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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 the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Niger shows that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has not been satisfactorily implemented. While noting positive developments such as the establishment of a youth parliament and school governments, poor living conditions are still very common. Girls are subjected to slavery; education is inadequate and child mortality is one of the highest in the world.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee urges the State party to take active measures to put an end to female genital mutilation, which is still practiced in the region of Tillabéri, and ensure that girls who are victims or at risk of becoming victims of such harmful practices have access to fully operational helplines and related services.

The Committee further recommends to adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum and targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention paid to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. It also recommends to develop and implement a policy to protect the rights of pregnant teenagers and adolescent mothers and their children and combat discrimination against them.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party continue strengthening its efforts to raise the awareness of the population of the provisions of the Convention, including by reaching persons belonging to minority groups.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to organize the collection of data on children with disabilities and set up a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities. Also, Niger should develop an efficient system for diagnosing disability, which is necessary for putting in place appropriate policies and programmes and a specific budget for children with disabilities as well as strengthen its measures on inclusive education and ensure that inclusive education is given priority over the placement of children in specialized institutions and classes. Further, the Committee urges the State party to take immediate measures to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to health care, including early detection and intervention programmes, and quality orthopaedic equipment, especially in rural areas. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to provide specialized training, including on sign language, to teachers and professionals, and assign specialized teachers and professionals to integrated classes in which individual support and all due attention are provided to children with learning difficulties.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenWhile noting that the State party remains a source and transit country for migrants and refugees, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all decisions and agreements in relation to the transfer of any asylum-seeking, refugee or migrant children. The Committee also recommends to extend the basic services to areas from which large number of migrants originate, such as the department of Kantché in Zinder region. Niger should also process cases involving unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children in a positive, humane and expeditious manner and identify sustainable solutions for such children.
Free kindergartenNot clear
Free primary and secondary schoolNot clear
physical health

The Committee remains concerned about the insufficient vaccination of children and regional disparities in vaccination coverage and a high level of acute and chronic malnutrition. It is further concerned about a decrease in budget allocations and underfunding of the health sector as well as the high costs of and out-of-pocket expenditure required for health-care services.

To guarantee every child the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party prioritize measures to improve access to and the quality of health-care and nutrition services, including through allocating sufficient financial resources to the health sector and ensuring the availability of qualified health-care staff. Also, Niger should create more vaccination centres, ensure that all children in the State party are fully vaccinated, reduce disparities in vaccination coverage among regions and provide all centres with the necessary human resources, equipment and vaccines.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee recommends that Niger undertake a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of adolescent health problems, with the full participation of adolescents.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends that the State party implement comprehensive policies and strategies throughout the country aimed at preventing mental health problems among adolescents and children and at providing for the treatment and recovery of adolescents and children with mental health problems, with the participation of families and communities.

Impacts of climate change

While noting the significant impacts of climate change on the State party in the form of, inter alia, deforestation, desertification and limited water and food resources, the Committee recommends that the State party take measures to strengthen policies and programmes to address the issues of climate change and disaster risk management, including through replanting trees, regenerating land and increasing solar energy. It also recommends that such policies and programmes include measures to protect the right of children to housing, sanitation, food, water and health and ensure the full and meaningful participation of communities at risk, including children, at both the national and regional levels.

Business sector

The Committee recommends that the State party establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector complies with international and national human rights, labour, environment and other standards, particularly with regard to children’s rights.
In particular, it recommends that the State party establish a clear regulatory framework for the industries, especially mining industries, operating in the State party to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect human rights or endanger environmental and other standards, especially those relating to children’s rights. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure effective implementation by companies, especially industrial companies, of international and national environmental and health standards and effective monitoring of the implementation of those standards, appropriately sanction and provide remedies when violations occur, and ensure that appropriate international certification is sought.
Niger should also require companies to undertake assessments of and consultations on the environmental, health-related and human rights impacts of their business activities and their plans to address such impacts, and to fully and publicly disclose those assessments, consultations and plans.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned about insufficient legal representation of children and the low quality of existing legal representation and inadequate training of the staff in the justice system. The Committee is further concerned about the absence of effective, reliable and up-to-date data on children in conflict with the law as well as the lack of coordination among social services, the justice sector and other relevant agencies. Further, the Committee is, among other things, concerned about the lack of designated areas in police stations to detain children, in particular girls, separately from adults, and at the prolonged periods of pretrial detention of children suspected of involvement in armed groups.

To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal aid to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout legal proceedings and to ensure, in cases where detention is unavoidable, that children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions comply with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services. In addition to that, Niger should improve coordination among the justice sector, social services and other relevant services and provide services for the reintegration of children released from prisons.

Specific observations

The Committee is deeply concerned about reports of the continuing practice of descent-based slavery of children, whereby children are treated as the property of their master and can be rented out, loaned, given as a gift or inherited by their masters’ children. It is also concerned that the prosecution of slavery cases is limited, penalties are mild and customary laws that coexist with national laws are discriminatory against people of slave descent.
Therefore, the Committee strongly urges the State party to take all the measures necessary to eradicate all forms of slavery within the State party and, in particular, to ensure that perpetrators of such practices are systematically prosecuted in courts in accordance with the law. The Committee calls upon the State party to adopt a national plan of action to combat slavery, including effective measures to free victims of traditional slavery practices and provide children with rehabilitation, psychological recovery services and assistance for reintegrating into their families, as well as awareness-raising campaigns on the provisions of the law against slavery.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 21 November 2018.
Last Updated (date)2nd of March, 2022