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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 and day care.
Overview of the child rights situation

The Committee notes the continuing effects of the 2010 earthquake and the political instability in the State party, which impede the implementation of the rights enshrined in the Convention.
The report on the child rights situation in Haiti is very detailed, especially in the sections on gender-based discrimination and violence as well as on the problematic conditions of children working in domestic work. In addition, the situation in Haiti after the strong earthquake in 2010 must be taken into consideration, because this has set the country back very far, many children have become orphans and public facilities such as schools and health centres were destroyed. All in all, the situation of children in Haiti is therefore rather bad in the majority of cases.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee is deeply concerned about cases of violent attacks, including rape, and death threats carried out against human rights defenders, and in particular human rights defenders working on girls’ rights, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights, and failure to investigate these crimes by the authorities.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned about persistent discrimination against girls, who are subjected to gender stereotypes and violence from the earliest stages of their lives. The Committee is gravely concerned about the high levels of gender-based violence, including sexual and domestic violence, against women and girls, particularly those living in IDP camps, as well as the widespread impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. It is further noted with grave concern that the incidence of gender-based violence and sexual assault is supported by gender-biased attitudes that blame the female victim.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to eliminate societal discrimination against girls through public educational programmes, including campaigns, organized in cooperation with civil society organizations, opinion leaders, families and the media to combat the stereotyping of gender roles and build the competence of teachers and other personnel at all levels of the education system on gender equality.

Situation of children with disabilities

The number of children with disabilities has increased following the 2010 earthquake. They are marginalized and socially excluded. To improve the situation for those children, the Committee urges Haiti to take immediate measures to ensure that children with disabilities have access to basic services, in particular health care, including early detection and intervention programmes, and that all children who have been subjected to amputations following the 2010 earthquake are provided with prostheses. Also, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to education, set up comprehensive measures to develop inclusive education and ensure that inclusive education is given priority over the placement of children in specialized institutions and classes.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is seriously concerned about the extremely difficult living conditions, including significant health problems, in particular diarrhoea, fever and severe spread of cholera, undernutrition, lack of adequate drinking water and sanitation and the particularly poor housing, in makeshift camps of Haitians, among stateless families of Haitian descent and Dominican-born children of undocumented Haitian migrants, as well as unaccompanied children who have been expelled from the Dominican Republic. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to take prompt measures to provide children and their families who have been expelled from the Dominican Republic with access to adequate nutrition, water, sanitation, housing and health care. It should furthermore ensure assistance to and protection of unaccompanied children. The Committee also recommends that the State party strengthen cooperation with authorities from the Dominican Republic to ensure that relocation to Haiti takes place in a manner that respects the human rights of children and their families.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

While noting the efforts made by the State party to increase access to health services, the Committee is concerned that more than half of the population does not have access to basic health care and that the health sector is largely deficient and under resourced, with insufficient health personnel, lack of public hospitals and lack of quality health care. The Committee recommends to increase the portion of its annual budget devoted to health to at least 15 per cent and clearly define financing strategies, paying particular attention to children under the age of 5. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party address the lack of health staff by training, recruiting and retraining qualified health workers and provide all parts of the country with accessible and high‐quality health-care facilities.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee is concerned about the lack of access to reproductive health services, contraceptives and prevention programmes for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, as well as the high rate of adolescent pregnancies, and also notes with concern the relatively high rate of new HIV infections among adolescents.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends to make mental health services available.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee is concerned about the negative effects of polluted air in urban areas in and around Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien, caused mainly by traffic congestion, trash burning, the use of charcoal for cooking and the use of diesel generators to produce electricity. In this regard, the Committee also notes with concern that women and children are particularly vulnerable to smoke-related illnesses due to women’s traditional cooking responsibilities. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that DDT pesticides, which have been linked to cancer, nerve damage and reproductive defects, may still occasionally be used in the State party.

The Committee is also concerned about the significant increase in frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, leading to flooding and erosion, as a result of climate change. The Committee recommends to Haiti to ensure that the special vulnerabilities and needs of children, as well as their views, are taken into account in developing policies or programmes addressing the issues of climate change and disaster risk management.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned that many child domestic workers are forced to work in slavery-like conditions, are subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse by their host family and are frequently malnourished and stunted. Children from poor families are particularly vulnerable to having to work as child domestic workers, as parents who cannot feed their children often see sending their child away as a domestic worker as their only choice. The Committee recommends that the State party vigorously enforce the law prohibiting the employment of children under 15 years of age and criminalize the practice of placing children in domestic service, undertake legal amendments to ensure that the law entails adequate punishments and provide training to law enforcement professionals on these laws.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee, while welcoming the increase in the number of juvenile judges, notes with concern that juvenile courts exist only in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien, that the juvenile court in Cap-Haïtien has not been formalized in law and that the number of juvenile judges is still insufficient. It is furthermore concerned that children in detention have reportedly been subjected to torture, their living conditions in prison are very poor, they lack access to health care and they have particularly limited access to education. To improve the situation, the Committee urges Haiti, among other things, to expeditiously establish sufficient specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures with adequate human, technical and financial resources and increase the number of juvenile judges. Haiti should also eliminate and prosecute all forms of torture and ill-treatment against children, improve living conditions in prison and ensure that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee, while welcoming the efforts made with regard to increasing food security and decreasing rates of child malnutrition, notes with concern that food insecurity and malnutrition remain prevalent among children. It is highly concerned about widespread, extreme and increasing family poverty.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the second and third periodic reports released on 24 February 2016.
Last Updated (date)1st of March, 2002