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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee is concerned about reports that children continue to be the victims of acts of torture and other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment committed by government agents and/or non-State armed groups. The Committee recommends to strengthen the administrative process for re-establishing rights and its coordination with the judicial process so as to ensure that the rights of child victims of violence are re-established expeditiously, that victims of domestic violence can return home safely and as soon as possible, and that the alleged perpetrators are removed from the house.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

A variety of problems are mentioned in the report on Colombia. A particularly big issue is sexual exploitation, which is only prevented by far too few measures. Violence in general, especially in the form of street gangs, is not being addressed sufficiently. In the health sector, there is too little ambition to prevent HIV infections.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is deeply concerned at the persistent patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls and women, resulting in an extremely high prevalence of violence against girls. It recommends to take the necessary measures to eliminate patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls and women.
The Committee urges the State Party to register and investigate all cases of female genital mutilation in the Embera and other communities, to explicitly criminalize it in the legislation and ensure that alleged offenders are prosecuted and adequately punished. The State party, in coordination with indigenous authorities, should also reinforce awareness-raising programmes, targeting both men and women, including officials at all levels and indigenous leaders, on the harmful effects of this practice.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee notes the measures taken by the State party to ensure the rights of indigenous and Afro-Colombian children. It nevertheless remains concerned that they continue to face discrimination and numerous challenges in accessing education, health care, civil registration services and justice. The Committee also remains concerned that they are disproportionally affected by violence and the armed conflict and overrepresented among displaced children and children recruited by non-State armed groups.<br /> To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that Colombia increase its efforts and take affirmative measures to ensure that indigenous and Afro-Colombian children, including displaced children, enjoy their rights in practice, in particular in the area of health, education and access to justice. The State party should also strengthen its efforts to ensure that all Afro-Colombian and indigenous children are registered immediately after birth, and to facilitate cost-free registration of those who were not registered at birth. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen measures to protect indigenous and Afro-Colombian children and their families from violence, including sexual violence, and the impact of the armed conflict. Such measures should be developed in consultation with Afro-Colombian and indigenous leaders.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee recommends to Colombia to set up a comprehensive strategy to develop inclusive education and ensure that inclusive education is given priority over education in specialized institutions. Further, the State party should ensure the availability and accessibility of specialized health-care services, buildings, inclusive services, participatory forums, and leisure and cultural activities for children with disabilities, in particular in remote and rural areas, including by allocating adequate resources.

Free kindergartenNot clear
Free primary and secondary schoolNot clear
Digital possibilitiesColombia should monitor the portrayal of children in the media, on the Internet and in statements of public officials, and ensure that the authorities, civil servants, the media, teachers, children and the general public are sensitized to the negative impact of stereotypes on children’s rights.
physical health

To improve the health of Colombian children, the Committee recommends to ensure the availability and accessibility of health services for all children, in particular rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian children, by allocating adequate resources and monitoring the implementation of relevant policies. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party establish independent mechanisms for investigating cases of child and maternal mortality, and provide legal sanctions when they are due to negligence on the part of health personnel.
The Committee is concerned that children continue to abuse drugs at increasingly early ages and that the State party has not adopted sufficient measures to address the phenomenon.

Relation to other countries
mental health

While noting the measures taken by the State party to address mental-health problems among children, the Committee is concerned that many children suffer from mental-health problems. It is also concerned about the increasing prevalence of suicide among children, in particular adolescents and indigenous children.

Impacts of climate change

While noting the initiatives of the State party to promote a healthy environment, the Committee remains concerned about the negative effects of polluted air, water and soil and electromagnetic pollution on children’s health and the insufficient measures taken to address that challenge.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned about the negative impact on children’s rights of some of the activities conducted by business enterprises, in particular in the mining and tourism sectors. It regrets that the State party has not yet taken the necessary measures to protect children from violations of their rights arising from these activities, including children whose rights are affected by the coal mining activities in El Hatillo. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to examine and adapt its legislative framework to ensure the legal accountability of business enterprises and their subsidiaries operating in or managed from the State party ́s territory, especially in the mining and tourism sectors, regarding violations of children’s rights.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to provide judges, prosecutors and other specialized professional groups with appropriate education and training on the provisions of the Convention. Furthermore, in cases where detention is unavoidable, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that children are not detained together with adults, that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, in particular with regard to access to education and health services, including drug detoxification and mental health programmes, and that children are kept as near as possible to their places of origin.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned that many children continue to be used by adults to commit crimes. Also, the Committee is concerned at the high number of girls under 14 years of age giving birth in hospitals as a result of sexual violence, and that these cases are not expeditiously investigated, while noting that the State party has recently taken measures to ensure mandatory reporting by medical staff. The Committee is particularly concerned at reports that many of the alleged perpetrators are relatives of the victims.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the fourth and fifth periodic reports released on 6 March 2015.
Last Updated (date)2nd of March, 2022