Committee on the Rights of the Child
Seventy- nin t h session
17 September–5 October 2018
Item 4 of the provisional agenda
Considerati on of reports of States parties
List of issues in relation to the report submitted by Benin under article 8 (1) of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict
The State party is requested to submit in writing additional, updated information (10,700 words maximum), if possible before 15 June 2018. The Committee may take up all aspects of children’s rights set out in the Optional Protocol during the dialogue with the State party.
1.With regard to paragraphs 16 and 17 of the State party’s report (CRC/C/OPAC/BEN/1), please inform the Committee of the role of each body and the procedure for ensuring coordination among all bodies.
2.Please indicate whether the Optional Protocol is published in the Official Gazette. Please provide information on the steps taken to establish a systematic data collection system for the areas covered by the Protocol. Please inform the Committee of the number of children who are enrolled in military schools.
3.Please provide information on the steps taken to detect and collect data on refugee, asylum-seeking or migrant children, including unaccompanied children, who may have been recruited or used in hostilities abroad, and indicate whether the staff responsible for their detection receive training on children’s rights, child protection and interviewing techniques.
4.With reference to paragraph 31 of the State party’s report and in view of the fact that birth registration is not universal, please provide information on the steps taken to implement safeguards that enable the age of recruits to be verified in the absence of civil status documents.
5.Please provide information on the military secondary school for girls in Natitingou, the military academy in Bèmbèrèkè, and the National Training Centre for the Armed Forces, and indicate whether students are subject to military law and discipline.
6.Please provide the Committee with information on the following questions: the existence of practical training for children in the use of weapons; the status of children in the event of mobilization or during a national emergency; whether the Benin Human Rights Commission is the independent complaint mechanism and whether children have the right to leave school at any time.
7.Please inform the Committee of steps taken to promote a culture of peace, including familiarization with Optional Protocol issues and human rights education, in compulsory primary and secondary education programmes, in military schools, and in teacher training programmes.
8.Please specify whether conscripts and soldiers on active service regularly attend compulsory courses on human rights and peace, including the provisions of the Optional Protocol.
9.Please indicate the measures taken by the State party to prevent any possibility of recruitment of children by non-State armed groups operating in neighbouring countries.
10.Please indicate whether the law criminalizes all forms of recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts by any actor and renders the recruitment of children under the age of 15 years a war crime. Please also indicate whether the State party can exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction over the offences specified in the Optional Protocol.
11.Please inform the Committee of legal provisions and measures taken to prohibit the trade and export of small arms and light weapons.