United Nations


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

19 July 2013

Original: English

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Sixty- fifth session

13–31 January 2014

Item 4 of the provisional agenda

Consideration of reports of States parties

List of issues in relation to the initial report of Portugal submitted under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (CRC/C/OPAC/PRT/1)

The State party is requested to submit in writing additional, updated information (15 pages maximum), if possible before 1 November 2013.

The Committee may take up all aspects of children’s rights contained in the Optional Protocol during the dialogue with the State p arty.

1.Please provide further information on the exact role played by the Ministry of Defence in coordinating the implementation of the Optional Protocol, particularly with reference to coordination between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for Internal Affairs, as well as with civil society, academia, the media and other partners.

2.Please clarify if there are independent complaints mechanisms accessible to children in the military schools or if other mechanisms exist to monitor the rights of children enrolled in such programmes and investigate their complaints.

3.Please inform the Committee about any public awareness programmes, including campaigns conducted by the State party, to ensure that all communities, in particular children and their families, are adequately informed about the provisions of the Optional Protocol, including the minimum age for voluntary recruitment of children into the Armed Forces.

4.Please provide information on the training activities related to the Optional Protocol for professionals working with children who are likely to have been involved in armed conflict, especially for members of the Armed Forces, the police, immigration officials, lawyers, judges, medical and social workers.

5.In the light of the information provided in paragraph 43 of the State party’s report that “in the Military School (Colégio Militar), military training is mandatory and taken into account for school progression”, kindly clarify what constitutes military training and whether the activities are comparable to those performed by the military. Please explain the procedures followed by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education to ensure that such activities are suitable for younger recruits in terms of mental maturity and whether the recruits also receive information on the principles and provisions of the Optional Protocol.

6.Please clarify if the State party envisions establishing a minimum age for enrolment in military schools. Please provide further information on how the State party ensures that article 3 of the Optional Protocol is respected, including as concerns the verification of the voluntary nature of recruitment and the age of recruits. Please indicate the number of students enrolled in the Navy School and in the Air Force Academy who are under the age of 18 years.

7.Please indicate whether recruitment of children under 18 into the Armed Forces and the recruitment and use of children by non-State armed groups are criminalized and punishable under domestic legislation and, if so, whether there have been any investigations or prosecutions for violations in this regard.

8.Please provide information on the procedures used to identify as quickly as possible any child refugees, asylum seekers or migrants who have been or are at risk of being recruited or used in armed conflicts. Please also elaborate on the reintegration and rehabilitation services available to such children and whether the alterations to Decree-Law 176/2003 of August 2007 also cover all child refugees and asylum seekers who entered the State party before the amendments were introduced.

9.Please indicate whether domestic legislation prohibits the trade and export of arms, including small arms and light weapons, as well as military assistance to countries where children are or may be recruited or used in an armed conflict.