|Optional protocol||on the involvement of children in armed conflict|
|Corporal punishment||Corporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, some day care, schools, penal institutions, as a sentence for crime and in military service.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
The report from Singapore addresses a wide range of discrimination and shows that Singapore has already come a long way in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, health is completely missing from the report, and corporal punishment is widespread and even applied by the state.
|Situation of intersexual and transsexual children||The Committee recommends that Singapore combat discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children, including by decriminalizing consensual same-sex sexual acts, implementing awareness-raising and educational activities for children, families and the public and providing sensitivity training for the relevant professionals, so that children are encouraged to report cases of discrimination and violence and reported cases are promptly and appropriately addressed.|
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
The Committee welcomes the information that sex education is compulsory in schools but is concerned that it emphasizes abstinence, contains limited information on contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted infections and lacks a gender perspective. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that the education is gender sensitive, does not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and includes the use of contraception, including emergency contraception, and care and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
|Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous children||The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to provide equal opportunities for children of minority groups, in particular the Malay, and that it remove all policies that disadvantage or discriminate against minorities.|
|Situation of children with disabilities|
While the Committee welcomes the inclusion of all children with moderate to severe special education needs in the Compulsory Education Act, it remains concerned at the insufficient quantitative and qualitative data on children with disabilities and their needs, that some children with disabilities are still not fully included in the education system, the persistence of discriminatory attitudes and behaviours against children with disabilities and that non-Singaporean children with disabilities enjoy less protection than their Singaporean peers. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data on children with disabilities and their special needs and use them for the development of relevant policies and programmes as well as strengthen the implementation of the policy of inclusive education in schools and increase the number of places in preschool for children with moderate to severe special educational needs, without discrimination of any kind. Singapore should further increase the number of teachers and professionals trained on a human rights-based approach in integrated classes that provide individual support and due attention to children with learning difficulties. The Committee further recommends that the State party strengthen awareness-raising campaigns targeting government officials, the public and families to combat stigma attached to and prejudice against children with disabilities and promote a positive image of children with disabilities.
|Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children||While taking note of the State party’s arguments against amending its immigration laws, the Committee remains concerned that children whose parents’ immigration, employment or housing status is uncertain face insecurity and may be at risk of separation or deportation. The Committee urges the State party to reconsider its position.|
|Free primary and secondary school||No|
|Relation to other countries|
While taking note of the information that economic exploitation of children is low in the State party due to its strong legal safeguards, the Committee is concerned that the State party has not taken sufficient steps to provide a framework for national and international enterprises under its jurisdiction to report in all areas that may affect children’s rights. 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, environmental and other standards, particularly with regard to children’s rights. Inter alia, it recommends that the State party establish a clear regulatory framework for companies 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. It should also ensure effective implementation by companies, especially industrial companies, of international and national environment and health standards, effective monitoring of the implementation of those standards and the imposition of appropriate sanctions and provision of remedies when violations occur, and that appropriate international certification is sought.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
The Committee is seriously concerned that children aged between 16 and 18 years are still treated as adults in the criminal justice system and may be sentenced to life imprisonment and there is no child-specific pretrial detention limit.
The Committee is concerned that the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly are severely restricted in the State party and subject to undue limitations, with serious repercussions on the rights of children to freely express themselves, including on the Internet. The Committee urges the State party to review its laws and policies, in order to ensure full respect for the rights and freedoms guaranteed to children under the Convention, and that any restrictions to those rights fully comply with international standards.
In line with its general comment No. 11 (2009) on indigenous children and their rights under the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to provide equal opportunities for children of minority groups, in particular the Malay, and that it removes all policies that disadvantage or discriminate against minorities.
Concluding observations on the fourth and fifth periodic reports released on 28 June 2019. The Committee regrets the State party’s position not to withdraw any of its declarations to articles 12 to 17, 19 and 37 and reservations to articles 7, 9, 10, 22, 28 and 32 of the Convention. More information about education in Singapore: https://www.moe.gov.sg
|Last Updated (date)||2nd of March, 2022|