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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 legal in the home, alternative care settings and day care.
Overview of the child rights situation

In the report on Zambia, no sub-topic stands out strongly. The country is making efforts to improve the situation of children, but still has a long way to go in the health sector and also in education. School is not accessible to all, and charity organizations take over many government tasks.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned at the high number of teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions, the lack of adolescent-sensitive and confidential counselling services and support, the difficult access for adolescent girls to reproductive health care and information, and inadequate functional emergency obstetric neonatal care facilities and untrained staff.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to improve adolescent girls’ access to reproductive health-care and related services and increase support to reproductive health and family planning practices.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned that the legislation and the policy are not fully enforced, and the State party still needs to develop and implement a national plan of action. Also, there is a lack of comprehensive data on children with disabilities. In addition, children with disabilities suffer from a high level of stigmatization. The Committee is further concerned at the limited number of school facilities and materials adapted for these children, as well as services and infrastructure to ensure that education is fully inclusive.
To improve the situation for children with disabilities, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that children with disabilities have access to inclusive early childhood care and education, early development programmes, health care and other services, and ensure such services receive adequate human, technical and financial resources. Furthermore, the State party should take all necessary measures to ensure the effective implementation of the existing legislation and take all necessary measures for the development and implementation of the national plan of action.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned that the current Refugee (Control) Act of 1970 does not provide specific protection for refugee children nor refugee status determination in the case of unaccompanied and separated children. The Committee is also concerned about the difficult social situation of the refugees and their families in areas such as health and education.<br /> The Committee recommends that the State party expedite the adoption of the Refugee Bill and strengthen the legal protection of refugee children. The Committee also urges the State party to provide refugee children with access to social services, such as health and education.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee notes the State party’s progress on the immunization rate and declining under-five, infant and maternal mortality. However, it is concerned that health services and personnel remain inadequate in terms of coverage and quality and reported under-five mortality, infant mortality and neonatal mortality rates remain high.
To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends to strengthen its efforts to further reduce infant and child mortality, especially by focusing on preventive measures and treatment, improved nutrition and sanitary conditions, vaccination uptakes, and the management of preventable diseases and malaria. It also recommends to strengthen the State parties’ efforts to improve access to basic health-care services with trained health workers for all children and pregnant women, particularly in rural areas.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned at the lack of information on the mental health programmes and services for adolescents in the State party. The Committee therefore recommends to provide information on mental health and counselling services available in the country and on how the State party ensures that they are accessible and sensitive to adolescents.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned about the negative impact of the mining sector, in particular the activities of lead mining in Kabwe, on the rights of children, such as the right to health, development and play and their standard of living.

The Committee therefore recommends that the State party establish a clear regulatory framework for the mining industries operating in the territory of the State party to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect or endanger environmental and other standards, particularly those relating to children’s rights. Also, Zambia needs to undertake all necessary measures to protect the rights of the children in Kabwe, including by ensuring their consideration in all future lead mining activities.
In addition to that, the Committee recommends to ensure the effective implementation by companies, especially mining companies, of international and national environmental and health standards and effective monitoring of implementation of these standards, and appropriately sanction and provide remedies when violations occur, as well as ensure that appropriate international certification is sought.

Situation of juvenile justice

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 urges the State party to ensure that the right of children to legal representation or other appropriate assistance is guaranteed and ensure that all children deprived of liberty have access to education, health and recreation facilities. In addition to that, Zambia should take all necessary measures to always separate children from adults in pretrial detention places and in prison all over the country.

Specific observations

The Committee is also concerned that official registration is still not systematic, concerned about the low number of birth registration and the low rate of possession of a birth certificate, particularly in the rural areas. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that groups of children, such as children born at home and refugee children, may be excluded.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 14 March 2016.
Last Updated (date)27th of February, 2022