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CountryCabo Verde
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Cabo Verde shows that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has already been implemented to a relatively large extent in some areas, such as health. On the other hand, girls in particular are exposed to violence and sexual abuse. The report covers many areas, but disaggregated data is lacking for some, such as mental health. Poverty is another problem, with nearly half of families in rural areas and a third in urban areas living below the absolute poverty line.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is seriously concerned about the extent of child sexual abuse, which was the most reported sexual crime during the 2016/17 judicial year, and the fact that offenders are usually family members or known to the family and that child sexual abuse also takes place in schools. Also concerning is the lack of a prohibition of the use of children between the ages of 16 and 18 for prostitution or pornographic purposes.

The Committee is further concerned about gender-based violence against girls and women, including in the domestic sphere, and the negative impact that this form of violence has on children’s well-being and development.

The Committee is also concerned about the high number of pregnancies among girls and the discrepancy in access to sexual and reproductive health services between urban and rural areas.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to promote the rights of children with disabilities, including the establishment of the Centre for Special Education and Educational Inclusion within the Ministry of Education and the integration of children with disabilities through sports. The Committee, inter alia, recommends that the State party organize the collection of data on children with disabilities and develop an efficient system for the early identification of disability, which is necessary for putting in place appropriate policies and programmes for children with disabilities. Also, Cabo Verde should ensure that children with disabilities have access to health care, including early detection and intervention programmes.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned about the situation of children from migrant communities, mainly from West African countries, regarding birth registration, access to nationality, education and health, and vulnerability to exploitation and maltreatment, particularly for unaccompanied children and those whose parents are in an irregular migrant situation. To improve the situation for children from migrant communities, the Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to identify and provide support to children in situations of migration, ensuring their access to adequate services, with particular attention to the islands of Santiago, Sal and Boa Vista.
Free kindergartenNot clear
Free primary and secondary schoolNot clear
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee appreciates that access to appropriate information is guaranteed in the Statute of the Child and Adolescent but is concerned about the application of the right in practice, including in relation to the Internet. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen awareness programmes for children, as well as parents and teachers, on safety on the Internet.
physical health

The Committee welcomes the allocation of public resources to the health sector and the significant reduction in the child and maternal mortality rates. However, the Committee is concerned about health issues affecting young children, such as perinatal infections. To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party maintain continued and sustained efforts to address the main health issues affecting young children, such as perinatal infections, acute respiratory infection, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, goitre and poliomyelitis, and provide quality care to mothers and new-borns, paying attention to all islands.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee notes the training, education and awareness-raising activities to prevent the use of harmful drugs by children but remains concerned about their use by adolescents, with some starting to use drugs before the age of 15. The Committee therefore recommends to strengthen Cabo Verde’s efforts to prevent and address the harmful use of drugs by children.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned about the lack of information on children’s mental health and insufficient attention to the incidence of suicide among children during adolescence.
The Committee recommends that the State party establish a mental health programme dedicated to children, and conduct a study to identify the root causes of suicide and suicidal thoughts among children, and provide information in that regard in its next periodic report.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee is concerned about the lack of information on the impact of climate change on the rights of the child, given that the State party is already experiencing a shortage of freshwater, an increase in sea level, changes in rainfall patterns, desertification and an increase in temperatures.
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the special vulnerabilities and needs of children, as well as their views, are taken into account in developing policies and programmes addressing the issues of climate change and disaster risk management. Also, Cabo Verde should collect disaggregated data identifying the types of risk faced by children to the occurrence of a variety of disasters to formulate responses accordingly as well as increase children’s awareness and preparedness for climate change and natural disasters by incorporating the subject into the school curriculum and teachers’ training programmes.

Business sector

The Committee is seriously concerned about the high number of children working and the fact that most of them are engaged in hazardous activities, such as agriculture, fisheries and domestic work, particularly in the rural areas, and the lack of information on monitoring and law enforcement activities to combat child labour and measures to assist child victims, as well as the lack of updated data.
The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to eliminate child labour for children under the age of 15 and the worst forms of child labour for children under the age of 18, paying attention to the employment of children in agriculture, fisheries and domestic work, particularly in rural areas. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that monitoring and enforcement activities are carried out by labour authorities, paying attention to the informal sector. In addition, Cabo Verde should collect data on the incidence of child labour on a regular basis and use that information to adjust policies and actions accordingly and ensure that child victims of forced labour receive the necessary support and services for their recuperation and rehabilitation.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned about complaints of police brutality against children, particularly children in street situations, as a form of extrajudicial punishment, and the absence of measures to duly record and investigate such complaints, prosecute and sanction perpetrators and provide redress to child victims.
The Committee recommends that the State party provide police with special training on child-friendly techniques for dealing with children, including children in street situations, and introduce guidelines and protocols specific to children as victims and witnesses and in situations of conflict with the law. Also, Cabo Verde should investigate and prosecute all allegations of torture and ill-treatment of children by the police and ensure that perpetrators are duly sanctioned and that child victims receive remedies.

The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that children aged between 16 and 18 years are treated as children and not adults in judicial proceedings and increase the age for the application of socio-educational measures. Cabo Verde should also ensure the provision of legal aid to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings and ensure children’s access to confidential and child-friendly complaint mechanisms.

Specific observations

The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts resulting in almost universal birth registration but is concerned about children not yet registered and the difference in the registration rate between rural and urban areas. The Committee is also concerned about stateless children in the State party.
While welcoming the measures taken by the State party to identify the fathers of children, the Committee is concerned about the persistent high number of child paternity investigations pending with the Public Prosecution Service due to the absence of the father’s name on birth certificates.

Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the prevalence of discrimination against girls rooted in patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes concerning the roles of women and men. The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its measures to promote equality among girls and boys.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second periodic report released on 27 June 2019.
More information about education:
Plano estratégico da educação Cabo Verde

Last Updated (date)28th of February, 2022