|Optional protocol||on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography|
|Corporal punishment||Corporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, penal institutions and as a sentence for crime.|
|Overview of the child rights situation|
Vanuatu is a small island nation and is therefore particularly affected by climate change, but does not prepare children for it or involves them in planning for the island's future. There is also a high level of stigma towards contraceptives and children with disabilities. On the positive side, education is free from pre-school to 13th Grade.
|Situation of intersexual and transsexual children||The situation of trans and intersexual children is not covered in the reports.|
|Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights|
The Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents that pays attention to all aspects of prevention, including of sexually transmitted infections and of early pregnancies. It also recommends to ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum targeting adolescent girls and boys, with special attention on preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The State party should further decriminalize abortion for cases of rape, incest and other unwanted pregnancies and ensure access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services, irrespective of whether abortion is legal or not. The views of the girl should always be heard and respected in abortion decisions.
|Situation of children with disabilities|
The Committee is concerned at the absence of a stand-alone law or a comprehensive policy for the protection and promotion of children with disabilities as well as the stigmatisation of children with disabilities due to societal and cultural attitudes. The Committee is further concerned about limited access to inclusive education, rehabilitation, early identification and referral programmes and the lack of well-trained specialised teachers, and limited access to transportation, public spaces and service delivery in all areas. To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability, set up a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities and develop and support community campaigns and programmes to address discrimination and stigma against children with disabilities and create awareness of early detection and interventions. Also, Vanuatu should provide sufficient numbers of specialist teachers and professionals providing individual support in all schools and ensure that professionals are adequately trained so that children with all kinds of disabilities can effectively enjoy their right to quality inclusive education and improve access to all public buildings, spaces, service delivery and transportation in all areas.
|Free primary and secondary school||Yes|
The Committee is concerned at the high infant and under-five mortality due to neonatal causes and preventable causes, the low vaccination coverage, particularly in rural areas and outer islands and stunting, underweight prevalence and malnutrition, which is a leading cause of child death. It is further concerned at limited funding, inadequate childcare facilities, especially obstetric neonatal care facilities, insufficient number of well-trained health workers for children and pregnant women and poor access to health-care services, particularly in rural and remote areas, which all present significant barriers to the improvement of children’s health. To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party take measures to reduce infant and under-5 mortality due to neonatal conditions and preventable diseases, such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea as well as scale up immunisation, particularly in rural areas and outer islands, and provide sufficient investment in suitable technologies, such as drone delivery, and human resource capacities for immunisation services.
|Relation to other countries|
The Committee is concerned that after the expiration of the National Mental Health Policy and Plan 2010, no new policy or action plan on mental health of children has been developed. It is also concerned at the insufficient number of personnel specialized on children with mental health issues. The Committee recommends that the State party evaluate the lapsed National Mental Health Policy 2009-2015 and its accompanying plan of action and use the findings of the assessment for the formulation of a new policy. It also recommends that the State party take all necessary measures, including regional cooperation, to increase capacity and the number of personnel specialized on children with mental health issues.
|Impacts of climate change|
The Committee is concerned that the State party has not included the climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the school curriculum, does not have a comprehensive disaster sensitive social protection system in place, that not enough is done to include the special needs of children, including children with disabilities, in planning disaster risk reduction preparedness, response and recovery, and that school infrastructure, particularly in remote areas, is not resilient and accessible in case of natural disaster.
The Committee is seriously concerned that the State party has made no progress in the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. It is also particularly concerned that there is no policy addressing child labour and no social programmes aimed at prevention and support to children involved in child labour.
|Situation of juvenile justice|
The Committee is seriously concerned that there is still no law governing the administration of juvenile justice. To improve the situation, 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 establish specialized juvenile courts and procedures with adequate human, technical and financial resources, designate specialized judges for children and other relevant personnel and ensure they receive appropriate education and training. Further, child protection and specific SOPs should be incorporated in the existing training curriculum for the police as well as a performance-based management system should be introduced to ensure accountability in applying their knowledge and skills.
Concluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 29 September 2017. More information about education on Vanuatu: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/395129/vanuatu-plans-to-extend-free-education
|Last Updated (date)||15th of February, 2022|