COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Fifty - second session
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding o bservations of the Committee on the
Rights of the Child: Mozambique
The Committee considered the second periodic report of Mozambique (CRC/C/MOZ/2) at its 1430th and 1431st meetings (CRC/C/SR.1430 and 1431), held on 16 September 2009, and adopted, at its 1453rd meeting (CRC/C/SR.1453), held on 23 September 2009, the following concluding observations.
The Committee welcomes the frank and self-critical nature of the second periodic report of the State party as well as the written replies to its list of issues (CRC/C/MOZ/Q/2/Add.1), and appreciates the fruitful dialogue held with the high-level and multisectoral delegation, which allowed for a better understanding of the situation of children in the State party.
B. Follow-up measures and progress achieved by the State party
The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption of the following legislation:
Promotion and Protection Lawon Child Rights No. 7/2008, of 9 July 2008 (hereafter “Child Rights Protection Law”)
Jurisdictional Organization for Minors Law No. 8/2008 of 9 July 2008 (hereafter “Juvenile Justice Law”)
Law against Human Trafficking No. 6/2008 of 9 July 2008
Family Law No. 12/2004 of 25 August 2004
Code of Civil Registration by Law No. 12/2004 of 8 December 2004
The Committee also welcomes the State party’s accession to or ratification of the following:
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on 18 October 2004
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. on 6 March 2003
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, on 20 September 2006
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, on 9 December 2005 and Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, on 17 July 2004
International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (No. 138) and ILO Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182), on 16 June 2003.
The Committee also welcomes:
The adoption of the National Plan of Action for Children, 2006-2011
The adoption of the National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Fight against HIV/AIDS
The establishment of the National Human Rights Commission in May 2009
The establishment of youth health services throughout the country
Factors and d ifficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
The Committee notes that Mozambique continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world despite its progress, and that it is particularly affected by high rates of HIV and AIDS, regional disparities and recurrent natural disasters, especially floods and drought, which create difficulties and challenges to the accelerated implementation of programmes to ensure the realization of the rights of the child.
D. Main areas of concern and recommendations
1. General measures of implementation
(arts. 4, 42 and 44 ( para . 6 ) of the Convention )
The Committee’s p revious r ecommendations
The Committee notes with appreciation efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/15/Add.172). Nevertheless, the Committee regrets that some of its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently or only partly addressed.
The Committee refers the State party to its g eneral c omment No. 5 (2003) on g eneral measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child and recommends that it take all necessary measures to address the recommendations from the concluding observations of the initial report that have not yet been implemented or sufficiently implemented , including those related to the allocation of resources, children with disabilities, children living on the street, child labour, corporal punishment, and child abuse and neglect. The Committee also recommends that the State party provide adequate follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report.
The Committee welcomes the significant legal reforms carried out to harmonize the State party’s domestic legal framework with the Convention, and the fact that children have been associated in these processes. In particular, the Committee notes with satisfaction the adoption in 2008 of the Child Rights Protection Law which translates the principles of the Convention into national child rights legislation, and of theJuvenile Justice Law. It is,however,concerned that the implementation procedures and regulatory frameworks for those laws to become operational have not yet been established. While noting that the new Constitution includes several sections on the rights of the child, the Committee is further concerned that the Convention does not prevail over domestic legislation and is not directly applicable.
The Committee recommends that the State party promptly adopt the necessary implement ation procedures and regulatory frameworks to allow the new legislation concerning children to become fully operational. The Committee also urges the State party to ensure that the Convention prevails when there is a conflict with domestic legislation or common practice and that it is directly applicable.
The Committee understands that steps have been taken to make effective Decree No. 8/2009 adopted in March 2009 that establishes the National Council on Child Rights, as per the 2006 National Action Plan for Children. However, it remains concerned as to the Council’s level of authority, status and effective relationships with the relevant ministries dealing directly with children’s issues. The Committee is also concerned that the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, whose head chairs the Council, receives less than 1 per cent of the national budget and has several other tasks under its responsibility.
The Committee encourages the State party to promptly organize the National Council on Child Rights as a high - level and independent, multisectoral body and ensure that it has sufficient human and financial resources to effectively coordinate , monitor and evaluate the realization of children’s rights. The Committee also reiterates its previous recommendation ( ibid., para. 14 ( b) ) to significantly strengthen the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs with additional financial, technical and human resources.
National Plan of Action
The Committee welcomes the adoption in 2006 of the National Action Plan for Children 2006-2011 and the Action Plan for Orphan and Vulnerable Children, and the fact that objectives and targets to be achieved by the National Action Plan are based on recommendations of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children held in May 2002 and on the outcome document “Call for accelerated action on the implementation of the Plan of Action towards Africa Fit for Children (2008-2012)” adopted in Cairo on 2 November 2007 by the African Union second Pan-African Forum on Children: midterm review (see A/62/653).
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure mainstreaming of the National Action Plan for Children 2006-2011 and the Action Plan for Orphan and Vulnerable Children by providing and clearly identifying specific budget lines for them as well as across all relevant sectoral programmes. It further recommends setting up adequate follow-up mechanisms for full implementation and ensur ing that these plans are equipped with evaluation and monitoring mechanisms to regularly assess progress achieved and identify possible deficiencies for remedial action, across sectors and regions.
The Committee welcomes the adoption in May 2009 of a law establishing the National Human Rights Commission. However, the Committee is concerned at the lack of information on the mandate of the Commission as it relates to children’s rights.
The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its g eneral c omment No. 2 ( 2002 ) on the role of independent national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child and urges the State party to ensure that the newly established National Human Rights Commission has the mandate and capacity for monitoring children’s rights under the Convention, in accordance with the Paris principles , and that child-sensitive procedures are set up through which children can make complaints o f violations of their rights.
Allocation of r esources
While noting that the second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2006-2009 calls for more resources to be allocated to sectors that contribute to children’s well-being and development, the Committee is concerned that the already limited budget allocations to priority social services have been reduced since 2008, further affecting the realization of the rights of the child. The Committee is also concerned about the inequitable allocation of resources among provinces, with the lowest expenditures being allocated to the provinces where child well-being indicators, including child poverty, are among the worst in the country. The Committee is further concerned at the widespread corruption in the State party which mainly results from minimal accountability and a culture of impunity.
The Committee urges the State party, taking into account the Committee’s recommendations during its d ay of g eneral d iscussion in 2007 on r esources for the t ights of the c hild - r esponsibility of States (see CRC/C/46/3) :
(a) To u tilize a child - rights 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, thus providing visibility to the investment i n children. The Committee also urges that this tracking system be used for impact assessments o f how investments in any sector can serve the best interest s of the child, ensuring that the differential impact of such investment on girls and boys is measured ;
(b) To r eallocate resources from non-priority sectors to priority sectors and within priority sectors , to ensure increased budget allocations to child survival, development, protection and well - being;
(c) To e stablish clear allocations to each province that progressively address the disparities in indicators related to children’s rights ;
(d) To e nsure transparent and participatory budgeting through public dialogue and participation , especially by children , and for proper accountability by local authorities ;
(e) To d efine strategic budgetary lines for disadvantaged or particularly vulnerable children and for those situations that may require affirmative social measures (such as birth registration and training of teachers and health workers ) , and make sure that those budgetary lines are protected even in situations of economic crisis, natural disasters or other emergencies ; and
(f) To t ake all the necessary measures to fully enforce the Anti-Corruption Act No.6/2004 of 17 June 2004.
International development cooperation
The Committee notes with concern that despite the commendable economic growth sustained over the last decade, the State party continues to be heavily dependant on international cooperation. It also notes that 53 per cent of the national budget still comes from development cooperation and that this is increasingly going to general budget support based on Government policies and priorities.
T he Committee recommends to the State party that development cooperation, and particularly any increases, be targeted towards programmes that can deliver quick/high impact s o n implementing the rights of the child . In particular, priority should be given to:
(a) Large-scale programmes that deliver clear benefits for children, such as comprehensive distribution of long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets;
(b) Large-scale outreach health programmes, including structured emphasis and use of national child health weeks , that have an impact o n increasing vaccination coverage, micronutrient supplementation and preventive care at the community level;
(c) Continued and accelerated expansion of access to qualit y paediatric treatment, voluntary counselling and testing as part of antenatal care programmes , and drugs for the prevention of mother - to - child transmission of HIV;
(d) HIV/AIDS programmes as an entry point for the allocation of resources to the wider health sector system, strengthening expansion of facilities and improv ing the quality of care;
(e) Large-scale social protection schemes and cash transfer programmes;
(f) Expanded rural and peri-urban water and sanitation programmes, building on rural water and sanitation initiatives such as the “One million initiative”; and
(g) Campaigns for the expansion of school construction in all districts , using both community - based/local labour and outsourced contractors.
Child rights and the business sector
The Committee notes that with increased stability and participation in the international market, Mozambique is becoming attractive for private foreign and domestic investment, which can have positive as well as negative impacts on children.
The Committee suggests that the State party undertake efforts to ensure that private foreign and domestic investment is mindful of and responsive to child and women ’s rights and operates in a socially and environmentally responsible way to safeguard children and their communities .
The Committee notes with interest that a consumer survey was conducted in 2008 and a multiple indicator cluster survey in 2009 which will provide a comprehensive overview of the status of key indicators related to the Convention. However, it is concerned at the lack of up‑to‑date, comprehensive and accurate data and information from the national data collection system in the State party’s report.
The Committee encourages the State party to continue strengthening its statistical system with the support of its partners , and to us e the data collected and analy s ed as a basis for assessing progress achieved in the realization of child rights and to help design policies to implement the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the information collected contains up - to - date data on a wide range of vulnerable groups including rural children, children with disabilities, children living in poverty, children living in the street s and working children, especially in disadvantaged areas, disaggregat ed by gender, region and age.
Dissemination, training and awareness-raising
The Committee notes with appreciation the inclusion of information on children’s rights in official school textbooks as well as in teacher and police training. However, it is concerned that public communication and training programmes aimed at adults and professionals are inadequate and not systematic, especially outside urban areas. The Committee is also concerned at the dearth of child friendly and practical information for children on the exercise of their rights. The Committee is further concerned at the inadequate role of the media in disseminating information on child rights.
The Committee recommends that the State party :
(a) E nsure that the provisions of the Convention are widely known and unde rstood by adults and children;
(b) E xpand its awareness-raising campaigns to reach popul ations outside of urban areas;
(c) R einforce the systematic training of all professional groups working for and with children, including law enforcement officials, teachers, health personnel, social workers and personnel of childcare institutions ; and
(d) Intensify cooperation with the m edia to promote and strengthen their responsibility in disseminating information about the Convention .
Cooperation with civil society
The Committee commends the State party’s assertion in its report of the indispensable role played by civil society, including national and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, the Committee is concerned that participation by civil society in public decision-making remains weak, including during the policy formulation, planning and budgeting phases of Government programmes.
The Committee urges the State party to systematically involve communities and civil society, including children’s organizations, throughout all stages of implementation of the C onvention on the Rights of the C hild .
2 . General principles
(arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12 of the Convention)
While noting the efforts made to provide services for all children to enjoy their rights, the Committee is deeply concerned at the significant and persistent disparities between different regions of the State party resulting in the unequal enjoyment by children of the rights enshrined in the Convention. The disparities are reflected in a range of demographic and social indicators, including enrolment in and completion of education, infant mortality rates and access to health care, and indicate persistent discriminationagainst girls, children with disabilities, children living in rural and remote areas and children from economically disadvantaged families. While noting with satisfaction that since the revision of the Family Law in 2004 children born in and out of wedlock legally enjoy the same rights, the Committee is concerned at cases of children born out of wedlock who are still being deprived of their rights, notably to inheritance.
The Committee urges the State party to consider measures, including affirmative action policies , to give priority to ensur ing that both girls and boys equal ly enjoy their rights and to eliminat ing all forms of discrimination against girls and children belonging to vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Committee also calls upon the State party to take all the necessary measures to ensure that children born out of wedlock effectively enjoy their rights on an equal footing with all other children.
Best i nterests of the c hild
The Committee notes with appreciation that the principle of the best interests of the child is incorporated in the State party’s legislation, notably in article 47 of the Constitution. However, the Committee regrets that the principle of the best interests of the child is still not reflected as a primary consideration in most legislative and policy matters affecting children and that it is not adequately taken into account by professionals working with children, including the judiciary.
The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to ensure that the principle of the best interests of the child is adequately integrated in all legal provisions and implemented in practice in judicial and administrative decisions and in program me s, projects and services which have an impact on children, in accordance with article 3 of the Convention.
Right to life, survival and development
The Committee expresses concern at the very high rate of accidents, especially road accidents, of which children are victims in the State party. The Committee is also concerned at reports of children being killed or injured as a consequence of landmines remaining from former conflicts on the territory of the State party.
The Committee urges the State party to adopt and implement a multidisciplinary national strategy and plan of action on roadsafety and continue public campaigns to increase traffic awareness among children, parents, teachers and the public in general . The Committee also urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to remove landmines, including through mine - clearance and mine - awareness programmes , as well as to ensure the physical and psychological rehabilitation of child victims , seek ing assistance from the United Nations and other competent bodies in this regard.
Respect for the views of the child
The Committee notes that the principle of respect for the views of the child is incorporated in the State party’s legislation, in particular in the Constitution (art. 47) and in the Family Law, and in cases of adoption,and that the participation of children in decision-making processes is receiving increased attention in the State party. The Committee is, however, concerned that the views of the child are sometimes not solicited or taken into account in various settings concerning children, including judicial hearings of cases, matters of school administration and education, and public policy debates. The Committee is also concerned that certain traditional societal attitudes continue to limit children, especially girls, from freely expressing their views. The Committee appreciates the creation of theChild Parliament, but is concerned that its methods of work and election process may affect its legitimacy and effectiveness.
The Committee urges the State party, in accordance with article 12 of the Convention, to incorporate, facilitate and implement in practice the principle of respect for the views of the child, within the family, schools and the community , as well as in institutions and in administrative and judicial proceedings. The Committee also recommends that the State party incorporate and establish clear mechanisms and guidelines on how the views expressed by children at the Child Parliament are to be taken into account by policymaking bodies and ensure that children are provided with adequate response s to their proposals. The Committee further recommends that all children , without discrimination , be represented in the Child Parliament and be able to elect their own representative s freely . T he Committee further draws the attention of the State p arty to its g eneral c omment No. 12 ( 2009 ) on the right of the child to be heard .
3 . Civil rights and freedoms
(arts. 7, 8, 13-17, 19 and 37 (a) of the Convention)
The Committee welcomes the efforts undertaken by the State party to increase birth registration, in particular the adoption of the Civil Registration Law No. 12/2004, of 8 December 2004, extending the free birth registration period from 30 to 120 days and introducing decentralization of registration services,as well as the development of the Plan of Action on Birth Registration in 2004. Nevertheless, the Committee remains concerned that the fees imposed after the 120-day period may constitute an obstacle to the registration of children, which still remains low. The Committee is also concerned that registration authorities remain far from communities and that families still do not fully understand the benefits of birth registration.
The Committee urges the State party to accelerate the free birth registration system , which should be sustainable and available throughout the State party, including in the most remote areas. T he Committee further urges the State party to provide decentralized registration offices and units with the necessary human, material and financial resources and strengthen its awareness-raising activities in all communities on the importance of birth registration for all boys and girls. The Committee recommends, in the interim, that the State party ensure that unregistered children are not deprived of their rights, notably to health and education.
Freedom of association and peaceful assembly
While welcomingthe existence of a significant number of children’s organizations, the Committee is concerned that the implementation of the right to freedom of association (art. 15) is limited by the condition that the child have the capacity to exercise the right to register an association.
The Committee recommends that the State party guarantee the full implementation of the right to freedom of association, as recognized by art icle 15 of the Convention , and encourage children to form associations on their own initiatives.
Protection of privacy
The Committee is concerned about reports that the media have, on various occasions, disclosed information that might lead to the identification of child victims of crimes, indicating that the National Council of Social Communication is not adequately fulfilling its mandate to protect children.
The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to strengthen implementation of existing legislation, as well as awareness-raising and educational campaigns, in cooperation with the media , to respect the privacy of children in the media, particularly o n television . It also recommends that the National Council of Social Communication effectively safeguard children’s right to privacy and protect their best interests in the media.
Access to appropriate information
The Committee notes with satisfaction that the Child-to-Child Network has successfully strengthened the voice of children. However, the Committee expresses concern at the limited access of children to information throughout the State party, particularly children living in poverty and in the rural areas. The Committee is also concerned that while the Child Rights Protection Law establishes the duty of the State to regulate films and television programmes, no systematic media-monitoring mechanisms exist to protect children from being exposed to harmful information, such as violence and pornography, transmitted through the media ,including the Internet.
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to fully guarantee equitable access to appropriate information for all children, especially children who live in remote and rural areas, in conformity with their age and maturity . The Committee also recommends that the State party consider adopting specific legislation and develop appropriate guidelines to protect children from information and material injurious to their well-being, in accordance with article 17 (e) of the Convention .
Torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
The Committee expresses serious concern at reports of police officers illegally detaining children and subjecting them to torture and mistreatment, particularly in the Zimpeto market in the capital where those practices are reportedly common, as well as in car parks in urban areas.
The Committee urges the State party to investigate all allegations of tortureand other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of children, take immediate measures to stop police violenceagainst children and address the p revailing culture of impunity for such acts. The Committee also urges the State party to include in its legislation the United Nations Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials of 1990, train police forces on these principles and impose sanction s when those principles are not respected. The Committee further call s upon the State party to provide care, recovery, reintegration and compensation for child victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Committee is concerned that corporal punishment remains lawful in the home and schools and is often considered the only way to discipline children. The Committee is also concerned that the Child Rights Protection Law does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment at home and in schools. The Committee is further concerned that in spite of internal regulations of the Ministry of Education prohibiting corporal punishment, it continues to be inflicted on children by teachers and parents throughout the State party.
R ecall ing its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.172 , para . 39 ( b) ) , the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its g eneral c omment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment . according to which eliminating violent and humiliating punishment of children is an immediate and unqualified obligation of State s parties. The Committee therefore urges the State party:
(a) To e xplicitly prohibit by law corporal punishment in the family, schools and in stitutions and ensure that those laws are effectively implemented and that legal proceedings are systematically initiated against those responsible f or mistreating children;
(b) To c onduct a comprehensive study to assess the causes, nature and extent of corporal punishment throughout the State party; and
(c) To i ntroduce public education, awareness-raising and social mobilization campaigns on the harmful effects of corporal punishment with a view to changing the general attitude towards this practice and promot ing positive, non-violent, participatory values and forms of child-rearing and education.
Follow-up to the United Nations Study on Violence against Children
The Committee is concerned that while, as noted above, violence against children is practised in various forms, the capacity of the Government to respond to violence against children is limited.
The Committee encourages the State party to prioritize the elimination of all forms of violence against children. With reference to the United Nations Study on Violence against Children (A/61/299), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take all necessary measures to implement the recommendations of the Study, taking into account the outcome and recommendations of the Regional Consultations for Eastern and Southern Africa held in Johannesburg , South Africa from 18 to 20 July 2005. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the following recommendations:
(i) Prohibit all forms of violence against children ;
(ii) Strengthen national and local commitment and action ;
(iii) Promote non-violent values and awareness-raising ;
(iv) Enhance the capacity of all who work with and for children ;
(v) Ensure accountability and end impunity ;
(b) Use the recommendations of the Study as a tool for action in partnership with civil society and, in particular, with the involvement of children , to ensure that all boys and girls are protected from all forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence , and to gain momentum for concrete and time - bound actions to prevent and respond to such violence and abuse;
(c) Target adolescent girls with prevention measures , education and awareness-raising on healthy behavio u r and measures to promote a n environment free of violence against women and girls in the family and communities; and
(d) Seek technical cooperation in this respect from the Special Representative of the Secretary - General on Violence against Children as well as from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ( OHCHR ) , the United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF ), the World Health Organization ( WHO ) and other relevant agencies and NGO partners.
4 . Family environment and alternative care
(arts. 5, 18 (paras. 1-2), 9-11, 19-21, 25, 27 (para. 4) and 39 of the Convention)
The Committee notes with satisfaction the existence of the Direct Social Support Programme through which material support is provided to thousands of disadvantaged families, as well as the Food Subsidy Programme to support the needs of the poorest families. The Committee is, however, concerned that these programmes will have limited impact if the social safety net services and assistance facilities for families continue to be severely affected by the limited resources allocated to the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, which isresponsible for social protection.The Committee also regrets that the National Social Welfare Policy still awaits the approval of its regulations to become operational. The Committee is particularly concerned at the precarious situation of female-headed households, which represent one third of all households in the State party and in which more than half of orphan and vulnerable children live, and at the growing number of child-headed households.
The Committee recommends, as stated earlier, that the State party substantially increase the budget allocated to the Ministry of Women and Social A ffairs to ensur e that it can provide effective protection a nd social services for the most vulnerable families. The Committee urges the State party to adopt the necessary implementation regulations for the National Social Welfare Policy to become fully operational and establish offices at local level to provide information, advice and protection to children and their families. The Committee further urges the State party to ensure that social safety net schemes give priority to female - and child-headed households.
Children deprived of a family environment
While noting the adoption of the multisectoral Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, the Committee expresses concern that orphaned children continue to be particularly vulnerable and face heightened risks, such as sexual exploitation and abuse, hazardous child labour, early marriage, dispossession of property, poor access to basic services, poor school attendance and performance and poor emotional and mental health, in addition to increased responsibilities as heads of household. The Committee is also concerned that the introduction of the concept of the foster family into the new Family Law has not yet been followed by the adoption of implementation procedures and regulations.
The Committee re commends that the State party:
(a) Give priority to protecting the natural family environment and ensure that removal from the family and placement in foster care or institution is used only as a measure of last resort when in the best interests of child;
(b ) Make the Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children operational with sufficient human and financial resources;
(c ) Transform S tate child institutions into family-based support centres close to their communities;
(d ) Create a system of alternative care services with regulations, minimum standards and appropriate controls;
(e ) Adopt as a matter of urgency the implementation procedures and regulations of the new Family Law covering, inter alia, foster care;
(f ) Implement mechanisms to expand and stimulate the integration of children into family care;
(g ) Ensure the right of the child to be heard at all steps of the alternative care procedure;
(h ) Ensure the right of the child to know about his or her origin and own story; and
( i ) Take into consideration the recommendations adopted at the Committee’s d ay of g eneral d iscussion on children without parental care held on 16 September 2005 (see CRC/C/153) .
The Committee expresses concern that :
(a)Adequate information about domestic and intercountry adoption has not been provided in the State party’s report;
(b)The current legislation makes no distinction between intercountry and domestic adoption, therefore not applying the principle of subsidiarity;
(c)There is no preparation by professionalsof prospective adoptive parents and children for the adoption ;
(d)Qualified officials do not select the children for adoption and allow prospective adoptive parents to make the choice;
(e)The State party has still not ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption of 1993.
The C ommittee requests the State party:
(a) To p rovide comprehensive information about adoption in its next periodic report;
(b) To e stablish and implement strict and specific regulations for domestic and intercountry adoptions, harmonize adoption procedures with the Convention and ensure strict supervision of the adoption process by the Social Welfare Services;
(c) To e nsure that children and prospective adoptive parents are adequately prepared by qualified professionals;
(d) To e nsure that qualified officials are responsible for choosing the adoptive family which best responds to the needs of children;
(e) To s trengthen the Social Welfare Services with adequate human and financial resources to carry out their responsibilities in ensuring implementation and monitoring of the adoption procedures as required by the new Family Law; and
(f) To c onsider ratifying the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inte rc ountry Adoption , which will help the State party to ensure the best interests of the child.
Abuse and neglect
The Committee notes with appreciation the establishment throughout the State party of gender-sensitive special units within the police stations to provide support to victims of domestic violence, especially women and children. However, the Committee is concerned that while domestic violence is a widespread and growing problem:
(a)Perpetrators of violence and abuse are rarely brought to justice;
(b)Investigation of abuse and neglect of children remains inadequate;
(c)Temporary shelters do not exist for women and child victims of domestic violence and social and psychological assistance to victims is inadequate; and
(d)Societal attitudes continue to prevent victims from reporting cases of abuse.
The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that perpetrators of child abuse and neglect are prosecuted in a manner that is child sensitive and respectful of the privacy of the victims;
(b) Strengthen its child protection system with effective mechanisms to receive, monitor , through collection of data , and investigate reports of cases of child abuse in a gender - sensitive manner;
(c) Open temporary shelters for child victims of abuse and neglect and provide the child victims with the necessary psychological and other support for their full recovery and social reintegration;
(d) Carry out preventive public education and awareness - raising programmes about the consequences of the abuse and neglect of children and improve the participation of the whole society , including children , in the definition and implementation of preventive strategies against abuse and neglect; and
(e) Expand a 3-4 digit, toll-free, 24-hour national helpline for children with an outreach component for the most marginalized children and allocate funds to provide services in the remote areas, seeking the assistance of UNICEF and other relevant organizations.
5 . Basic health and welfare
(arts. 6, 18 (para. 3), 23, 24, 26, 27 (paras. 1-3) of the Convention)
Children with disabilities
While noting that some measures have been taken by the State party to prevent and treat mental disabilities among children and train teachers for specialized education, the Committee is concerned that in spite of its previous recommendations (CRC/C/14/Add.172., paras. 48 and 49), insufficient measures have been adopted to ensure that children with disabilities fully enjoy their rights, in particular their rights to health and education. The Committee is especially concerned at the limited number of school facilities and materials adapted to these children and at the highly inadequate number of specialized teachers, resulting in a high percentage of children with disabilities being deprived of education or abandoning school during the first years of primary education.
T he Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Consider ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
(b) Take all necessary measures to ensure the implementation of legislation providing protection and equal access to education for children with disabilities, in a gender - sensitive manner;
(c) Make every effort to provide appropriate inclusive programmes and services for all children with disabilities and ensure that such services receive adequate human and financial resources;
(d) Undertake awareness programmes to sensitize the public about the rights and special needs of children with disabilities and encourage their inclusion in society;
(e) Provide training for professional staff working with children with disabilities, such as teachers, social workers, and medical, paramedical and related personnel;
(f) Ensure the participation of children with disabilities and their families in policy and programme planning, monitoring and evaluation; and
(g) Take into consideration the Committee’s g eneral c omment No. 9 (2006) on the rights of children with disabilities.
Health and access to health services
The Committee commends the State party for the significant improvements in relation to infant and maternal mortality, vaccination coverage and prevention of p arent-to- c hild t ransmissionof HIV. However, it is concerned that:
(a)The State party has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world;
(b)The leading causes of child mortality are preventable and treatable diseases such as malaria, respiratory illnesses, diarrhoea and vaccine-preventable diseases;
(c)The poor nutritional status of children and HIV/AIDS remain the main underlying causes of child mortality;
(d)Health services remain inadequate in terms of coverage and quality; and
(e)Only 30 per cent of children under 6 months of age are exclusively breastfed.
The Committee recommends that the State party continue to prioritize the allocation of financial and human resources to the health sector, in order to ensure equal access to quality health services by all children , including children living in the most disadvantaged provinces and remote areas of the country. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to improve the health situation of children and , in particular:
(a) Continue to ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health-care access to all children , with emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(b) Ensure that all segments of the society are informed, have access to health education and are support ed i n the use of basic knowledge about child health and nutrition, including the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding for children up to 6 months of age ;
(c) Strengthen its efforts to further reduce infant and child mortality, especially by focusing on preventive measures and treatment, including vaccination uptakes, improved nutrition and sanitary conditions, greater access to safe drinking water, and the management of communicable diseases and malaria;
(d) Pursue immunization efforts, including through improved outreach activities and immunization of dropout children, and efficient implementation of the full package of integrated interventions in all health districts;
(e) Increase its efforts to further reduce maternal mortality throughout the country and develop culturally sensitive health - care services for pregnant women;
(f) Accelerate efforts to implement the national breastfeeding policy and the implementation of the Code of Marketing of B reast-milk S ubstitutes, including revitalizing the Breastfeeding Friendly Hospitals Initiative , and take steps to ratify ILO Convention concerning the revision of the Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952 (No.183) ; and
(g) Seek technical cooperation from UNICEF and WHO.
While the Committee commends the establishment of Youth Friendly Health Services, it remains concerned at the high rate of teenage pregnancies which derives from, among other things, a lack of information and prevention measures and results in illegal abortions and maternal mortality. The Committee shares the views expressed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/MOZ/CO/2, para. 36) on the importance of including adequate sex education in school curricula.
The Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to reduce teenage pregnancies and , to this end, improve knowledge and the availability of family planning services , further develop education programmes on adolescent reproductive health , and rais e awareness about and access to safe contraceptionmethods . The Committee also urges the State party to review its legislation concerning abortion, with a view notably to guaranteeing the best interests of pregnant teenagers.
Harmful t raditional p ractices
While noting with satisfaction that the new Family Law sets the marriage age at 18 years for boys and girls, the Committee is concerned that the State party continues to have very high rates of early marriage. The Committee is also concerned at the persistence of initiation rites which lead to early and harmful sexual behaviours. It is further concerned at the continued practice of sending children to work to settle families’ financial debts and other obligations.
The Committee calls upon the State party to develop sensitization programmes involving families, community leaders and society at large, including children themselves, to curb the practices of early marriage and sexual initiation rites,particularly in rural areas . The Committee also reiterates its previous recommendation ( CRC/C/15/Add.172, para . 41 ( c) ) and urges the State party to take measures to end the practice of sending children to work to settle debts and other obligations. In all cases, the State party should ensure that adequate sanctions are imposed and organize awareness-raising programmes in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
The Committee welcomes the adoption of the National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Fight against AIDS and theestablishment of a National AIDS Council chaired by the Prime Minister to ensure a multisectoral approach in the fight against HIV/AIDS.It also takes note of the preparation of a bill on defending human rights and the fight against stigmatization and discrimination againstpeople living with HIV and AIDS. Nonetheless, the Committee is concerned at the reported reduced budgetary allocations in the areas of HIV and AIDS since 2008.The Committee is deeply concerned that a growing proportion of all child deaths are a result of HIV-related illnesses and that the prevalence rate among women, particularly in the age group 15-24 years, is 2.6 per cent higher than among men. While the number of children receiving antiretroviral treatment has increased significantly over the past five years, the Committee is concerned that only 18 per cent of eligible children receive proper treatment, that services for orphans and vulnerable children, including child heads of household, remain inadequate, and that there is persistent stigmatization of children living with HIV.
Given that the State party is preparing its Third National Strategic Plan, and referring to its general comment N° 3 (2003) on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the child, the Committee urges the State party:
(a) To e nsure national scaling - up of proven interventions to reduce new infections of children through quality p revention of m other -t o -c hild t ransmission services, as well as integrated prevention, care and treatment support, in both facilities and communities, for children infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS;
(b) To e nsure that the HIV response is guided by the most recent evidence on the key drivers of the epidemic , including multiple concurrent partners and male circumcision , by:
(i) Further promot ing culturally sensitive education and training programmes explicitly designed to change attitudes of discrimination and stigmatization associated with HIV/AIDS;
(ii) Provid ing information which recognizes the differences in levels of understanding among children to enable them to deal positively and responsibly with their sexuality and there by protect themselves from HIV infection. Special attention should be paid to girls’ specific needs;
(iii) Expand ing programme interventions for orphans and vulnerable children, particularly child heads of household, in line with the national strategy;
(iv) Promot ing inter-institutional coordination on all issues related to HIV/ AIDS; and
(v) Ensur ing that children, civil society and people living with HIV participate in all stages of planning, implementation and monitoring of all actions related to HIV/AIDS.
Right to an adequate standard of living
The Committee commends the important strides made by the State party in achieving high economic growth, macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability. The Committee also welcomes the Plan of Action for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty, which contains ambitious, time-bound and quantifiable targets related to the realization of children’s rights, and the support provided to children through the multisectoral Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, the Food Subsidy Programme and the Direct Social Support Programme. However, the Committee remains concerned about the extreme poverty of a large proportion of the State party’s families and children and at the still limited proportion of children who benefit from the special programmes.
The Committee urges the State party to develop programmes of major improvement of the social security system, housing schemes in rural and peri-urban areas , home sanitation facilities and access to clean drinking water , and recommends the formulation and implementation of large-scale social protection scheme s and conditional cash transfer programmes targeted to the most vulnerable families.
6. Education, leisure and cultural activities
(arts. 28, 29 and 31 of the Convention)
Education, including vocational training and guidance
The Committee commends the significant efforts deployed by the State party to increase enrolment rates in primary and secondary education and to build new school infrastructure. The Committee also notes with satisfaction the adoption of theStrategic Plan for Education and Culture as well as the progress made to expand preschool education and adult literacy programmes. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that:
(a)Primary education is not compulsory and free;
(b)One in five children remains deprived of education and nearly half of primary school-aged children drop out of school before they complete grade 5;
(c)Significant disparities in accessing education persist between provinces, particularly affecting the provinces of Niassa, Nampula and Zambezia;
(d)School enrolment at secondary level remains at an extremely low level;
(e)The rapid increase in enrolment has not been matched by increases in investment in the quality of education and the teacher-student ratio has not decreased to an acceptable level;
(f)Many untrained or inadequately trained teachers are recruited since the training institutions do not have the capacity to train enough teachers; and
(g)Gender disparity remains high in the higher levels of education.
The Committee recommends that the State party :
(a) Strengthen its efforts to ensure compulsory and free primary schooling for all children;
(b) R educe disparities between provinces in access to and full enjoyment of the right to education;
(c) Ensure adequate funding of the public education system;
(d) Take all the necessary measures to i ncrease school enrolment , notably by constructing and setting up new schools and expanding the infrastructure for education ;
(e) Improve the quality of education and take all measures to ensure that children complete their schooling , including concrete action to address the reasons behind failure to complete schooling;
(f) Continue to expand teacher - training capacities and ensure that all teachers undergo continuous and intens ive in-service training and periodic evaluation ;
(g) Recruit teachers among academically trained graduates from oth er disciplines and give them intensive training , and make teaching attractive by creating incentives , including adequate salaries ;
(h) Expand the system of vocational training institutions and make sure that children who have dropped out of school also have access to it;
(i) Include human rights and child rights in the curricula of schools at all levels ;
(j) Encourage the participation of children at all levels of the educational system ;
(k) Increase access to early childhood development and education , including community-based and parents ’ programmes, in all regions of the State party ; and
(l) Take into consideration g eneral c omment No. 1 (2001) on the aims of education and g eneral c omment No. 7 (2005) on i mplementing child rights in early childhood .
Sexual abuse in schools
The Committee expresses serious concern at the prevalence of sexual abuse and harassment in schools, which reportedly lead some girls to refuse to go to school.
Drawing attention to the Committee’s recommendations of the d ay of g eneral d iscussion on v iolence against c hildren, within the f amily and in s chools held in 2001 (see CRC/C/ 111) , the Committee urges the State party:
(a) To d esign strategies to prevent the occurrence of sexual violence in schools by organizing nationwide communications programmes on the impact of sexual violence in school , and s trengthen the recruitment of female teachers who provide valuable role models for young girls and lessen the probability of abuse by teachers;
(b) To e ncourage school and health services to detect and report evidence of abuse, ensure full and unannounced inspection of school facilities and wide publicity of the investigations conducted , and establish clear reporting systems for cases of violence in schools;
(c) T o t ake all the necessary measures to prevent, prosecute and sanction teachers who commit sexual violence; and
(d) When reformulating the c ode of c onduct for teachers and school personnel promoted by the National Teachers Union , to take into consideration the recommendation made by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/MOZ/CO/2 , para. 21) that a comprehensive strategy be adopted that aims “for the creation of a favourable environment for positive cultural change”, and ensure that teac hers adhere to the c ode of c onduct and that th e c ode is incorporated into the regular teacher training programmes , which should contain a special emphasis on teachers’ responsibilities to protect children .
7 . Special protection measures
(arts. 22, 38, 39, 40, 37 (b) and (d), 30 and 32-36 of the Convention)
Unaccompanied and r efugee c hildren
The Committee notes with satisfaction the creation of the National Refugee Support Institute by Decree No. 51/2003 of 24 December 2003 with the aim, notably, of ensuring the enjoyment by refugee children of their rights to education, health care, social security and protection, as well as the establishment within the Marratane refugee centre of a primary school and a health centre. The Committee is, however, concerned at the high level of ethnic tension and violence among children in the camp and in the school, where corporal punishment is inflicted by teachers on children. The Committee also expresses concern at the prevalence of sexual violence against girls in the camp, the vulnerable situation of unaccompanied children and the economic exploitation of refugee children placed in foster families.
The Committee recommends that the State party, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR ) , take all measures to guarantee the protection of refugeechildren in line with international human rights and refugeelaw, and taking into account the Committee’s g eneral c omment No. 6 ( 2005 ) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin . In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Conduct reconciliation, tolerance and peace-building activities in the camp , including the establishment of children ’s groups that meet regularly to discuss discrimination and confidence - building;
(b) Organize school observation visits and teacher training on discrimination;
(c) Take the necessary measures to prevent sexual violence, including ensuring separate lockable latrines for girls at schools and security for the children’s trips to fetch firewood around the camp;
(d) Initiate peer support groups for children with special protection concerns such as unaccompanied or separated children; and
(e) Establish a regular system of visits to refugee children placed in foster families.
Children in armed conflict
While welcoming the accession of the State party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict and to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Committee is concerned that the minimum age for voluntary or compulsory recruitment at 18 years may be altered in time of war. The Committee is also concerned at indications that former girl soldiers as well as girls and young women who were exploited as slave labour or abducted into sexual slavery in armed forces have often been excluded from programmes for the reintegration of former soldiers. The Committee is further concerned at the lack of information in the State party’s report on the measures taken with regard to the large number of children who were affected by the armed conflicts and on the consequences of the armed conflicts for children in cultural, social and psychological terms.
The Committee urges the State party to expressly prohibit compulsory military recruitment and mobilization of children under 18 years , even in time of war . The Committee also calls upon the State party to recognize the involvement of young girls in the fighting forces and provide them with adequate gender ‑specific rehabilitation and reintegration services and compensation. The Committee also reiterates its previous recommendation (CRC/C/15/Add.172 , para. 63 ( a) ) to continue to give attention to the needs of children affected by war, taking into account the United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law of 2005.
Economic exploitation, including child labour
The Committee notes with appreciation that the State party recently joined the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and envisages the formulation of a national action programme. However, the Committee expresses concern at the State party’s intention to allow children aged 12 to 15 to work under special conditions and at the limited initiatives taken during the period under review to combat child labour, which remains a common practice on family farms where children may, for example, herd livestock, and on commercial cotton, tobacco and tea plantations. The Committee is also concerned that no reliable data on child labour are available in the State party. Furthermore, the Committee expresses serious concern at the situation of orphaned children being economically exploited by foster families.
The Committee also notes that while children from 15 to 18 years are allowed to perform “non-hazardous work”, the list of occupations considered “light work” has yet to be established, and that there are still no specific regulations governing children who are not covered by an employment relationship and determining the types of hazardous work prohibited to children under the age of 18 years. Finally, the Committee is concerned that the labour inspectorate and police face shortages of qualified staff, adequate funds and training to carry out their mandates.
The Committee urges the State party:
(a) To bring its legislation into line with ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182 by adopting regulations which , notably , determine the age of compulsory schooling ; cover all children , including those working in the informal sector ; permit employment in light work only by children who have reached 13 years of age and determine the type of activities considered as light work ; and define hazardous work prohibited for persons under 18 years old , as requested by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations ;
(b) To p romptly adopt a comprehensive programme to prevent and combat the exploitation of child labour and expedite the establish ment of the national commission on child labour to ensure ef fective implementation of the programme ;
(c) To c ollect reliable disaggregated dataon working children, including those who work in the informal sector, inter alia as domestic servants ;
(d) To e ffectively monitor the living conditions of orphaned children placed in foster families and address cases of economic exploitation of those children, notably by bringing those responsible for such exploitation to justice;
(e) To s trengthen the labour inspectoratein order to ensure effective implementation of child labourlaws, in both the formal and informal sectors ; and
(f) To c ontinue seeking assistance from ILO and UNICEF .
The Committee is concerned at the lack of information in the State party’s report on the situation of children living in the streets and that in spite of its previous recommendation ( ibid. , paras . 68 and 69) , insufficient measures have been taken to address the situation.
The Committee therefore recommends that the State party:
(a) Undertake a systematic assessment of the situation of children living in the streets in order to obtain an accurate picture of the root causes and magnitude;
(b) Develop and implement, with the active involvement of the children
themselves, a comprehensive policy which should address the root causes, in order to prevent and reduce this phenomenon ;
(c) In coordination with NGOs, provide children living in the streets with the necessary protection, including a family environment, adequate health-care services, the possibility to attend school and other social services; and
(d) Support family reunification programmes, when that is in the best interests of the child.
Sexual exploitation and abuse
The Committee is deeply concerned that child prostitution is increasing in the State party, especially in the Maputo, Beira and Nacala regions as well as in some rural areas. The Committee is also concerned at the information in the State party’s report that the existing law does not cover certain sexual offences against children, including forced sexual relations and sexual exploitation.
The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt urgent time-bound measures for the removal of children from prostitution and provide them with rehabilitation and social reintegration, in a gender - sensitive manner;
(b) Develop and strengthen appropriate legislative measures to address the issues of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation;
(c) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that those who perpetrate sexual offences against children are effectively punished and that children are supported in denouncing and reporting sexual abuse; and
(d) Continue to implement appropriate policies and programmes for the prevention, recovery and social reintegration of child victims, in accordance with the outcomes of the three World Congresses against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children of 1996, 2001 and 2008 , as well as the outcome of other international conferences on this issue.
Sale , trafficking and abduction
The Committee notes with appreciation the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the adoption of Law No. 6/2008 against Human Trafficking, the relevant training provided to the police, the cooperation agreement signed in 2004 with South Africa as well as the Strategic Plan of Action on Combating Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children in the SADC Region adopted by the Inter-Ministerial Conference of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in May 2009. However, the Committeeis concerned at:
(a)The continuous trafficking of children from rural to urban areas for forced labour, and at the fate of abducted or disappeared children;
(b)Women and girls being trafficked to and from the State party for sexual exploitation and domestic service;
(c)The fact that investigations of cases of human trafficking or abductions are rarely followed by prosecutions and convictions;
(d)The limited resources available for efforts to prevent trafficking and abduction and to protect victims of; and
(e)The absence of safe houses for victims of trafficking and of a formal referral system.
The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt a plan of action against sexual abuse and trafficking, taking into account the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
(b) Ensure effective investigations of cases of sale, trafficking and abduction of children and the prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators and corrupt officials involved ;
(c) Take all the necessary measures to ensure the referral, assistance and protection of victims of trafficking, sale and abduction in all parts of the country, applying a multisectoral approach to the provision of social services, including the provision of temporary safe housing and gender - sensitive physical and psychological recovery to the victims;
(d) Establish a decentralized prevention and response mechanism . including comprehensive data collection;
(e) Undertake awareness-raising and educational measures to prevent and eliminate trafficking in women and children, in particular by supporting the current efforts undertaken by NGOs; and
(f) Consider ratifying the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980.
Administration of juvenile justice
The Committee welcomes the adoption of the Juvenile Justice Law and the fact that the minimum age of criminal responsibility has been set at 16 years. The Committee is, however, concerned that deprivation of liberty is not used as a measure of last resort and that pretrial detention is frequent. The Committee also welcomes the decision to establish specialized juvenile courts, but it is concerned that only one court is functioning, in Maputo, and that in all the other provinces children are tried by adult courts. The Committee notes the existence of rehabilitation centres, but it is concerned that children are often deprived of liberty in adult detention facilities.
The Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts to improve the juvenile justice system in conformity with articles 37 (b), 40 and 39 of the Convention, as well as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. W hile takin g into account the Committee’s g eneral c omment No. 10 (2007) on the administration of juvenile justice , t he Committee also urges the State party:
(a) To d evelop a multisectoral preventive response to child delinquency, such as supporting the role of families and communities , in order to help eliminate the social conditions leading children to come into contact with the criminal justice system, and take all possible measures to avoid stigmatization;
(b) To u ndertake efforts to ensure that children in conflict with the law are dealt with within the juvenile justice system and never tried in the adult penal system;
(c) To urgently t ake all the measures necessary to remove children from adult detention facilities;
(d) To i ntroduce the institution of specialized judges in all the provinces and ensure that such specialized judges receive appropriate training;
(e) Until such time that the establishment of juvenile courts becomes possible in all provinces, to take all necessary measures to ensure that the review of criminal cases concerning children is conducted by judges who have been trained accordingly;
(f) To e nsure that detention is applied as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time and is reviewed on a regular basis with a view of withdrawing it;
(g) To e nsure that pretrial detention is used only for serious crimes and that alternative measures are used for other crimes ;
(h) To e nsure that all children deprived of liberty have access to education, health and recreational facilities; and
(i) To r equest further technical assistance in the area of juvenile justice and police training from the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice, which includes the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime , UNICEF, OHCHR and NGOs.
Protection of witnesses and victims of crimes
The Committee notes that there are no specific provisions in the criminal law and procedures for the hearing of child victims of crime, including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure, through adequate legal provisions and regulations, that all child victims and / or witnesses of crimes , e.g. child victims of abuse, domestic violence, sexual and economic exploitation, abduction and trafficking, and witnesses of such crimes, are provided with the protection required by the Convention , and that it take fully into account the United Nations Guidelines on Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime , annexed to Economic and Social Council resolution 2005/20.
8 . Ratification of international and regional human rights instruments
The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
The Committee calls upon the State party to promptly submit its initial reports under the two Optional Protocol s to the Convention. It also encourages the State party to accede to all core human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , and ensure prompt compliance with implementation and reporting requirements in order to promote and improve the overall protection of human rights.
9 . Follow-up and dissemination
The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to ensure that the present recommendations are fully implemented, inter alia by transmitting them to the members of the Council of Ministers, the National Assembly , the Supreme Court and local Governments for appropriate consideration and further action.
The Committee further recommends that the second periodic report and written replies submitted by the State party and the related recommendations (concluding observations) adopted be made widely available in the languages of the country, including (but not exclusively) through the Internet , to the public at large, civil society organizations, youth groups, professional groups and children, in order to generate debate and awareness of the Convention, its implementation and monitoring.
1 0 . Next report
The Committee invites the State party to submit its combined third and fourth periodic report by 25 May 2016 . This report should not exceed 120 pages (see CRC/C/118). The Committee expects the State party to report every five years thereafter, as foreseen by the Committee.
The Committee also invites the State party to submit an updated core document in accordance with the requirements of the common core document in the harmoni z ed guidelines on reporting , approved by the fifth i nter- c ommittee meeting of the human rights treaty bodies in June 2006 (HRI/MC/2006/3).