Micronesia

Back to the map with all countries
CountryMicronesia
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Safety
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care and penal institutions; prohibition in schools requires confirmation.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Micronesia, children's rights have not yet been sufficiently implemented. This includes the sectors of health care, but also of education and child labour. The outer islands are always particularly affected. Micronesia is also one of the island states most affected by the consequences of climate change, but children are not included in the planning for the future.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee notes with appreciation the measures taken by the State party to address substance abuse among adolescents, including awareness-raising programmes. However, it is concerned about the high rate of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents and the criminalization of abortion in all cases except where the life of the pregnant girl is at risk. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the limited access to safe reproductive and sexual health-care services, education and contraceptives, especially in the outer islands, due to the limited supply, cultural attitudes and fear of stigmatization. It is further concerned about the prevalence of substance abuse among adolescents, due to the lack of law enforcement of alcohol sales to children and the lack of a legal framework for the sale of sakau.

Discrimination
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about the limited access of children with disabilities to inclusive education, transportation, public spaces, rehabilitation and service delivery in all areas, and about the lack of funding and technical support provided to service providers for children with disabilities or the parents of such children.
The Committee recommends that the State party adopt a national policy on disability aimed at strengthening health-care services for children with disabilities and ensuring that all children with all types of disabilities enjoy inclusive education. Also, Micronesia should increase the budget for and expenditure on children with disabilities and improve access for children with disabilities to all public and private buildings, spaces, service delivery and transportation, in all areas, especially in the outer islands. The Committee further recommends to ensure that all schools have specialized teachers and professionals providing individual support and that teaching staff are adequately trained.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenNoting that international migration in the context of climate change and natural disasters may increasingly affect children, the Committee recommends that the State party consider developing legislation, policies and programmes governing the international migration of children that take into account the rights and needs of children.
Education
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee recommends that the State party ensure access for children to appropriate information from a diversity of sources, including the Internet, and that children are adequately protected from information and material harmful to their well-being.
Health
physical health

To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party increase efforts to improve access to basic health-care services for all children, in particular in the outer islands and remote villages, and provide resources for the establishment of mobile clinics. Also, Micronesia should strengthen measures to reduce mortality rates among infants and children under 5 years of age due to preventable causes and to prevent and treat anaemia, tuberculosis and the stunting, wasting and undernourishment of children.
Also, the Committee recommends to scale up immunization, in particular in the outer islands, and provide sufficient investment in suitable technologies, such as drone delivery, and human resource capacities for the delivery of immunization services.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is seriously concerned about the lack of a legal framework or policy on mental health and the insufficient attention given to the mental health of children, as well as the absence of child psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers and other specialized personnel.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that Micronesia promote the development of mental health legislation and a mental health policy for children that are adequately resourced. It further recommends to establish mental health services and programmes for children and ensure that qualified personnel, including child psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers and other specialized personnel, are available in all states.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends that the State party ensure access for children to appropriate information from a diversity of sources, including the Internet, and that children are adequately protected from information and material harmful to their well-being.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned that there is no legislation prohibiting child labour or establishing the minimum age for admission to hazardous and non-hazardous work and no programmes to prevent child labour or support children involved in the practice.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party establish a minimum age for admission to employment or work, with clear regulations on working hours, and develop and adopt a policy on child labour and explicitly prohibit the employment of children in harmful or hazardous work and develop a list of hazardous work explicitly prohibited for children. It also recommends to ensure that no child engages in hazardous work and put into place social programmes aimed at the elimination of or prevention of child labour, especially the worst forms.
Micronesia should also determine the conditions in which light work may be permitted and the number of hours during which such employment of children may be undertaken, ensuring that children have sufficient leisure time and do not miss school.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee notes with appreciation that the Federal Code and state codes set out a number of provisions on child justice which provide for “flexible” procedures for legal proceedings involving children accused of criminal offences, including informal hearings in closed sessions and legal representation for such children. To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to bring its child justice system fully into line with the Convention, to designate specialized judges for children and to ensure that such judges, as well as prosecutors, police officers and other professionals, receive training on the provisions of the Convention. Also, Micronesia should avoid the use and limit the duration of pretrial detention by ensuring that children arrested and deprived of their liberty are promptly brought before a competent authority to examine the legality of the deprivation of liberty or its continuation and expedite trials involving children. The Committee further recommends to ensure that, in cases where detention is unavoidable, children are not detained together with adults and that the conditions of detention comply with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health-care services.

Specific observations

The Committee welcomes the fact that the State party has undertaken successful measures to ensure that most children are registered at birth in health facilities, but it is concerned about children who are not yet registered, in particular those in the outer islands, and the cases in which inadequate information provided at birth leads to cases of non-registration.

The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to fully protect the right of the child to privacy by amending legislation to explicitly protect children from interference with their right to privacy by private individuals or entities and developing guidelines for parents, teachers and professionals working with and for children to ensure that they understand and respect the right of the child to privacy.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second periodic report released on 3 April 2020. More information about education in Micronesia: http://national.doe.fm

Last Updated (date)1st of March, 2022