|Corporal punishment||Corporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and penal institutions.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
Palau has not given sufficient information to the Committee in many areas, so that the Committee has made proposals that may already have been implemented. One of the highlighted problems is that abortions are forbidden and girls risk their lives by having unsafe abortions. Also, many preventable diseases are still common in Palau.
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
The Committee is concerned at the fact that sexual and reproductive health education programmes do not focus sufficiently on all aspects of prevention and abortion is a criminal offence without exception. This prohibition leads teenage girls to undergo unsafe abortions, with consequent risk to their life and health. Also, adolescent girls only have limited access to safe reproductive and sexual health services and birth control methods and related information, and there has been an increased emphasis on abstinence as opposed to an earlier focus on safe sex and condom use.
|Situation of children with disabilities|
The Committee notes with appreciation the draft disability policy and the fact that the Palau severely disabled funds programme increased the size of monthly assistance payments to beneficiaries, including children. However, the Committee is seriously concerned at the fact that the disability policy has not been finalized or implemented. It is further concerned about the limited access of children with disabilities to inclusive education, rehabilitation, health care, transportation and all buildings and spaces and at the situation regarding service delivery in all areas, especially in rural schools and communities.
|Free primary and secondary school||Yes|
The Committee welcomes the improvement in maternal and child-health indicators and the high vaccination coverage achieved. However, the Committee is concerned at the prevalence of bronchiolitis and other respiratory diseases, urinary tract infection and acute gastroenteritis among children. It is further concerned about child mortality related to the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and the lack of dentists and well-trained health workers for children.
|Relation to other countries|
The Committee is concerned at the lack of information on mental health policy, related action plans and the number of staff specializing in child mental health issues. It is also concerned at the high rate of suicide among adolescents, especially girls, and the correlation between adolescent sexual behaviour, depression and suicide. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures, including regional cooperation, to provide sufficient capacity to deal with child mental health issues. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party increase the number of staff specializing in that field, strengthen psychological and psychiatric services for children, guarantee access to any necessary examinations and treatment and intensify suicide-prevention measures.
|Impacts of climate change|
The Committee is concerned that there is no information on whether climate change adaptation and disaster-risk reduction are part of the school curriculum and on whether there is a comprehensive disaster-sensitive social protection system in place. The Committee is further concerned that there is no information on the measures in place addressing the special needs of children in vulnerable situations, including children with disabilities, when planning disaster-risk reduction preparedness, response and recovery.
The Committee is concerned that there is no specific law or policy addressing child labour and there are no social programmes aimed at preventing child labour and supporting children affected by the issue. There is also no hazardous child labour list, and there is exploitation of children, particularly in the tobacco industry.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
The Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention and other relevant standards. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt legislation for the administration of juvenile justice in accordance with the Convention and strengthen legislative provisions for child-friendly investigation and court procedures for child victims and child offenders. It also recommends to adopt standard operating procedures for the prosecution of children in conflict with the law and guidelines for dealing with child victims and child witnesses.
The Committee notes with appreciation the establishment of a subcommittee of the national human rights task force focusing on human trafficking cases and addressing child protection issues. However, the Committee is concerned that there is no specific reference to trafficking in children as an aggravating factor and no supporting legislation or guidelines dealing with the prevention and prosecution of trafficking in children and the repatriation and rehabilitation of child victims/survivors.
Concluding observations on the second periodic report released on 28 February 2018.More information about education in Palau: https://education-profiles.org
|Last Updated (date)||2nd of March, 2022|