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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, on a Communication Procedure
ViolenceThe Committee is concerned about the lack of prosecution of perpetrators of sexual offences, including when committed by members of the Catholic clergy. The Committee is further concerned about the insufficient and inadequate programmes and policies for the prevention, recovery and social reintegration of child victims.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings and day care.
Overview of the child rights situation

In the past, repressive manners were adopted by Chile to address demonstrations by students demanding changes in the education system and detention measures were used abusively. The best interests of the child, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is not a cross-cutting consideration in all areas of policymaking. In addition, there are prevailing prejudices and patriarchal structures against girls as well as a society riddled with violence.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary legislative, policy and administrative measures to recognize the right to identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children, including the gender identity of transgender children.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee notes as positive the initiatives to strengthen sexual and reproductive health education in the school curriculum, expand the availability of contraceptive methods and the draft law to decriminalize abortion in certain situations. However, the Committee is concerned about the high rate of adolescent pregnancy, the low quality of sexual education programmes and the lack of adherence to protocols by health professionals, which restrict adolescents’ effective access to information and contraceptives.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee is concerned about limitations on the right to identity of indigenous children as part of their cultural identity. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary legislative, policy and administrative measures to respect the right to identity of indigenous children in accordance with their culture.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. However, it is concerned that public policy still favours the assistance approach and that the National Plan on Disabilities only vaguely mentions children. It is also concerned about the lack of updated and disaggregated data on children with disabilities, the limited availability of inclusive education and occupational training and the insufficient provision of appropriate rehabilitation services for children with disabilities, including mental health care for them and their caregivers. The Committee is further concerned about the cases of mentally disabled and deaf girls being sterilized, despite its prohibition, which affects their reproductive and sexual rights. To improve the situation, the Committee urges Chile to step up its efforts to ensure inclusive education and occupational training for children with disabilities, without discrimination, including through the allocation of the necessary resources, adequate training of professionals and improvement of mobility infrastructure.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned that administrative procedures do not take into consideration the specific needs and rights of asylum-seeking and refugee children and that many of them do not have access to an adequate standard of living, health and education. The Committee recommends to ensure that refugee and asylum-seeking children enjoy an adequate standard of living and effective access to health, social services and education without discrimination. Also, Chile should implement a comprehensive plan for the social inclusion of migrants, including conducting awareness-raising campaigns to promote respect and inclusion.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

The Committee recommends to make use of available knowledge on diagnosis and non-drug approaches to the treatment of ADHD, improve the diagnosis of mental health problems among children, ensure that the relevant health authorities determine the root causes of ADHD in children and take the necessary measures to prevent pressure on children and parents to accept treatment with psychostimulant drugs. Furthermore, it recommends to strengthen measures to address underweight and overweight among children, promote a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and take the necessary measures to reduce the pressure of food marketing on children.

Concerning alcohol and drug abuse, the Committee recommends that the State party address the incidence by children by providing them with accurate and objective information and life skills education on preventing substance abuse, including tobacco and alcohol abuse, and develop accessible and youth-friendly drug-dependence treatment and harm-reduction services.

Relation to other countries
mental health

While noting the establishment of the national programme to prevent suicide (2013), the Committee is still concerned at the high suicide rate among adolescents.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends that the State party continue to develop and implement a national plan for disaster prevention and risk management, creating the decentralized structures necessary to promptly and effectively respond to emergencies and disasters, recognize the special vulnerabilities and needs of children and promote coordination between public and private actors. To further improve the situation, Chile should increase children’s awareness and preparedness for climate change and natural disasters by incorporating the topic into the school curriculum and teachers’ training programmes.

Business sector

The Committee notes the steps taken by industrial companies and extractive industries to increase compliance with human rights standards. However, it is concerned about the lack of a national plan or general regulation on business and human rights that considers the impact of business on children’s rights, and about the limited and ad hoc measures. The Committee recommends to enact legislation prohibiting child labour, including domestic labour.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned that detention centres are often operated as juvenile prisons, lack programmes specially designed for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with the law and do not have the necessary resources to provide basic health care, education and professional training. Also, there is a lack of adequate mechanisms for children to report human rights abuses, in particular when deprived of liberty. Chile should quickly establish a separate juvenile justice system with specialized judges, prosecutors and defence attorneys and ensure that all law officials receive appropriate education and training. Furthermore, the Committee urges Chile to improve the infrastructure of detention centres to ensure adequate security, dignity and privacy to children and access to health services, education and professional training, taking into account their particular needs based on gender.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned about children born in the territory of the State party being denied birth registration owing to their parents’ irregular migrant status. The Committee urges the State party to take all legislative and administrative measures to ensure that children born in its territory have due access to birth registration, irrespective of their parents’ migrant status.
The Committee notes that the best interests of the child are a fundamental principle in the legal system of the State party and that it is integrated into some laws. However, the Committee is concerned that it does not apply in all areas, including in decisions sentencing parents to long terms of imprisonment, and that the reasoning of the court does not always explain the criteria used for determining the child’s best interests.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the fourth and fifth periodic reports released on 30 October 2015.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022