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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 currently permitted in the home, alternative care settings and some day care settings. It continues to be widely accepted in society as a means of disciplining children.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Serbia, children are not seen as right holders and as a group with special needs. All articles of the Convention regarding participation are implemented insufficiently. Furthermore, the discrimination against Roma is prevalent, and public funding is insufficient in all relevant sectors.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenTrans and intersexual children are discriminated against.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee recommends that the State party establish a system to track all cases involving child marriage among ethnic groups, particularly Roma girls; provide child victims with shelter, as well as appropriate rehabilitation and counselling services, and develop awareness-raising campaigns highlighting the harmful consequences of child marriage.
In regards of reproductive health, the Committee recommends to ensure unimpeded access to sexual and reproductive health services, and to address the incidence of drug use by children and adolescents.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee is deeply concerned that stigmatization of and discrimination against Roma people, including children, are still widespread, resulting in violence and hate speech against them, and that they face difficulties in gaining access to social protection services and social integration programmes.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about the inhuman or degrading treatment experienced by children living in institutional care homes and about reports indicating that children with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual impairments, are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual violence. Children with disabilities also continue to be significantly overrepresented in residential care. The Committee recommends to reform the system of social assistance for children with disabilities and their families in order to improve its coherence and coordination and avoid unnecessary institutionalization. It further recommends to give priority to measures to facilitate the full inclusion of children with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe absence of a proper identification procedure and an insufficient number of interpreters at the border increase the risk that unaccompanied children will not be identified as such when entering the country. Limited space in asylum centres has forced many asylum-seeking and refugee children to sleep on the streets, while others are afraid to go to the centres for fear of being deported, leaving them vulnerable to smuggling rings reportedly operating in Serbia. <br /> The Committee recommends to ensure that all asylum-seeking children are systematically provided with information on their rights and obligations and asylum procedures and to guarantee the right to acquire Serbian citizenship for all children currently residing in the State party who would otherwise be stateless.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee is concerned about the widespread instances of violence in schools, particularly at the primary school level, as well as instances of cyberbullying.
physical health

Serbia’s infant mortality rate remains above the European Union average. The Committee is also concerned about the high rate of infant and under-5 mortality among Roma children due to limited access to neonatal services. Regional disparities and equity gaps, combined with financial constraints and inadequate health insurance coverage continue to hinder access to basic health-care services.
The Committee recommends to ensure the availability of and equitable access to quality primary and specialized health care for all children in the country and expand support in Roma communities for newly appointed health mediators.

Relation to other countries
mental health

A shortage of qualified child psychiatrists and community-based mental health services is determined.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends that the State party collect disaggregated data identifying the types of risk faced by children related to the occurrence of a variety of disasters.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges Serbia to ensure the provision of qualified and free legal aid to children in conflict with the law and to establish specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures with adequate human, technical and financial resources.

Specific observations

The Committee remains concerned that in its budgeting process the State party does not stipulate budget allocations for children in the relevant sectors.
Inadequate housing continues to be a problem, particularly for Roma families who are often subjected to forced evictions, which leaves children without access to basic services, including clean and safe drinking water and sanitation, therefore rendering them vulnerable to serious health problems. Therefore, the Committee recommends to strengthen the support provided to children living below the poverty line, and ensure that social protection measures cover the real costs of decent living for the children, including expenses relevant to their rights to health, a nutritious diet, education, adequate housing and water and sanitation.

Additional BackgroundThe application of the Convention in Kosovo is not covered through this report, because information on the implementation were not provided to the Committee.<br /> Concluding observations on the second and third periodic reports released on 7 March 2017.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022