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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 the home, alternative care settings, day care and schools.
Overview of the child rights situation

Fiji is already making efforts to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in, for example, by reducing mortality rates. But children need to be more vocal on climate change issues, for example, and there is a need for more inclusive schools and fewer teenage pregnancies.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

While acknowledging the measures taken to inform children about sexual and reproductive health, the Committee is very concerned about the high rate of teenage pregnancies.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum and targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention given to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability, and specifically recommends that it ensure that all children with disabilities receive adequate financial support, and increase budget allocation to ensure the equal access of children with disabilities to adequate social and health services, placing particular focus on children in remote areas. Also, Fiji should raise awareness about the risk of violence and sexual exploitation faced by children with disabilities, and take all necessary measures to increase the protection of children with disabilities within communities, the home and institutional settings. The Committee further recommends to ensure that the development of inclusive education is given priority over special schooling, that teachers are trained accordingly, and that full access to secondary education is provided to children with disabilities. In addition, the Committee recommends to undertake greater efforts to make available all the professional specialists necessary, in particular in remote areas, and increase the allocation of human, technical and financial resources in that regard.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned about the lack of particular provisions in the Immigration Act addressing the specific needs and vulnerabilities of refugee and asylum-seeking children, and that the Immigration Act does not contain any provisions on family reunification.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee recommends to increase media awareness through the Internet and the vernacular radio stations.
physical health

The Committee welcomes the decrease of the under-5 mortality rate, the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.
The Committee regrets the geographic disparities regarding infant and under-5 mortality, with under-5 mortality being significantly higher in the Eastern and Northern Divisions, particularly due to the remoteness of villages and the lack of easily accessible health services.
To guarantee every child the to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to further reduce the under-5 and infant mortality rates, in particular by focusing on preventive measures and treatment, including immunization and improved nutrition and sanitary conditions, in particular in remote areas. It further recommends to enforce its efforts to improve prenatal care and further reduce maternal mortality, including by increasing the training of midwives and ensuring the generalization of specific actions to prevent post-partum bleeding and other major causes of maternal death. Additionally, Fiji should pay particular attention to the urban/rural divide and ensure that all children enjoy the same access and quality of health services, including in remote and rural areas, and take specific measures to reduce the disparity in service access.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee urges the State party to undertake research on suicide risk factors among children, including the root causes of depression, and use the results of such research to develop a comprehensive system of services specifically addressed at children, including stress management services and mental health promotion and prevention activities, with a view to ensuring the effective prevention of suicidal behaviour. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that all children have equal access to social workers and psychological counselling services. In taking these measures, Fiji should place particular attention on children from Indo-Fijian communities.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee welcomes the introduction of the National Climate Change Policy and the establishment of the National Climate Change Coordinating Committee, and further appreciates the increased efforts by the State party to provide forums where children are taught about climate change and measures to address climate change. However, the Committee notes with concern that insufficient measures are taken to enable children to have their voices heard and contribute to decisions made with regard to climate change. The Committee is highly concerned about the impact of climate change on children and their families, in particular those living in Fijian communities in coastal and low-lying areas, where climate change is resulting in the loss or salinization of land and fresh water resources, and reduced opportunities for agriculture and subsistence living. The Committee also draws attention to reports indicating that children face more acute risks from disasters and are more vulnerable to climate change than adults.

Business sector

The Committee urges the State party to take every necessary measure to tackle the root causes of child labour while at the same time implementing and further strengthening its legal framework to eradicate child labour, including in the informal and private sectors. It also urges the State party to ensure that the involvement of children above age 15 in labour is based on genuine free choice and subject to adequate safeguards in accordance with the Convention and international standards. The Committee further recommends to employ and train sufficient labour inspectors, and to ensure that thorough investigations and robust prosecutions of persons violating labour laws are carried out and that sufficiently effective and dissuasive sanctions are imposed in practice.
Additionally, Fiji should collect data on child labour and the incidence of hazardous child labour and working conditions, disaggregated by age, sex, geographical location and socioeconomic background, and to use that data to develop effective policies and strategies to prevent and eliminate all forms of child labour.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention. In particular, the Committee urges the State party to establish additional specialized juvenile court facilities and designate specialized judges for children, and ensure that those specialized judges receive appropriate education and training and ensure that no life sentences are imposed on children. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State Party to promote alternative measures to detention and 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. Fiji should also ensure that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts in tackling birth registration and notes with appreciation that the new Constitution guarantees the right to birth registration and citizenship. However, the Committee regrets that birth registration is still not free and that late registration is penalized with a fee. The Committee is furthermore concerned about reports indicating a decline of birth registration in the past two years, in particular in remote islands.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 13 October 2014. More information about education in Fiji:

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022