals working with and for children to promote attitudinal change, within the family and the community, with regard to the eradication of corporal punishment.
Abuse and neglect
24. In the light of its general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence and target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, t he Committee recommends that the State party :
(a) Further strengthen awareness-raising campaigns and education programmes , with the involvement of children, to formulate a comprehensive strategy for preventing and combating violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, including in online settings, against children, paying particular attention to children in street situations and migrant and refugee children;
(b) Encourage community-based and family-based programmes aimed at preventing and tackling domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, including by involving former child victims, volunteers and community members and providing training support to them ;
(c) Put into place accessible, confidential and child-friendly mechanisms to facilitate and promote the mandatory reporting of violence against children;
(d) Develop and strengthen appropriate legislative measures to address the issues of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, in particular as result of harmful child labour, paying due attention to those belonging to vulnerable groups, such as children in street situations and migrant and refugee children;
(e) Take appropriate measures to ensure the prompt investigation of reports of sexual exploitation or abuse and the prosecution of perpetrators of sexual offences against children.
25.TheCommittee remains deeply concerned that:
(a)Child marriage, especially of girls in rural areas, remains highly prevalent in the State party;
(b)Girls who are victims of rape are usually forced to marry their attacker in order for their families to avoid social stigma;
(c)Girls are still subjected to female genital mutilation, despite the prohibition of the harmful practice.
26. In the light of joint general recommendation No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women/general comment No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2019) on harmful practices, and taking note of target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, t he Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Strengthen comprehensive awareness-raising programmes on the harmful traditional, cultural and religious patterns that perpetuate child marriage and on the effects of th e practice on the physical and mental health and well-being of girls, targeting families, communities, local authorities, religious leaders and judges, and paying particular attention to rural areas;
(b) Take measures to end the practice of girls who are victims of rape being forced into marrying the perpetrator, including by sanctioning the perpetrator as established by law and conducting public educational programmes, such as campaigns and public debates, organized in cooperation with religious leaders, families and the media;
(c) Reinforce preventive and protective measures to eliminate female genital mutilation, ensure that rehabilitation programmes and information are readily available to girl s who are victims of the harmful practice and ensure that relevant professionals are sufficiently trained to identify potential victims and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
27. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) E stablish a unique three-digit, toll-free, child-friendly national helpline, operating around the clock , and provide it with the necessary human, financial and technical resources for its effective functioning;
(b) Set up a functioning referral mechanism and ensure the capacity-building of helpline personnel on handling complain t s and providing child-friendly assistance.
F.Family environment and alternative care (arts. 5, 9–11, 18 (1)–(2), 20–21, 25 and 27 (4))
28. The Committee takes note of the adoption of the national social protection policy, 2018 – 2022 , and recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to continue providing parental education and support to vulnerable families, including to prevent abandonment, update the national policy and ensure social protection to all children.
Children deprived of a family environment
29.TheCommittee notes with concern that children deprived of family environment due to poverty or parental death and/or abandonment and children in street situations are mainly placed in institutions.
30. Drawing the State party ’ s attention to the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and recalling its previous recommendations , the Committee urges the State party to :
(a) Strengthen its efforts to support and facilitate alternative family-based and community-based care options for children deprived of family environment, including children living in street situations who cannot stay with their families, by implementing guidelines on foster and kinship care and by allocating adequate human, technical and financial resources to support that type of care;
(b) Ensure adequate safeguards and clear criteria, based on the needs a nd best interests of the child, for determining whether a child should be placed in alternative care;
(c) Establish a periodic review of the placement of children in foster care and alternative care centres and monitor the quality of care therein, including by providing accessible channels for reporting, monitoring and remedying the maltreatment of children.
31. While taking note of the legal reforms to facilitate the adoption of children in the Daryel nursery by Djiboutian families, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendations and recommends that the State party:
(a) Promote and raise awareness of formal adoption at the community level and make the procedure for national adoption of children from the Daryel nursery more accessible;
(b) Establish mechanisms to register, regulate and monitor adoptions;
(c) Ensure that the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration in adoption procedures for children of all ages and that the right of adoptive children to know their biological parents is effectively enforced.
G.Children with disabilities (art. 23)
32. With reference to its general comment No. 9 (2006) on the rights of children with disabilities, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a human rights-based approach to disability, set up a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities and urges the State party to :
(a) Continue to compile disaggregated data on children with disabilities to inform policies and programmes and develop an efficient and harmonized system for disability assessment in order to facilitate access for children with all types of disabilities to accessible services, including to education and health, social protection and legal services, in particular children living in rural areas and those living in refugee camps;
(b) Adopt measures to ensure that all children with disabilities receive an inclusive and high-quality education in mainstream school settings, including children with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and with visual or hearing impairments, and ensure that schools are equipped with specially trained teachers and professionals, accessible infrastructure and teaching materials adapted to the needs of children with disabilities;
(c) Undertake awareness-raising campaigns aimed at government officials and members of the public and families to combat the stigmatization of, and prejudice against, children with disabilities and promote a positive image of them as rights holders;
(d) Ensure that the principle of the best interests of the child and respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities is included into policies and programmes on the rights of the child;
(e) Take measures to ensure that children with disabilities exercise their right to express their views freely on matters affecting them and provide them with disability-sensitive and age-appropriate assistance to realize that right.
H.Basic health and welfare (arts. 6, 18 (3), 24, 26, 27 (1)–(3) and 33)
Health and health services
33. With reference to its general comment No. 15 (2013) on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, and taking note of targets 3.2 and 3.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party take steps to:
(a) Implement and apply the technical guidance of a human rights-based approach to policies and programmes to reduce and eliminate preventable mortality and morbidity of children under 5 years of age of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;
(b) Increase efforts to ensure available, accessible and high-quality health care and mental health care, in particular primary health-care services, including by allocating sufficient financial resources to the health sector and making hospitals and health centres accessible in rural areas;
(c) Fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and develop a national programme for the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding through ongoing comprehensive campaigns, provide appropriate support to mothers through counselling structures in hospitals, clinics and the community and implement the baby-friendly hospital initiative throughout the country;
(d) Strengthen data collection on breastfeeding according to World Health Organization (WHO) indicators;
(e) Continue to seek financial and technical assistance from UNICEF and WHO, among other entities, in that regard.
34. In the light of its general comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and development in the context of the Convention and general comment No. 20 (2016) on the implementation of the rights of the child during adolescence, and taking note of targets 3.7 and 5.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party :
(a) Adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the compulsory school curriculum and targeted at all adolescents, with special attention given to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections;
(b) Undertake a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of adolescent health and mental health concerns, with the full participation of adolescents, in particular adolescent girls;
(c) Increase efforts to ensure that all adolescents, including those who are out of school and those in rural areas, receive free and confidential sexual and reproductive health information and services, including access to contraceptives;
(d) Decriminalize abortion in all circumstances and ensure access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services for adolescent girls, making sure that their views are always heard and given due consideration as a part of the decision-making process.
35. Despite the efforts of the State party to combat HIV/AIDS, and in the light of the reports of cases of HIV among adolescents and limited access to comprehensive sexuality education in the State party, the Committee, i n the light of its general comment No. 3 (2003) on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the child, and taking note of target 3.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, recalls its previous recommendations and encourages the State party to further strengthen its programmes to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, placing a particular focus on adolescents belonging to vulnerable groups.
Nutrition and standard of living
36.The Committee notes with concern that, despite the progress made in improving the food security situation, chronic drought has caused widespread shortages in safe drinking water and food insecurity, in particular for children living in rural areas. The Committee is deeply concerned that:
(a)The number of children with severe acute malnutrition exceeding the thresholds of emergency defined by WHOhas increased exponentially and large numbers of children under 5 years of age living in rural areas are suffering from malnutrition;
(b)The poverty rate among children is still high, in particular with significant disparities between the city of Djibouti and other provinces and between urban areas and rural areas;
(c)Access to water, sanitation and hygiene remains limited.
37. Taking note of targets 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 2.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take urgent measures to prioritize children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition and provide them with the necessary treatment and nutrition;
(b) Regularly monitor and assess the effectiveness of policies and programmes on security and nutrition among children;
(c) Intensify efforts to prioritize access to clean drinking water, sanitation and shelter, as well as access to, and the availability and affordability of, food, in particular for rural populations, and consider asking UNICEF, WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, among others, for assistance to address those issues;
(d) Strengthen the implementation of the social protection strategies and other measures in order to ensure that children and their families living in poverty, including migrant and refugee children, receive adequate social and financial support and free, accessible services, without discrimination.
Impact of climate change on the rights of the child
38. While noting the severe impact of climate change on the State party, in the form of droughts and floods, and taking note of targets 1.5 and 13.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, t he Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure better preparedness for the adverse impact of climate change and natural disasters through specific policies and programmes and allocate sufficient resources in that regard;
(b) Ensure that children ’ s special vulnerabilities, needs and views are taken into account in developing policies and programmes to address climate change and in disaster risk management;
(c) Collect disaggregated data identifying the types of risk faced by children in the context of a variety of disasters, in order to inform national and regional plans, policies, frameworks and programmes accordingly;
I.Education, leisure and cultural activities (arts. 28–31)
Education, including vocational training and guidance
39. While taking note of targets 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 4.6, 4.a and 4.c of the Sustainable Development Goals , the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Provide equal access to free high-quality primary and secondary education to all girls and boys, especially nomadic, migrant and refugee children and children with disabilities;
(b) Take the measures necessary to improve the quality of, and accessibility to, education and provide high-quality training for teachers, further improving the student-to-teacher ratio, especially in rural areas;
(c) Develop and promote high-quality vocational training to enhance the skills of children and young people, especially those who drop out of school;
(d) Address inequalities generated by the home schooling necessitated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, including by ensuring the availability of computer equipment and sufficient Internet access, giving particular attention to children in rural areas and children with disabilities;
(e) Allocate sufficient financial resources from the national budget for the effective implementation of the education framework act for early childhood development, paying particular attention to ensuring access to preschool education for children living in poverty, children in rural areas and children with disabilities.
J.Special protection measures (arts. 22, 30, 32–33, 35–36, 37 (b)–(d) and 38–40)
Asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children
40. The Committee welcomes the legislative and policy measures taken to protect the rights of asylum-seeking and refugee children. In the light of joint general comments No. 3 and No. 4 of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families/No. 22 and No. 23 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2017) on the human rights of children in the context of international migration, and its general comment No. 6 (2005) on treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin , the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all decisions and agreements in relation to the transfer of any asylum-seeking, refugee or migrant children;
(b) Process cases involving unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children in a positive, humane and expeditious manner as a means of identifying durable solutions, in line with article 10 (1) of the Convention;
(c) Take the measures necessary to guarantee access to education, health care and protection programmes for asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children, including by taking measures to eliminate societal barriers and discrimination against them;
(d) Ensure access to the asylum system for children in need of international protection, in line with articles 6, 22 and 37 of the Convention and the Committee ’ s general comment No. 6 (2005);
(e) Continue to issue a birth certificate to every newborn refugee or migrant child to protect them and prevent statelessness;
(f) Consider ratifying the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness .
Economic exploitation, including child labour
41. Taking note of target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that policies, plans and legislation to address child labour, in particular in its worst forms, are implemented and provide effective protection for all children, in particular those belonging to vulnerable groups, such as children living in the street, migrant and refugee children;
(b) Prohibit and eliminate the employment of children in harmful and hazardous labour practices, promote safer alternatives and ensure the monitoring of children affected, in particular migrant and refugee girls in domestic work at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation;
(c) Significantly increase the human, technical and financial resources allocated to the Ministry of Labour in order to regularly and effectively implement laws and policies on child labour, in particular with regard to domestic work by girls, and prosecute perpetrators;
(d) Strengthen labour inspectorates and monitoring mechanisms in the formal and informal sectors and make data on the number of inspections and violations publicly available;
(e) Strengthen its efforts to ensure that no child engages in harmful and hazardous work and raise public awareness of child labour, its exploitative character and its consequences;
(f) Seek technical assistance from the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in that regard;
(g) Consider ratifying the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189);
(h) Collect data on the nature and extent of and trends in the worst forms of child labour, disaggregated by age, sex, refugee and migrant status and other relevant factor, in order to understand the scale of the problem and inform current and future policies and strategies.
Children in street situations
42.The Committee remains seriously concerned about children who are still in the streets and that such children continue to face several hardships, including limited access to food, education, health, housing and legal support. Furthermore,children in street situations are also exposed to prostitution, sexually transmissible infections, including HIV/AIDS, economic and sexual exploitation and violence.
43. With reference to its previous concluding observations and in the light of its general comment No. 21 (2017) on children in street situations, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Regularly assess the number of children in street situations, update studies on the root causes of their situations, establish a monitoring mechanism, adopt a strategy and programmes to prevent, protect and support them and fully implement the recommendations of the study on children in street situations in the city of Djibouti conducted in 2018;
(b) Intensify efforts to provide protection for the rights of children in street situations, including through the provision of education, health services, food, shelter and legal and other relevant social services, while bearing in mind gender specificities;
(c) Develop and implement, with the active involvement of children in street situations, a comprehensive strategy to address the situation of children in street situations, including their reintegration within a family or their placement in an alternative care setting, including by allocating adequate resources for the implementation of the strategy by public services and civil society actors.
Sale, trafficking and abduction of children
44. Taking note of target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party :
(a) Adopt and implement a national action plan to combat trafficking in persons and allocate sufficient resources for its implementation and regular evaluation;
(b) Provide children who are victims of sale, trafficking and abduction, including migrant and refugee girls, with adequate assistance and protection, including the provision of shelters and psychological, rehabilitation and social integration services, and ensure effective access to compensation for such victims;
(c) Provide support to civil society organizations delivering assistance to victims;
(d) Ensure the effective provision of referral and support services to children, in particular refugee and migrant girls, who are victims of trafficking;
(e) Investigate all cases of trafficking of children and bring perpetrators to justice;
(f) Conduct awareness-raising activities in order to make both parents and children aware of the dangers of trafficking.
Administration of child justice
45.With reference to its general comment No. 24 (2019) on children ’ s rights in the child justice system and the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, the Committee urges the State party to bring its child justice system fully into line with the Convention and other relevant standards. In particular, the Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age;
(b) Provide the specialized justice system with the human, technical, financial and other support necessary to enable personnel therein to effectively fulfil and discharge their legal mandate, and generalize the creation of such courts throughout the territory;
(c) Continue to provide systematic specialized mandatory training programmes for members of the judiciary and other relevant officials working with children in the justice system;
(d) Ensure the provision of free, qualified and independent legal aid to children alleged as, accused of or recognized as having infringed criminal law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings;
(e) Promote non-judicial measures, such as diversion, mediation and counselling, for children accused of criminal offences and extend the use of non-custodial sentences for children, such as probation or community service;
(f) For the few situations where deprivation of liberty is justified as a measure of last resort, ensure that children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including by avoiding overcrowding, providing adequate food and sanitation facilities and ensuring access to education and health services;
(g) Ensure the independent child-friendly monitoring of children deprived of liberty;
(h) Collect up-to-date statistical data on children in conflict with the law, children deprived of liberty and children of detainees to improve the existing system.
K.Ratification of the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure
46. The Committee recommends that the State party consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on a communications procedure.
L.Ratification of international human rights instruments
47. The Committee recommends that the State party consider ratifying the following core human rights instruments:
(a) International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;
(b) International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;
(c) Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
(d) Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
(e) Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
48. The Committee urges the State party to fulfil its reporting obligations under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, given that the related reports have been overdue since 2013.
M.Cooperation with regional bodies
49. The Committee recommends that the State party cooperate with the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child of the African Union on the implementation of the Convention and other human rights instruments, both in the State party and in other States members of the African Union.
V.Implementation and reporting
A.Follow-up and dissemination
50. The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to ensure that the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations are fully implemented and that a child-friendly version is disseminated to, and made widely accessible for, children, including the ones in the most disadvantaged situations. The Committee also recommends that the combined third to fifth periodic reports, the written replies to the list of issues and the present concluding observations be made widely available in the languages of the country.
B.National mechanism for reporting and follow-up
51. The Committee recommends that the State party further strengthen the interministerial committee tasked with preparing reports to the human rights treaty bodies and ensure that it has the mandate and the adequate human, technical and financial resources to effectively coordinate and prepare reports to international and regional human rights mechanisms and to coordinate and track national follow-up to, and implementation of, treaty obligations and the recommendations and decisions emanating from such mechanisms. The Committee emphasizes that the interministerial committee should be adequately and continuously supported by dedicated staff and should have the capacity to consult systematically with the National Human Rights Commission and civil society.
52. The Committee invites the State party to submit its combined sixth to eighth periodic reports by 4 January 2027 and to include therein information on the follow-up to the present concluding observations. The report should be in compliance with the Committee ’ s harmonized treaty-specific reporting guidelines and should not exceed 21,200 words. In the event that a report exceeding the established word limit is submitted, the State party will be asked to shorten the report. If the State party is not in a position to review and resubmit the report, translation thereof for the purposes of consideration by the treaty body cannot be guaranteed.
53. The Committee also invites the State party to submit an updated core document, not exceeding 42,400 words, in accordance with the requirements for the common core document contained in the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties, including guidelines on a common core document and treaty-specific documents and paragraph 16 of General Assembly resolution 68/268.