|Optional protocol||on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography|
|Violence||The Committee notes that article 114 of Iceland’s Penal Code states that anyone recruiting persons within the State party for foreign military service is subject to criminal liability (two years’ imprisonment). The Committee, however, regrets that the Penal Code does not address explicitly recruitment of children, which should entail even harsher punishment.|
|Corporal punishment||Corporal Punishment is prohibited.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
In Iceland, the child rights situation is very good, with few exceptions. Participation must be improved and health care can also be improved.
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
The Committee is concerned that the number of pregnancies and abortions among girls under the age of 18 is relatively high, which may be attributed to a general lack of knowledge of reproductive health, access to contraceptives and counselling services on reproductive health.
|Situation of children with disabilities|
The Committee is concerned that access to services by children with disabilities may be limited by public allocations.
|Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children||The Committee is concerned that, owing to a growing number of immigrants in the State party, children of immigrants may be not be covered by child health-care services, particularly with regard to access to educational materials and general information about health services, due to language problems. Iceland therefore urges the State party to take necessary measures to integrate children of immigrants into its health system and provide children of immigrants with health information, if possible, in their native languages.|
|Free primary and secondary school||Yes|
The Committee welcomes the regulation by the Ministry of Health and Social Security exempting children below the age of 18 from health-care and hospital fees. Further, the Committee appreciates that obesity among children and young people has decreased, but is concerned that it remains a problem.
|Relation to other countries|
The Committee is concerned that there is a growing number of children in the State party who are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or related conditions, leading to an increase in the prescription of psychostimulant drugs. It is also concerned that the waiting lists for mental health diagnosis and treatment are long. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis of children with such problems and strengthen mental health services for children and guarantee access to examinations and treatment needed, including by improving the capacity of treatment and diagnostic centres as well as pay greater attention to other kinds of treatment, including psychological, educational and social measures, and strengthen the support to parents and teachers.
The Committee notes with concern that, while compulsory education in the State party lasts until 16 years of age (although may be completed earlier), the minimum age of employment remains 15 years of age. The Committee is also concerned that some children in the State party begin working at an early age, reportedly at 13–14 years. Although this work may be light in nature, it may be undertaken under bad conditions and inappropriate work arrangements that expose them to long working hours, high rates of work accidents and harassment, and often give them more responsibility than is fitting with their age.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
The Committee recommends that the State party bring the juvenile justice system fully in line with the Convention.
The Committee takes note of the deep financial crisis undergone by the State party since the crash of its banking system in 2008, which had a severe impact on its ability to maintain the level of public investment and employment, which in turn impacted on children and their families, especially on lower income families. However, the Committee notes with appreciation the State party’s fiscal efforts to protect the rights of children, especially regarding special protection measures, and that it intends to redress the budget cuts to social investment, including education and health, as its financial and economic situation steadily continues to improve.
Concluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports released on 23 January 2012.The Committee welcomes the withdrawal of the reservation concerning article 9 of the Convention in February 2009. The Committee regrets, however, that the State party has not withdrawn its reservation concerning article 37. More information about education in Iceland: https://work.iceland.is and https://www.government.is
|Last Updated (date)||23rd of February, 2022|