COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 8 OF THE Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict
Concluding observations: Iceland
1.The Committee considered the initial report of Iceland (CRC/C/OPAC/ISL/1) at its 1146th meeting (see CRC/C/SR.1146), held on 26 May 2006, and adopted at its 1157th meeting, held on 2 June 2006, the following concluding observations.
2.The Committee welcomes the submission of the State party’s initial report as well as the submission of the written replies to its list of issues (CRC/C/OPAC/ISL/Q/1). The Committee appreciates the frank and constructive dialogue held with the high-level delegation.
3.The Committee reminds the State party that these concluding observations should be read in conjunction with its previous concluding observations adopted on the State party’s second periodic report on 31 January 2003 and contained in CRC/C/15/Add.203.
B. Positive aspects
4.The Committee notes with appreciation the State party’s bilateral and international technical cooperation activities aimed at preventing the involvement of children in armed conflict.
5.The Committee also notes the State party’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 25 May 2000, and of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour on 29 May 2000.
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C. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
6.The Committee notes that the State party does not have armed forces and that consequently there is no legal regulation of voluntary or compulsory recruitment. The absence of armed forces does not, however, exclude the possibility of individuals or groups undertaking efforts to recruit children for foreign armed forces or groups, and the Committee is concerned that the recruitment of children is not explicitly mentioned as a crime in the State party’s penal code.
7. In order to strengthen the national and international measures for the prevention of the recruitment of children for armed forces or armed groups and their use in hostilities, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Explicitly prohibit by law the recruitment of children under the age of 15 years into armed forces/groups as well as their direct participation in hostilities;
(b) Explicitly prohibit by law the violation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol regarding the recruitment and involvement of children in hostilities;
(c) Establish extraterritorial jurisdiction for these crimes when they are committed by or against a person who is a citizen of or has other links with the State party; and
(d) Stipulate explicitly that military personnel should not undertake any act that violates the rights enshrined in the Optional Protocol regardless of any military order to that effect.
Assistance for physical and psychological recovery
8.The Committee notes the information in the State party report on special assistance and psychological and social support to refugee children. However, the Committee regrets the lack of information on psychological and physical recovery and social reintegration of refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children who have been involved in armed conflict.
9. The Committee encourages the State party to continue to strengthen, where necessary, the above-mentioned services inside and outside Iceland. The Committee requests that the State party provide information in its next report on refugee, asylum ‑seeking and migrant children within its jurisdiction who may have been involved in armed conflict in their home country, as well as on the assistance provided for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.
10. The Committee also recommends that the State party take note of the Committee’s general comment No. 6 (CRC/GC/2005/6) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin.
Financial and other assistance
11. The Committee notes with appreciation the State party’s cooperation at the multilateral level to address the issue of children in armed conflict , including the financial support to the United Nations specialized agencies. It is also encouraged by the State party’s bilateral activities in the field. The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its bilateral and multilateral activities to address the issue of the involvement of children in armed conflict , in particular, paying attention to preventive work.
Dissemination of documentation
12. In the light of article 2, paragraph 2, of the Optional Protocol, the Committee recommends that the initial report and written replies submitted by the State party and the concluding observations adopted by the Committee be made widely available to the public at large in order to generate debate and awareness of the Optional Protocol, its implementation and its monitoring.
D. Next report
13. In accordance with article 8, paragraph 2, the Committee requests the State party to include further information on the implementation of the Optional Protocol in its next periodic report (third and fourth) under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in accordance with article 44 of the Convention, due on 26 May 2008.