Back to the map with all countries
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

Venezuela's report is very comprehensive, although they cannot provide detailed data on many topics. This fact is also repeatedly criticized in the report. The topic of juvenile justice is listed in detail as well, specifically in relation to the fact that with the new law reform, children in prisons and under suspicion of crime are not provided with dignified accommodation and legal aid.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee is also concerned at reports of cases of bullying and discrimination against children because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is particularly concerned at the persistent patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls and the lack of adequate measures to address this situation. To improve the situation for girls, the Committee recommends to eliminate patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls, including through the implementation of educational and awareness raising programmes.

The Committee recommends to review the State party’s legislation on abortion and provide for additional exceptions, such as in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, when the pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the adolescent or when abortion is in the best interests of the pregnant adolescent in order to prevent her from resorting to unsafe abortion. The State party should ensure, in law and in practice, that the views of the child are always heard and respected in abortion decisions.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends to translate the legal and political advances for combatting racial and ethnic discrimination into greater protection of children’s rights, and conduct an evaluation of the implementation of laws, policies and programmes, including indicators, to measure the achievements.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee welcomes the various initiatives taken to address the specific needs of children with disabilities, in particular in the areas of health and education. However, it regrets the absence of information on a comprehensive strategy to ensure coherency among all the initiatives and the full protection of the rights of children with disabilities. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of disaggregated data in this area. It is further concerned at reports that a large percentage of children with disabilities do not attend school, in particular in rural areas, and that there are no special programmes to ensure future employment opportunities for adolescents with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned about the lack of information on the number of asylum- seeking children in the State party and that the delays in determining refugee status have a negative impact on the enjoyment of rights by asylum-seeking children and their families. The Committee is further concerned about the lack of programmes addressing the particular needs of asylum-seeking and refugee children that have been involved in armed conflicts in neighbouring countries.To improve the situation of asylum-seeking children, the Committee recommends to ensure that all children and their families in need of international protection receive appropriate and fair treatment at all stages, and that decisions on refugee status are dealt with expeditiously. Also, Venezuela should provide adequate assistance and psychosocial support to children who have been involved in armed conflicts abroad.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee welcomes the Canaima Education Project, under which more than 2.5 million computers have been distributed to schools with the aim of promoting children’s access to information. However, the Committee is concerned about the shortage of teachers trained in the use of information and communications technology (ICT). Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party develop a strategy to ensure that teachers receive adequate training and relevant material to provide guidance to children on safe access to appropriate information through computers.
physical health

The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to reduce under-five mortality and increase vaccination coverage. However, the Committee is deeply concerned at the high rates of maternal mortality and the lack of information on the measures taken to reduce it. It is further concerned about reports that some important medical services and/or medical staff and/or medicines are not available for children in some hospitals. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends Venezuela to collect disaggregated data on children’s health-related issues, in particular child mortality, including under-five mortality, maternal mortality, vaccination coverage, nutrition and breastfeeding and allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources to the national public health system.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee is deeply concerned that the State party has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancies in the region and that many of those pregnancies result in maternal deaths. It is also concerned about the lack of access to safe abortion procedures, due to the restrictive law on abortion, and the lack of information on the actual impact of the programmes in reducing adolescent pregnancies.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee regrets the lack of public policy on mental health in relation to children in the State party. The Committee is also concerned about reports about the reduction in the coverage and quality of mental health-care centres.
The Committee recommends that the State party collect disaggregated data on mental health-related issues in relation to children. The Committee further recommends the development of a national strategy to address mental health issues of children, including the provision of mental health-care services with adequate human, technical and financial resources.

Impacts of climate change

In the light of the information provided by the Ministry of Environment that air pollution exceeds the permitted standards in some cities, such as Barcelona, Puerto La Cruz and Maracaibo, the Committee is concerned that excessive air pollution results in cases of pneumonia in children under five years of age.

Business sector

The Committee notes that the rate of child labour has reportedly decreased in the last decade in the State party. However, the Committee remains concerned about the prevalence of child labour. The Committee regrets the lack of information on the extent and forms of child labour, including the worst forms of child labour.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned that mechanisms to monitor children’s rights in police detention centres have not been established and children and adults deprived of liberty are not systematically separated, in particular in pretrial detention.
Also, conditions in juvenile detention facilities and the socio-educational programmes in place, including the use of military training, do not comply with international standards and frequently lead to riots and children being injured.
In addition to that, the State party has not yet established a specialized police force, with officers trained to deal with children.
To solve these problems, the Committee urges the State party to expedite the adoption of a law reform on juvenile justice, in accordance with international standards, including raising the age of criminal responsibility, unify the juvenile justice system throughout the country, provide facilities and services with adequate human, technical and financial resources. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to ensure, in cases where detention is unavoidable, that children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee notes the efforts made by the State party to improve the standard of living of children, including their access to drinking water. However, the Committee is concerned about reports that drinking water is not of adequate quality in some areas of the State party, resulting in numerous cases of infant deaths associated with infections and diarrhoea.

The Committee is also concerned at reports that a number of children had been arrested in the framework of the demonstrations in early 2014 in the State party.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 13 October 2014.More information about education in Venezuela:

Last Updated (date)1st of March, 2022