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

Guyana has a major problem in the treatment and control of preventable diseases such as tuberculosis. Free education from pre-school to secondary is positive, but care must be taken to ensure that adolescent mothers also benefit from education without discrimination.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned that sex and reproductive education is not included in the education syllabus of the State party. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the stigma, discrimination and resulting hindrance to services and education to which pregnant adolescents and adolescent mothers are frequently subjected. In particular, the Committee is concerned that pregnant adolescents and adolescent mothers frequently face obstacles to the continuation of their education.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee welcomes the State party’s adoption of the Amerindian Act in 2006, the establishment of the Indigenous Peoples Commission to address discrimination and marginalization faced by Amerindian children, and other measures taken to address discrimination against Amerindians.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to ensure conformity of its legislation, policies and practices with the aim of effectively addressing the needs of children with disabilities in a non-discriminatory manner. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party undertake measures for compiling and analysing disaggregated data on children with disabilities with a view to using such data to formulate policy and measures for meeting their needs. Guyana should also undertake long-term awareness-raising programmes in order to combat negative societal attitudes prevailing against children with disabilities and allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources for ensuring the availability of health and rehabilitation services for children with disabilities, and in doing so prioritize addressing the situation in the hinterland.
The Committee further urges Guyana to ensure that children with disabilities effectively enjoy their right to education, and provide for their inclusion in the mainstream education system to the greatest extent possible, including by developing a disability education action plan to specifically identify current inadequacies in resources, and to establish clear objectives with concrete timelines for the implementation of measures to address the educational needs of children with disabilities.

Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

The Committee is concerned that preventable maternal mortality rates remain high, particularly in the hinterland and amongst socio-economically disadvantaged women. Furthermore, the Committee reiterates its previous concern at the high infant and under-five mortality rates. The Committee is also concerned at the high rates of tuberculosis in the State party.
The Committee recommends that the State party apply the findings and recommendations of its maternal mortality surveillance committees and perinatal information system to implement comprehensive programmes for addressing maternal and perinatal deaths. The Committee also recommends to undertake targeted programmes for addressing preventable health problems among children and also undertake measures to address the quality, access and utilization of all health and nutrition services, particularly perinatal facilities, in its hinterland and outlying regions. Guyana should further take all necessary measures to combat tuberculosis.

Relation to other countries
Business sector

Noting that the State party’s economy is heavily dependent on extractive and timber industries, the Committee is concerned at the absence of a legislative framework regulating the prevention of, protection against and reparation of the adverse impact of such activities by foreign and national private and State-owned enterprises on human rights, including children ́s rights. The Committee is especially concerned at the impact of these businesses on the living conditions of children and their families in the regions directly affected, on the health hazards and environmental degradation arising there from as well as on child labour.

To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party establish the necessary regulatory framework and policies for business, in particular with regard to the extractive industry (gold and bauxite) and timber and fisheries projects – whether large or small scale – to ensure that they respect the rights of children and promote the adoption of effective corporate responsibility models.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends to the State party to abolish status offences as criminal offences and provide adequate diversionary options for children as part of wider reforms in the court system in order to ensure that detention is the last resort. The Committee further recommends to allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources for ensuring that children in conflict with the law receive free legal advice and representation. Guyana should also establish additional juvenile detention and rehabilitation facilities, particularly in its hinterland region, and ensure regular independent monitoring and inspection of all facilities in which children and youth are placed to ensure that Convention-compliant standards of treatment and care are maintained.

Specific observations

While noting as positive the reduction of poverty over the past two decades, including through programmes to facilitate poverty relief and social assistance measures to vulnerable groups, the Committee is concerned that 36 per cent of the population still lives below the poverty line, with much higher rates of poverty in rural and Amerindian areas.
The Committee urges the State party to continue and strengthen its efforts to combat poverty and to provide support and material assistance to economically disadvantaged families, notably those living in rural areas, and to guarantee the right of all children to an adequate standard of living.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 18 June 2013.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022