|Optional protocol||on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography|
|Violence||The Committee recommends to formulate and implement a comprehensive strategy for preventing and combating violence against or abuse or neglect of children in all settings, addressing their root causes.|
|Corporal punishment||Corporal Punishment is prohibited in all settings.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
Overlooking the situation in Malta, everything looks very good, but looking deeper in the reports, a lot of problems come up, especially regarding the integration and inclusion of children facing discrimination. But Children’s rights are now included in the nomenclature of the new ministry for Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity, which is a good step towards awareness in the population.
|Situation of intersexual and transsexual children||There are cases of intersex children who have allegedly been subjected to surgical and other procedures, which were medically unnecessary, without their consent to such procedures.<br /> <br /> The Committee is concerned about cases of sexual abuse of children committed within their family and/or by persons in their circle of trust, including by religious personnel of the Catholic Church. It recommends to ensure the transparent and effective investigation of all cases of sexual abuse, the criminal prosecution of alleged perpetrators, and the adequate criminal punishment of those found guilty and to establish an independent and impartial commission of inquiry to examine cases of sexual abuse reportedly committed by the religious personnel of the Catholic Church.|
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
Child marriage and female genital mutilation are prevalent among migrant communities and remain underreported. Between 39 per cent and 57 per cent of 486 girls originating from countries where female genital mutilation is practiced are reported to be at risk of female genital mutilation. Regardless of this, the Committee recommends to decriminalize abortion in all circumstances and ensure access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services for adolescent girls, making sure that their views are always heard and given due consideration as part of the decision-making process.
|Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous children||The Committee recommends that Malta strengthen its efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which negatively affects children, especially asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children.|
|Situation of children with disabilities|
The Committee recommends to strengthen the implementation of the Policy on Inclusive Education in Schools, with specific measures to ensure that students with disabilities, including students with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities, are provided with reasonable accommodation, and train specialized teachers and professionals to provide individual support and all due attention to children with learning difficulties.
|Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children||Children who were born at sea on board unregistered vessels are able to register in Malta, but the Committee is seriously concerned at the cases of children, including asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children, who are not provided with birth registration and are at risk of statelessness. <br /> The Committee is seriously concerned about the delays in authorizing the disembarkation in the nearest place of safety of rescued migrants and refugees, including children, and that the age assessment procedure is not multidisciplinary and that the temporary humanitarian protection status for unaccompanied children, and the rights and benefits attached to it, are not regulated by law.|
|Free primary and secondary school||Yes|
|Digital possibilities||The Committee recommends to strengthen measures to combat bullying and raise awareness of its harmful effects, with particular emphasis on combating cyberbullying.|
The Committee recommends to develop and implement a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents, to ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum, to ensure that it is targeted at both adolescent girls and boys and to ensure that adequate sexual and reproductive health services are available for adolescents, in particular access to modern contraception methods.
|Relation to other countries|
The Committee recommends to ensure that for children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder prescribing drugs is used as a measure of last resort and only after an individualized assessment of the best interests of the child concerned, and that children and their parents are properly informed about the possible side effects of this medical treatment and about non-medical alternatives.
|Impacts of climate change|
Malta should expedite the implementation of plans to reduce air pollution levels.
The Committee is concerned about the lack of information on measures taken to implement its previous recommendations concerning children’s rights in the business sector.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
Malta has the possibility of placing asylum-seeking and refugee children in detention as a measure of last resort and of placing unaccompanied children aged 16 years or over in accommodation centres for adult asylum seekers. Therefore, the Committee recommends to prohibit the immigration in law and ensure that such legal prohibition is implemented in practice, and ensure effective alternatives to detention.
The Committee welcomes the amendments to the Embryo Protection Act that provide for the right of children born through assisted reproduction technologies to have access to information about their origins. The Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts to ensure that children born through assisted reproduction technologies have their best interests taken as a primary consideration and that, in doing so, it considers providing parents with appropriate counselling and support.
|Additional Background||Concluding observations on the third to sixth periodic reports released on 26 June 2019.|
|Last Updated (date)||15th of February, 2022|