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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 prohibited in all settings, but persists, particularly in the home.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Spain, there are differences between the autonomous regions, for example in health and education.
While investment in social protection measures remains below the European average, national indicators of social exclusion, poverty and inequality have risen. It should also be noted that Spain is still suffering from the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis. Spain does well in the area of health, where the committee found almost no room for improvement. However, a major problem has been found in the area of migration and the situation of refugees, especially in the exclaves, where the basic rights of children are not respected.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee recommends to prohibit medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide their informed consent.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

Gender stereotypes are persistent in the education system, including in school curricula and textbooks.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee expresses its concern at the persistence, despite efforts undertaken by the State party, of racial discrimination against and stigmatization of Roma children and children with migrant backgrounds.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to fully implement a human rights-based approach to disability that ensures equal access to good-quality inclusive education in mainstream schools for children with disabilities. Spain should ensure that children with disabilities have access to health care, including early detection and intervention programmes.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is also seriously concerned about the fact that children are not recognized as applicants for international protection in their own right. The Committee urges Spain to establish adequate reception facilities for children, principally in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla and for those children arriving in Andalusia by sea, with specialized legal assistance, adequately trained interpreters and child-friendly services and expedite the processing and transfer of asylum-seeking children and their families.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee recommends that the State party establish the audio-visual media State council and allocate resources for its functioning as the regulator of the suitability of television content for children. It also recommends that the State party develop initiatives to regulate access to and use of the Internet and digital media and update school curricula concerning the protection of children in this regard. It further recommends to establish a strategy to combat bullying and harassment, including cyberbullying.
physical health

The Committee recommends that the State party increase the number of paediatricians and ensure that general practitioners providing health services to children acquire additional specialized skills and expertise relating to and receive further training on child and adolescent care.

Relation to other countries
mental health

Psychologists are available in all public schools. The Committee recommends to reduce excessively long response times for access to mental health services for children and increase the availability of services. It also recommends to address the increased diagnosis of ADHD and other behavioural specificities, and the use of drug treatments for the children diagnosed.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee recommends that the State party carry out an assessment of the impact of air pollution from coal-fired power plants on children’s health and on the climate as a basis for designing a well-resourced strategy to remedy the situation, and strictly regulate maximum air-pollutant emissions, including those by produced private businesses.

Business sector

The Committee recommends to establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector, including in the context of public procurement, fulfils the rights of the child.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends to expedite the court proceedings in sexual abuse cases involving child victims, in order to reduce the period of time for which they must wait before testifying. They also recommend to increase the number of specialized judges for children and ensure the availability of specialized juvenile court facilities and child-friendly procedures.

Specific observations

The Committee is seriously concerned that the level of investment in children by the State party has not been high enough to offset the negative impact of the severe economic and social crisis that began in 2008 and that has led to increased poverty and social inequality.

The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that children born through international surrogacy have access to information about their origins.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the fifth and sixth periodic reports released on 5 March 2018.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022