United Nations


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

4 November 2016

Original: English

English, French and Spanish only

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Seventy-fourth session

16 January-3 February 2017

Item 4 of the provisional agenda

Consideration of reports of States parties

List of issues in relation to the report submitted by Estonia 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 December 2017. 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.Please inform the Committee which is the governmental entity with the primary responsibility for the implementation of the Optional Protocol and which mechanisms have been established or are used to ensure coordination with the relevant regional and local authorities, as well as with civil society, including the media and academia.

2.Please provide information on the mechanisms and procedures used to collect data on the implementation of all aspects of the Optional Protocol. Please provide data disaggregated by age, sex, nationality, region and ethnicity on the number of 17-year-olds with a national defence obligation (call-up selectees).

3.Please provide information on the mandate and role of the Chancellor of Justice, as the ombudsman for children, in monitoring the implementation of the Optional Protocol.

4.Please provide information on any legal provision enabling the age of conscription to be lowered to below 18 years in exceptional circumstances, such as in a state of emergency. Please also provide information on the measures taken to ensure that call-up selectees aged 17 do not take direct part in hostilities.

5.Please inform the Committee of whether the Penal Code defines the recruitment of children under the age of 15 as a war crime, in line with article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

6.Please provide information on schools operated by the Ministry of Defence and, in particular, on the minimum age for entry into such schools; the number of such schools and the curricula provided, including training on the use of weapons; the rules governing school discipline; the existence of independent complaints mechanisms; disaggregated data on children attending these schools; and the right of children to leave such schools at any time.

7.Please provide detailed information on associations and federations regulated by the Estonian Defence League Act, in particular information on the number of defence leagues and data on the junior members of such leagues, disaggregated by age and sex; measures to ensure that discipline is exercised in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity; and the existence of independent complaints mechanisms. Please also provide information on the military training that junior members receive.

8.Please provide information on measures taken to provide regular training to military personnel on the Optional Protocol, including in the context of international peacekeeping operations. Please indicate whether national legislation prohibits the trade in and export of small arms and light weapons, as well as on military assistance to countries where children are involved in armed conflict.

9.Please provide information on methods used to identify children who are vulnerable to practices contrary to the Optional Protocol. Please report on measures taken to promote public awareness of the principles and provisions of the Optional Protocol, including through peace education in school curricula, and on measures aimed at making children aware of the harmful consequences of involvement in armed conflict.

10.Please specify which provisions of the Penal Code cover and define the acts set out in articles 1, 2 and 4 of the Optional Protocol, including the maximum and minimum penalties that can be imposed for each offence.

11.Please inform the Committee of the sentences applicable under the law for attempts to commit and for complicity or participation in the acts mentioned in paragraph 10 above.

12.Please report on whether there are any refugee, asylum-seeking or foreign unaccompanied children in the jurisdiction of the State party who have been involved or may have been involved in armed conflict abroad. Please provide information on existing remedies and reparations that may be sought by child victims of offences covered by the Optional Protocol and indicate the measures that have been taken to provide training to those who work with child victims.