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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 that there is no adequate response to family violence and violence against children in practice, the approach to prevention of violence is not systematic, and data on the exact numbers of children suffering abuse, neglect or family violence are not officially collected and available. The Committee is further concerned about ongoing violence experienced by children in schools, social welfare and other institutions, including physical violence, bullying, social exclusion and emotional violations, and the lack of adequate training for law enforcement officials, school teachers and staff in social welfare and other institutions to effectively respond to incidents of violence.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

Croatia has provided information on almost all fields, which gives a good picture of the child rights situation in the country. There are regional differences, especially in the health sector, and school education is not compulsory until the end of secondary education.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned about the lack of long-term, systematic health education, including on sexuality, responsible sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that Croatia strengthen measures to raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health, with special attention to sexually transmitted infections, and ensure systematic health education.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to disseminate the Convention, including in minority languages. The Committee also welcomes the adoption of the National Strategy for Roma Inclusion and its related action plan, aimed at resolving the status of the Roma in the State party, but is concerned that it does not adequately address the issue of citizenship for Roma children.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to ensure inclusive education for children with disabilities. The Committee is however concerned that cross-sectoral coordination and standardized developmental screening protocols and tools are lacking, resulting in missed opportunities for early childhood intervention as well as that the number of children with disabilities in institutional care is increasing and adequate treatment and care are lacking in the institutions. It is further concerned that there have been incidents of ill-treatment of children with disabilities in some health care institutions and that many schools do not provide the necessary conditions for inclusive education, funding for teaching assistants is not always available, and teachers and other school personnel are not sufficiently trained. Also, abandoned children with disabilities are primarily placed in health-care institutions, not in children’s institutions, and are therefore not included in official data of children available for adoption.
To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and specifically recommends that it improve and strengthen early detection and treatment services in the health and education sectors, ensure adequate training of personnel working in health-care institutions on the medical practice regarding respect for the dignity of children with disabilities, and carry out regular inspections of institutions with long-term placement. Croatia should also strengthen its efforts to establish State-wide inclusive education, including through the allocation of necessary resources, and ensure regular training for teachers and other school personnel.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure that adequate financial and human resources to improve the guardianship system for unaccompanied and separated children are allocated. Also, the Committee recommends that reception centres are child-friendly and asylum-seeking children are provided with free legal aid or other appropriate forms of assistance throughout all stages of the asylum process. Further, asylum-seeking children should have effective and non-discriminatory access to education.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee is concerned about the uneven geographical coverage of health services for children, the shortage of health-care professionals, and the lack of adequate support for children in need of mental health-care systems. The Committee is further concerned that, despite legislative improvements allowing parents to stay in the hospital with their children, accommodation facilities are still limited and treatment of hospitalized children is not always adequate.
To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to ensure that all children enjoy equal access to health services, with particular emphasis on children in rural areas and from minority groups as well as that Croatia allocate adequate human resources to maintain the quality of health care. It further recommends to strengthen its efforts to ensure that, in practice, children are not separated from their parents and that they are treated in accordance with the rights set out under the Convention, including the right to privacy, confidentiality and to be heard, when they are hospitalized.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends to take all necessary measures to ensure adequate support for children in need of mental health care.

Business sector

The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to provide families with the necessary support to enable them to fulfil their obligation towards their children and to ensure their well-being and development. In particular the Committee recommends that the State party further strengthen assistance and support services to parents and legal guardians in their child-rearing responsibilities and promote measures to support working parents, including considering collaboration with the business sector.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned that insufficient funds and organizations are available to carry out alternative measures, children are subject to prolonged pretrial detention and detention centres are not regularly visited by judges, despite their legal obligation to carry out such visits. It is further concerned that children are still detained together with adults in some institutions, conditions of detention facilities for children and reformatories are inadequate and adequate training of those involved in the administration of juvenile justice is lacking.
To improve the situation, the Committee urges Croatia to ensure that detention is used as a last resort and for the shortest possible period of time and that it is reviewed on a regular basis with a view to withdrawing it. In cases where detention is unavoidable, Croatia should ensure that children are not detained together with adults, that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services, and that centres are regularly visited by judges. The Committee further urges to ensure that all persons involved in the administration of juvenile justice receive appropriate education and training.

Specific observations

The Committee notes information provided by the State party about various activities aimed at realizing children’s rights to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities, but it is concerned about the lack of adequate play spaces and facilities in many communities, that they are not properly regulated, and about the increasing phenomenon of children having to pay for leisure activities.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports released on 13 October 2014. More information about education in Croatia:

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022