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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee is seriously concerned at the persistence of ritualistic killings of children.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and possibly in the penal system.
Overview of the child rights situation

The Committee notes that years of political instability followed by a 14-year civil war that ended in 2006 led to severe destruction of physical and social infrastructure, disruption of governmental and social institutions, displacement of the vast majority of the population internally and externally as well as severe loss of human capital, all of which constitute obstacles to the full implementation of the Convention.

Both freedom of expression and the principle of action according to the best interest of the child are not sufficiently implemented, but the prevailing thinking is that adults know what is best for children. More also needs to be done in the health care of pregnant women. In many fields, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is not implemented far enough.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee urges the State party to criminalize female genital mutilation and develop a comprehensive strategy with clear goals and targets to eradicate this practice while addressing special measures towards communities that continue to practise it. The Committee further urges Liberia to strengthen efforts to raise awareness of the harmful impact of female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages on the psychological and physical health and welfare of the girl child, and on the need to prevent these, while promoting positive cultural practices in childhood.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee calls upon the State party to take urgent measures to amend its Constitution and citizenship laws to eliminate discrimination on the basis of colour or racial origin.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee recommends that the State party develop and launch active awareness-raising programmes including campaigns with a view to changing the societal misconceptions about children with disabilities and eliminating stigmatization. It also recommends that Liberia ensure that children with disabilities have equal access to education and provide sufficient numbers of specialist teachers and professionals providing individual support in all schools and ensure that all professionals are adequately trained so that all children with disabilities can effectively enjoy their right to quality inclusive education.
Liberia should also take effective measures to ensure immunization and access to basic health care to children with disabilities, as well as to reproductive health services, and provide adequate support to children with disabilities and their families, inter alia, to avoid children with disabilities being sent into residential care.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenWhile welcoming the fact that the State party allows refugees to come into its territory, mainly from Côte d’Ivoire, and has put health and education services at refugees’ disposal, the Committee is concerned that there is no mechanism to provide protection and assistance to refugee children, in particular unaccompanied and separated children seeking asylum. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its assistance to refugee children with particular attention to unaccompanied and separated children seeking asylum, and ensure that a specific mechanism is set up to protect and assist separated and unaccompanied children particularly.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its efforts to improve access to basic health-care services for all children and pregnant women, particularly in rural areas, and devise and implement a strong primary health-care system to cover the whole country. The Committee further recommends to take concerted measures to reach areas characterized by disparities in health services, facilities and health outcomes and pay attention to the quality of care and provide well equipped health-care facilities and clinics with trained health workers. In addition, Liberia should work with families, children, community and religious leaders to strengthen health education and to promote positive attitudes and healthy behaviours that may contribute to reducing the prevalence of infections, improving nutrition and reducing maternal and child mortality.

Relation to other countries
Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends that Liberia require assessments, consultations and disclosure by companies on plans to address environmental and health pollution.

Business sector

The Committee regrets that multinational companies in the country, notably those operating in the rubber and steel producing industries, are operating in the absence of clear regulatory frameworks to ensure that international human rights, labour, environment and other standards are adhered to in order to protect workers and families and communities affected by their activities. In particular, the Committee is concerned that children are being engaged by their families in hazardous work in order to meet production quotas imposed by the companies, yet data on child employment is not collected and analysed for remedial action. It is also concerned that issues related to relocation affecting families and communities in mining areas, such as compensation for private properties to be left behind, new lands for housing, farming, and settlements, and access to other natural resources for income and subsistence, are not discussed with or communicated to the persons concerned, nor are they disclosed to the public.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to establish well-resourced juvenile courts at all county levels, and appoint trained juvenile judges in all regions of the State party and ensure that all children accused of a crime are accorded their right to due process. It further recommends to take a holistic approach to addressing the problem of juvenile crime (e.g. addressing underlying social factors) advocated in the Convention and take all necessary measures to establish separate detention facilities for juveniles, including through technical cooperation. Liberia should also implement post-release programmes for reintegration of juveniles, in order to facilitate their reintegration into society and prevent recidivism.

Specific observations

The Committee is highly concerned that corruption remains pervasive in the State party, as recognized by the State Party’s delegation. Corruption continues to divert resources that could otherwise improve the implementation of the rights of the child and weakens the efficiency and efficacy of budgetary allocations for children. The Committee urges the State party to take immediate measures to combat corruption and strengthen institutional capacities, including trained investigators and prosecutors and the Anti-Corruption Commission, to effectively detect, investigate and prosecute corruption.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 13 December 2012.
More information about education: Preschool in Liberia

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022