Côte d’Ivoire

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CountryCôte d’Ivoire
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal at home, in alternative care settings, day care and schools
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Côte d’Ivoire shows that many laws and regulations have been passed in recent years to improve the situation and that the country is indeed on its way to improving the child rights situation. However, there are still many problems, especially in the health sector, such as malnutrition, tuberculosis, and poor immunization coverage. There are also large disparities between urban and remote regions, with education and health facilities being particularly affected.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned that human rights defenders, particularly women human rights defenders, who address child marriage and female genital mutilation, are reportedly subject to intimidation.
The Committee therefore recommends that the State party strengthen protection mechanisms for human rights defenders to ensure that child human rights defenders are addressed.

The Committee further recommends that Côte d’Ivoire ensures access to sexual and reproductive health information and services countrywide for girls and boys at schools, in particular access to modern contraception methods, including by implementing the National Program on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and by ensuring that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum.

Situation of children with disabilities

While commending the State party on the establishment of a Directorate for the Advancement of Persons with Disabilities in the ministry responsible for employment and social affairs, the Committee recommends that the State party promote a human rights-based approach to disability, and ensure inclusive education, access to health services and reasonable accommodation in all spheres of life for all children with disabilities, including by allocating sufficient human, technical and financial resources to the project on inclusive education. Also, Côte d’Ivoire should carry out awareness-raising programs to combat the stigmatization of children with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned about the late registration of Ivorian refugee children who were born in neighbouring countries due to political and military crises in the State party and have since returned, and that they can only be registered in Abidjan, far away from where most returning refugees reside. Further, the number of stateless persons, including children, in the State party is very high and data collection on the situation of stateless children is not systematic.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee welcomes the establishment of universal health coverage. To guarantee the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health to every child, the Committee urges the State party to consider expanding the free health-care service, introduced in 2011, to ensure that children and pregnant women have access to it in all parts of the State party and to decrease the disparity in access to health services, safe water and adequate sanitation between urban and rural areas, with a particular focus on measures to address the contamination of water. Côte d’Ivoire should also continue to increase immunization coverage, particularly in rural areas, and expand the exemption of fees for vaccinations of new-borns to also cover booster shots for routine vaccinations and any other vaccinations provided to children beyond the age of one year as well as implement a national strategy to counter the sale of medicine on the street (“street medicine”) and the lack of regulation of traditional medicine.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends the State party to ensure that all children have access to mental health services and counselling, and increase the number of child psychiatrists and psychologists.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned about the consistently high number of children involved in child labour, including the worst forms of child labour, particularly children undertaking hazardous work in mining sites and in the agricultural sector, as well as girl domestic workers and talibé children.

The Committee is also concerned about the negative effect of the dumping of toxic waste in 18 localities of Abidjan in 2016 on children’s health and their well-being, and the delay in compensation paid to the victims.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends to provide free, qualified and independent legal aid to all children. Also, Ivory Coast should ensure that, in cases where detention is unavoidable, children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions comply with international standards, particularly regarding access to health services, facilitate visits by parents to children in detention by reducing administrative hurdles and carry out regular inspections of prisons.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned about the very high number of children who do not possess a birth certificate and that parents incur multiple direct and indirect costs in the registration process. It is further concerned about the considerable disparity in birth registration levels between urban and rural areas, and difficulties and delays in registration owing to insufficient registration services being available in some locations in the State party.

Also, children with albinism are victims of ritual killings, abductions, abandonment and stigmatization and the policy aimed at protecting the rights of children with albinism is inadequately implemented.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second periodic reports released on 12 July 2019.
More information about education: Basic education and Pre-primary education

Last Updated (date)15th of February 2022