Cabo Verde

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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and some penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Ghana makes it clear that the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is still a long way off, especially regarding girls and disabled children. There are also major regional disparities in the implementation of children's rights. For example, many children do not have access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation. Girls and children with disabilities are exposed to violent rituals and in many cases do not participate equally in life. However, Ghana's overall success in reducing poverty is commendable.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is deeply concerned about the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM), especially in rural and traditional communities, despite the positive actions taken by the State party criminalizing harmful practices and the cultural practice of accusing some girls of being witches, thereby subjecting them to violence and confining them in ‘witch camps.’ The Committee urges Ghana to raise awareness and sensitization of families, traditional and religious leaders, teachers and the public in general on the negative consequences of child marriage and FGM and the importance of education. Furthermore, the Committee urges Ghana to disseminate the law criminalizing FGM among all relevant ministries, police officers, law enforcement officials, teachers, traditional and religious leaders, and the general public, particularly in rural communities. Ghana should also ensure that cases of FGM are promptly investigated and prosecuted. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure the closure of all the witch camps and raise awareness and sensitization of families, traditional and religious leaders, teachers and the public in general in the negative consequences of confining girls believed to be witches in witch camps.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee welcomes the creation of the District Assembly Common Fund for Persons with Disabilities in 2010 and the efforts of the State party to promote inclusive education and accessibility for children with disabilities. However, the Committee notes with deep concern that children with disabilities, especially those with mental disabilities, are victims to a higher extent of abuse, violence, stigma and exclusion, particularly in traditional communities. The Committee is also concerned about children with disabilities confined in psychiatric institutions and the so-called “prayer camps” where they are being subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment due to cultural and traditional beliefs. Also, there is limited access to inclusive education and well-trained teachers.

To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to prohibit the admission and treatment of children with disabilities in prayer camps and investigate and prosecute perpetrators of acts of inhumane and degrading treatment against children with disabilities, including in prayer camps but also in psychiatric institutions. In addition to that, Ghana should develop and implement awareness-raising campaigns against superstitious beliefs concerning children (and adults) with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee welcomes the general practice of the State party in hosting refugees and asylum seekers and providing them with access to the national health insurance system. It also notes with appreciation the efforts taken to provide protection to refugee, asylum-seeking and unaccompanied children against sexual and gender-based violence in refugee camps. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned about the limited legal and procedural guarantees and assistance for asylum-seeking children and unaccompanied or separated asylum-seeking children during the refugee status determination procedures. To further improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the specific needs of asylum-seeking children are taken into account during the refugee status determination procedures and include special guarantees for personal interviews to be conducted on a child appropriate manner, the consideration of child-specific forms of persecution and specific procedural safeguards for unaccompanied or separated asylum-seeking children.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee is concerned about the disparity in access to digital information and the risks posed by digital media, information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the safety of children. It is further concerned about the fact that reporting on children in the media at times violates their right to privacy and dignity.The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen awareness-raising, information and education programmes to sensitize children, parents, guardians, teachers, journalists, Internet service providers and the public in general on opportunities and risks relating to the use of digital media and ICTs.
physical health

The Committee welcomes the decline of under-five mortality and of the stunting rate of children under-five due to the State party interventions, the successful nationwide bed net distribution and campaign to prevent malaria (2011-2012). However, the Committee is concerned about the insufficient funding allocated to the health sector, despite its increase, and the insufficient number of qualified and experienced healthcare provider staff as well as an inequitable distribution nationwide causing regional disparities in the provision of health services.
It is further concerned that neonatal mortality accounts for 60 percent of infants’ deaths in the State party as well as the high numbers of malnourished and severely stunted children, particularly in rural areas, and the persistent high maternal mortality rates, including pregnant teenagers and adolescent mothers.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee recommends to address the incidence of drug use by children and adolescents by, inter alia, providing children and adolescents with accurate and objective information as well as life skills education on preventing substance abuse, including tobacco and alcohol, and develop accessible and youth-friendly drug dependence treatment and harm reduction services.

Relation to other countries
Business sector

The Committee is concerned that the enforcement of the existing legal framework and policies is inadequate, the national Action Plan is not effectively implemented and children remain exposed to hazardous labour, mainly affecting their education and health, especially in fisheries, mining, quarrying and in the so-called “prayer camps”, ritual servitude (Trokosi), commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, portering of heavy loads, agriculture and street begging.
The Committee recommends that Ghana should establish protective mechanisms and services to safeguard children at risk of being subject to child labour, including hazardous child labour, and ensure that child victims of these practices have access to social, medical, psychological and rehabilitative services and legal redress.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned about the evident gap between law and practice, particularly between law and community approaches, dealing with child justice issues and the lack of specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures. It is also concerned about children being detained in adult detention facilities. The Committee urges the State party to expeditiously establish specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures with adequate human, technical and financial resources, designate specialized judges for children and ensure that such specialized judges receive appropriate education and training. Ghana should also ensure that the children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned that nationality at birth is not granted to children born on the territory of the State party who would otherwise be stateless.

Although the practice of Trokosi has been criminalized in the State party since 1998, the Committee is deeply concerned about the prevalence of this practice, especially in rural and traditional communities, and the fact that no single case has been reported and investigated.
The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures without delay, including human and financial resources, to prevent and eliminate the practice of Trokosi, in particular to ensure the immediate release of children that are subjected to this practice.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 9 June 2015. More information about education in Ghana:
Education strategic plan

Last Updated (date)28th of February, 2022