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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 in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and possibly in penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Eritrea makes it clear that children there grow up under very poor conditions. Many flee in hope of a better life, even accepting separation from their families. Eritrea's military shoots at these children at its borders. The military is generally described as brutal, and there are also reports that the military commits crimes against children.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

Because of the lack of gender-sensitive sanitation facilities, girls are forced to stay away from school when they are menstruating.

To improve the situation for girls, the Committee recommends that the State party continue and strengthen its efforts to eliminate stereotypes and practices that discriminate against girls, including harmful practices, sexual and domestic violence and unequal inheritance rights for girls, and adopt a comprehensive strategy in this regard.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee, while welcoming the increasing budgetary allocations to the education and health sectors, regrets the lack of information and data relating to the budget specifically allocated to children belonging to the most vulnerable groups of society, including children of ethnic minorities and indigenous populations.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about the lack of statistical data on children with disabilities, including on those who do not attend school. The Committee is also concerned about the referral of children with visual and hearing impairments, as well as developmental and intellectual disabilities, to special schools. The Committee encourages Eritrea to promote inclusive education for all children with disabilities and, over time, phasing out the placement of children with disabilities in special schools.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenA large number of people leaving the country, including unaccompanied children, face the risk of being trafficked, smuggled or abducted. Therefore, the State party should ensure that child victims of trafficking, smuggling and abduction are safely reunited with their families and provide child victims with all the support, protection and assistance, including psychosocial counselling and health care, that they need.
Free kindergartenNot clear
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

The Committee commends the State party for the efforts and major progress made on child and adolescent health since the last reporting period, including the drop in maternal and child mortality, as well as the reduction of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

To further improve the situation in Eritrea, the Committee recommends to implement and monitor relevant national strategies on child health, including on child survival, on adolescent health and information services, on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, as well as on sanitation in rural areas.

Relation to other countries
Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends to define budgetary lines for children in disadvantaged or vulnerable situations that may require affirmative social measures, and make sure that those budgetary lines are protected even in situations of economic crisis, natural disaster or other emergencies.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned at reports that child labour involving children under the minimum age is widespread, and at the lack of comprehensive measures to ensure that children are protected from economic exploitation and the worst forms of child labour. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party develop, adopt and implement regulations that protect children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous, to interfere with their education or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

Situation of juvenile justice

Children in detention routinely face torture, cruel and degrading treatment, including corporal punishment, in particular if they have been accused of attempting to avoid military service or fleeing the country. In general, violence against children, including sexual violence, is widespread in the context of national service and military training.
Also, Eritrea hasn’t implemented a juvenile justice system and children are placed in detention facilities and prisons together with adults. The Committee urges Eritrea to improve the situation by establishing a child-friendly juvenile justice system that is in full conformity with the Convention and that detention conditions comply with international standards, including with regard to children’s access to education and health services and their ability to maintain contact with their families through correspondence and visits.

Specific observations

The Committee is seriously concerned about measures adopted for border control that reportedly include excessive use of force, including a “shoot to kill” policy against those trying to flee the country, including children. Furthermore, the Committee is seriously concerned that the conditions in the State party are so harsh that a large number of children feel compelled to leave the country, even if it results in them being separated from their families and risking their lives and full development.
Also, the Committee notes with concern that corruption continues to be pervasive and diverts resources that could otherwise improve the implementation of the rights of the child, thereby weakening the efficiency and effectiveness of budgetary allocations for children.
In addition to that, the Committee urges Eritrea to immediately reinstate the full citizenship of children and their families who follow unrecognized religious denominations and ensure their equal access to public services, including for the issuance of official identity cards.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report released on 2 July 2015.
World Data on Education

Last Updated (date)1st of March, 2022