PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Child Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the first Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also included is the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.

Papua New Guinea - 11th Session - 2011
11th May, 2.30pm to 5.30pm

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National Report
UN Compilation
Stakeholder Compilation
Accepted and rejected recommendations

National Report

21. The scorecard of PNG's socio-economic development has not been impressive with high illiteracy, lack of basic education, health services, infrastructure and increased lawlessness. Also, PNG is far behind in its Human Development Indicator and is ranked 145 out of 175 countries. This scenario poses significant challenges for the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

24. These sets of rights and freedoms in many ways guarantee the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms expressed in the various international human rights instruments including Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

26. The practice for PNG in terms of domesticating human rights instruments has been the latter. Gradual implementation is not only practical but also more achievable for PNG than enactment of a new law. Review of the domestic laws relating to children that resulted in the repeal of the Child Welfare Act 1975 and enactment of the Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2009 are two examples. The new Act is for the protection and promotion of the rights and well-being of a child and incorporates the articles of the CRC.

29. There are other existing domestic laws that promote and protect human rights principles in various fields either specifically or generally. For instance, the HIV/AIDS Management and Prevention Act (HAMP) 2003 was enacted to give effect to the basic rights and freedoms stated in the Constitution. This law aspires to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, manage the lives of those living with Human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and protect them from discriminatory practices and the protection of public. The Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2009 which promotes the best interest of the child is another example that promotes and protects the human rights of children specifically.

30. To ensure full protection and safeguard of such fundamental rights and freedoms, the National Parliament had enacted certain laws, which include the following: Criminal Code (Sexual Offenses and Crimes Against Children) Act 2002; Criminal Code 1974 (Chapter 262); Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2009; The National Housing Corporation Act 1990; Employment of Non-citizens Act 2007; the Evidence Act (section 37A) and the Juvenile Court Act 1993.

36. PNG is committed to progress the status of the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission, as envisaged in the NEC Decision No. 21/1997 and 33/2007 respectively. The National Technical Working Committee and the Legal Working Group have completed the Draft Constitutional Amendment and the Draft Organic Law for the Government to consider endorsing. In the interim, measures are undertaken by various government line agencies in promoting and protecting human rights as it relates to their respective areas of responsibility. For instance, the provisions of child protection services is provided by DCD, the public legal services provided by the Office of Public Solicitor, while the OC has an Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Unit. The establishment of the National Human Rights Commission will strengthen and complement the work of these government agencies in the promotion and protection of human rights in PNG.

38. PNG prepared the National Report on the implementation of the CRC which was submitted on 23 April 2002 and thereafter adopted it on 30 January 2004. The government has developed a national strategic framework for the implementation of CRC Committee's recommendations.

44. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture identified the Bihute Correctional Institution in Goroka, as a best practice example, where various educational and recreational opportunities as well as access to counseling were available for women detainees. Also, in this institution, the warders were actively involved in the process of rehabilitation of the detainees and the setting in the institution offered a suitable environment for the children living with their mothers. Medical care was easily accessible, further differentiating it from other detention facilities.

47. Within the Pacific region, one of the notable achievements in PNG is the enactment of the Criminal Code (Sexual Offences and Crimes Against Children) Act 2003. Amongst other significant changes, the above Act has expanded the definition of rape as well as provides for marital rape. Though the provision on marital rape is yet to be tested in court, the important thing is that PNG has enacted a law making it an offence for husbands or wives to force sex on their spouses. This is a very important aspect of the law especially given the HIV/AIDS epidemic in PNG is on the rise.

48. The Government of PNG ratified the CRC in 1993 which obligated the Government to review its existing laws on child protection. This resulted in the enactment of Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act which was certified in 2009. This child protection law aims to provide wider provisions of protection services to all children in PNG. It further established a specific Court for Child Protection called the Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Court.

49. The Juvenile Court Act was enacted in 1997, which specifically provides human rights protection for young offenders aged between 10 and 18 years old. This Act further established the Juvenile Court in PNG.

50. The Police Juvenile Policy and Protocols jointly developed by the RPNGC and United Nations International Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) provide an excellent tool for dealing with juveniles in conflict with the law. However, the challenge is in the implementation of the policy.

58. Police require more awareness and training on human rights laws to protect the citizens, especially women and children. They also require greater logistical support for their work, including support for human rights defenders.

60. Another challenge that contributes to human rights violations is attributable to the lack of basic services to our people living in the rural and urban areas. For instance, many remote areas lack proper health and education facilities (personnel and supplies), communication difficulties, poor infrastructure developments (roads and bridges), and these contributes to the high illiteracy rates, infant and maternal mortality rates and poor economic and social indicators.

63. PNG is a melting pot for cultural diversity in the world and certain cultural practices, beliefs, and their world view presents difficult challenges in the implementation of human rights treaties/conventions as well as relevant national laws in the country. For instance, the regional consultations noted that the cultural methods of disciplining children were effective and that must be taken into account by human rights laws, treaties and conventions.

64. Polygamous marriages were perceived to be good in traditional PNG society. However, in contemporary PNG, this cultural practice often leads to human rights abuses, such as wife beating, ill-treatment of children, broken families. It was noted that most repeated offenders came from polygamous families with past history of repeated human rights abuses. According to PNG culture, disciplining wives is an accepted practice but that comes into conflict with existing PNG law.

71. PNG has a user-pay policy for its education system, which means the parents bear the cost of paying school fees for their children. With the rise in the cost of living standards generally in PNG, including educational expense, there is a need for greater literacy programs and the need for Universal Basic Education.

72. In line with the MDG goal No. 2 which calls for the provision of Universal Primary Education, the Government has developed a Policy on the Universal Basic Education which provides free education from grade 1 - 3 and is proposed to extend to grade 12 in future. The country still continues its user pay policy on education from grade 4 -12 and to tertiary institutions.

73. Cost of education is getting unaffordable for parents, both in rural and urban areas. In recognition of these difficulties, certain national leaders and provincial governments have taken initiatives to subsidize the cost of education. For instance, the Enga Provincial Government has established the Ipatas Children's Foundation that will subsidize fees for all Engan children attending schools. Under this initiative, the Foundation pays half of the school fees for this year.

74. Increasing opportunities for girl's education is critical to reducing gender imbalances and harnessing their input into nation building. The education of girls in particular has a multiple effect. Evidence has shown that educating girls eases the strain on health care system by reducing child and maternal mortality, reduces the increase of HIV/ AIDS and contributes to economic growth by increasing women's skills and knowledge. Mothers who have benefited from a basic education are far more likely to send their own children to school, so the multiplier effect continues onto the next generation.

76. To address high maternal and infant mortality rates in the country, the Government has adopted the following policies: National Family Planning Policy, Nutrition Policy, Maternal Health Policy, Immunization Policy and Early Childhood Care & Development Policy, and National Policy on Women and Gender Equality. Furthermore, efforts to reduce high maternal mortality rate, the government has wavered fees for domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse cases, hence, increasing opportunities for access to health services. The Infant Mortality rate is 79/1000 live births (2000 Census) and under five years old mortality rate is 122/1000 live births (2000, Census). There is a gradual improvement from 79 in 2000 to 69 per 1000 live births in 2003. The Life Expectancy has improved from 41 years in the early 1970s to 54 years (2000, Census).

100. The PNG Government through its various agencies provides family support services such as counseling services, child adoption and placement, family enrichment, sexual offences support, legal services, child protection and child minding and pre-schools, abuse women and girls support services. These services are supported through the re-current and development budgets. These services are provided for women, youth, children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and infected and affected HIV/AIDS persons.

Compilation of UN Information

3. In 2004, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended that Papua New Guinea ratify OP-CRC-AC and OP-CRC-SC.

23. CRC was concerned that societal discrimination persists against girls and women and vulnerable groups of children, such as children with disabilities, living in poverty, born out of wedlock, adopted, and of mixed parentage, and that the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination on the grounds of disability.

36. CEDAW expressed similar concerns63, and urged Papua New Guinea to give priority to the enactment and implementation of a comprehensive legal framework addressing all forms of violence against women. CEDAW further called upon the country to ensure that women and girls who are victims of violence have access to immediate and effective means of redress and protection, and urged the government to take necessary measures to ensure that custodial violence by officials, including acts of sexual abuse of women and girls, are prosecuted and punished as grave crimes.

37. CEDAW also called on Papua New Guinea to prepare and adopt a legislative framework on trafficking in human beings, including the prevention of trafficking, timely prosecution and punishment of traffickers, provision of protection from traffickers/agents, and quality support and programmes for victims.65 In 2010, the International Labour Office Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, (ILO Committee of Experts) stated that the Criminal Code only protected girls from trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and that there did not appear to be similar provisions protecting boys. Nor were there legislative provisions prohibiting the sale and trafficking of children for the purpose of labour exploitation. Noting the government's comments that it was embarking on a major legislative review, the ILO Committee of Experts expressed hope that the new provisions would prohibit and penalize the sale and trafficking of girls and boys under the age of 18 for sexual and labour exploitation.

38. CRC was deeply concerned that corporal punishment of children was widespread and not prohibited by law. CRC recommended that Papua New Guinea conduct public education campaigns about the negative consequences of corporal punishment of children, promote non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment, and expressly prohibit corporal punishment by law in the family and other institutions.

39. CRC was also concerned that the problem of neglect and abuse, including sexual abuse, within the family and at school appears to be significant according to, inter alia, hospital records. CRC recommended that Papua New Guinea set up a comprehensive and nationwide response system with the aim of providing support and assistance to all victims of domestic violence. CRC also recommended that Papua New Guinea ensure that there is an effective mechanism for receiving, monitoring, and investigating complaints of abuse, and seek technical assistance in this regard.

40. In 2010, the ILO Committee of Experts reiterated its previous comments that prostitution of young girls had become an important means of economic survival in Papua New Guinea's urban centres and in rural areas. Additionally, it was noted that there had been little systematic state intervention and that measures to protect and safeguard victims of prostitution were insufficient. The ILO Committee of Experts requested Papua New Guinea to take effective and time-bound measures to prevent children from being exploited for prostitution.

41. In 2010, the ILO Committee of Experts also reiterated its comments that children who were informally adopted were actually trapped into situations of long hours of work, lack of rest and leisure, lack of freedom of mobility and association, and deprived of the right to education and medical treatment. It requested information on measures taken to protect these children from the worst forms of child labour.

48. CEDAW expressed concern about the multiple marital systems that apply in Papua New Guinea, and the fact that the minimum age for marriage is 16 years for girls, and 18 years for boys. It was particularly concerned about the practices of polygamy, bride price, early and forced marriages, and that other discriminatory customary practices persist, especially in rural and remote communities, with regard to marriage and its dissolution, as well as family relations, including inheritance. CEDAW urged Papua New Guinea to accelerate reform of the laws relating to marriage and family relations in order to bring its legislative framework into compliance with the Convention. CEDAW also called on the country to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18 years for both males and females, and to implement measures aimed at eliminating polygamy. In 2004, CRC expressed similar concerns and made recommendations regarding the age for marriage.

49. CEDAW noted with concern that only a small percentage of the population has had been registered at birth, and that this might impact negatively on the legal status of women. CEDAW recommended that effective measures be taken to achieve timely registration of all births and marriages. In 2004, CRC raised similar concerns and recommended that the Government increase efforts to ensure that all children are registered at birth.

57. UNJR noted that the low capacity of the health system, limited basic health education and specific climatic and environmental conditions, contribute to high maternal and child mortalities in the country. The risk of an urban woman dying of maternal-related causes is estimated at 0.0028, that is, approximately 1 out of every 35 women (over age 12) in urban areas will die of maternal-related causes. The risk for rural women of the same age is almost double. In 2006, infant (under 1 year) and child (under 5 years) mortality rates were estimated at 57 and 75 (out of 1,000 children), respectively.

59. UNJR also indicated that in 2009, it was estimated that 5,610 children had became orphans, losing one or both parents, as a result of the HIV epidemic. CEDAW noted with deep concern that Papua New Guinea faces a serious HIV/AIDS epidemic with 1.5 per cent of its 6.5 million people infected, and that women and girls are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 60 per cent of people living with HIV. CEDAW was particularly concerned that girls between 15 and 19 years of age have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the country, that is four times that of boys of the same age. In this respect, CEDAW was concerned that women and girls may be particularly susceptible to infection owing to gender-specific norms and that the persistence of unequal power relations between women and men may increase their vulnerability to infection.

63. UNJR noted that less than 50 per cent of children in rural areas are enrolled in primary school, and only slightly more than half of those enrolled complete Grade 5. Girls are less likely to be enrolled in school and frequently fail to complete their education. In 2010, CEDAW called on Papua New Guinea to strengthen its efforts to provide a discrimination- and violence-free educational environment.

64. UNJR further indicated that free education has been on the political agenda since 1982 when it was introduced by the Government, but survived less than a year. In 2002, the Government provided a 'full-fee subsidy', which, however, proved unsustainable.

65. UNJR also noted the results of the Net Enrolment Study which highlighted the need to urgently address issues of access to and quality of education in order to achieve the MDG of development and education for all. Statistical data indicates that too few children are enrolled in school at the right age, over-age enrolments are issues in the basic education system – especially at the elementary level, and disparities exist to the disadvantage of girls.

74. In 2010, the ILO Committee referred to reported shortcomings in the education process of former child soldiers and encouraged the country to pursue its efforts to improve their situation.

75. UNJR indicated the main achievements have been legislative initiatives which have closed some gaps with regards to human rights protection. These include the enactment of the Sexual Offences and Crimes against Children Act under the revised Criminal Code, introducing a series of new offences, including marital rape, graded according to the seriousness of the harm and incorporating the ways in which women are sexually violated; the HAMP Act and the Lukautim Pikinini Act. There have also been some successes in juvenile justice.

77. CEDAW requested Papua New Guinea to provide, within two years, information on the steps taken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 28 [incidences of torture and killings of women and girls] and 34 [participation of women in public and political life].

Summary of stakeholders' information

4. IHRC-UOCL noted examples of domestic legislation and draft legislation that targets women's rights and issues, such as, the Equality and Participation Bill, the Lukautim Pikinini (Child Protection) Act and the 2002 Sexual Offenses and Child Protection Act. IHRC-UOCL also noted the creation of the Office for Development of Women through the Department for Community Development Gender and Development Branch.

15. JS1 recommended that Papua New Guinea invite the UN Special Rapporteur on education to visit and assess the state of education in the country.

20. HRW noted it had previously documented widespread patterns of abuse by Papua New Guinea's police force, including the use of excessive force, torture, and sexual violence against children as well as adults. It stated that these abuses remained rampant and that almost all of those responsible continued to enjoy impunity. These patterns of abuse by the police had deeply eroded the public trust and cooperation crucial to effective policing.

22. According to IHRC-UOCL, Papua New Guinea is a patriarchal society where a high incidence of gender-based domestic violence against women existed. Sexual assault, rape, killing and wife beating were among the most prevalent offences and were perpetrated in high numbers in rural areas. Women were victimized for many reasons including accusations of sorcery/witchcraft and HIV/AIDS infection. HRW also noted similar concerns. In this connection, AI noted that there were no laws specifically prohibiting violence against women and girls, which made it difficult for the authorities to deal adequately with violence in the family and in the community. While there had been numerous attempts since the 1990s to introduce family protection (domestic violence) legislation, these attempts had lacked the necessary political support from the country's leaders.

25. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC) noted that corporal punishment was lawful in the home and in schools. It was unlawful as a penalty for criminal acts in the penal system, but it was not explicitly prohibited as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions. GIEACPC further noted, in relation to alternative care settings, the Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act stated that children in care had the right "to be free from corporal punishment". It would however appear that the prohibition did not apply to private care arrangements (e.g. informal fostering arrangements) and forms of care run by non-governmental bodies.

26. JS1 recommended that Papua New Guinea continue to support and monitor the child welfare agencies in each province that are providing child protection education and skill development, with a special emphasis on protecting children with disabilities from abuse.

31. HRW recommended that Papua New Guinea punish officers who torture, rape or use excessive force, using administrative sanctions including dismissal and criminal prosecution; and strengthen and expand the juvenile justice system, fully support or reactivate juvenile reception centers and juvenile policy monitoring units throughout the country, and ensure that children are never detained with adults in police lockups or prisons.

37. IHRC-UOCL noted that in 2007, Papua New Guinea passed the Provincial Health Authority Act as part of an effort to create a single authority to manage hospitals and primary healthcare services throughout the provinces. Further, according to IHRC-UOCL, the main issues regarding healthcare and the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea included: access to healthcare services, maternal mortality, child mortality and HIV/AIDS. There were also continued problems with institutional and technical capacity to manage financial resources, and numerous rural health access points had closed, but were still reported open. Access to health services was limited, especially in rural areas where the majority of the population lived. Maternal and infant mortality in Papua New Guinea were extremely high, due in large part to a lack of skilled midwives and healthcare professionals. HRW also noted similar concerns.

46. JS1 noted the Government's good work in ensuring the enjoyment of the right to education in the country, which was made possible, because of some changes in the Government's policies, such as national education policy, national youth policy, disability policy and the child behaviour management policy, as well as taking into consideration the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Lukautim Pikinini Act and localizing the MDGs by establishing the Medium Term Development Strategy (2005–2010). However, JS1 further stated that the right to education was not fully enjoyed as many barriers still existed.

47. HRW indicated that primary education is neither free nor compulsory. Barriers to enrolment and attendance include long distances to school, a shortage of upper secondary placements, high school fees and school closures due to insecurity.

48. IHRC-UOCL reported that school enrolment and retention rates are extremely low. Additionally, the gender gap in primary schools is very high. There are three main reasons for this. First, school fees are a financial burden for poor families and tend to choose to educate sons rather than daughters. Many families see little value in educating girls who traditionally have a low status in this society and are kept at home for household chores. Second, due to widespread parental concern about harassment, physical and verbal abuse, and possible pregnancy, parents withdraw their girls from school. Third, girls are expelled from school if they become pregnant.

49. JS1 also noted that primary and secondary education did not equip children with the skills that could be used in their villages. Basic education did not prepare them well for upper secondary and tertiary studies and they cannot cope with these. Girls withdrew from education or did not attend school, due to cultural beliefs and obligations embedded in society. Moreover, JS1 stated that Papua New Guinea still faced the challenge of children missing out on school due to little space in schools, insufficient resources, insufficient schools and unskilled teachers.

50. JS1 noted that there was lack of suitable accommodation for students with physical disabilities and lack of Government-provided financial resources to provide for their access to school facilities (toilets, showers, classrooms). Staff lacked the knowledge and skills to ensure the inclusion education of children with limited or no vision limited or no hearing. Further, JS1 noted that the availability of the appropriate curriculum, resources, equipment and assistive devices (eg braille machines, special glasses, magnified screens), and technical support (eg to maintain good braille machines) was limited. Schools did not have the sports equipment or offer activities that can encourage the participation of children with physical disabilities.

51. JS1 recommended that Papua New Guinea ensure universal basic education in accordance with the international human rights treaties it had ratified, and ensure that primary education is compulsory and free for all; ensure that secondary and higher education in all its forms is made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by progressive introduction of free education; provide adequate student resources for primary and secondary schools to assist and motivate children's learning; provide sufficient professional training for all teachers; it increase the number of classrooms and schools to cater for the increasing number of children who need an education; improve public awareness of the importance of education, and of the negative effects of such harmful social and cultural factors, such as drug abuse; and continue to expand vocational institutions to assist young people who cannot find employment in the formal sector. IHRC-UOCL made similar recommendations.

56. JS1 noted that Papua New Guinea had very good legislation and policies in place that can assist the country in ensuring that the rights of children and adults with disabilities are fully respected, and can fully participate in the life of the country. In this regard, JS1 noted some examples, including the Lukautim Pikininni Act (the Child Welfare Act), the Policy on Disability Act, and the Education Act, which had very positively enshrined inclusive education provisions.

Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

The following recommendations were accepted:

A - 78.18. Take steps to implement a comprehensive legal framework addressing all forms of violence against women and children (Canada);

A - 78.19. Introduce and implement a comprehensive legal framework to protect women and girls

against all forms of gender-based violence and, in particular, introduce legislation that prohibits domestic violence (Norway);

A - 78.20. Make every effort to eliminate domestic violence, with special attention to enacting and implementing a comprehensive legal framework addressing all forms of violence against women, sharing the international communities' concerns on the lack of laws specifically prohibiting violence against women and girls within the family (Republic of Korea);

A - 78.39. Improve its cooperation with the United Nations treaty bodies by reporting on the implementation of its obligations under the Conventions it has ratified; namely, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (Norway);

A - 78.52. Undertake more effective measures to address the problems of impunity and violence against women and girls, including by strengthening law enforcement and the judicial system (Malaysia);

A - 78.54. Modify its legislation to ensure that the provisions prohibit and penalize the sale and trafficking of girls and boys under the age of 18 for sexual and labour exploitation (Hungary);

A - 78.60. Look to replicate successful programmes that aim to keep adolescents out of the prison system wherever possible (Australia);

A - 78.62. Take necessary measures to ensure that all children are registered at birth (Czech Republic);

A - 78.63. Ensure that all children are registered at birth and make every effort to register all persons not previously registered (Slovakia);

A - 78.64. Increase efforts to ensure the registration of all children at birth (Brazil);

A - 78.68. Prioritize efforts to achieve the maternal health and basic education Millennium Development Goals (Australia);

A - 78.70. With international assistance, intensify efforts against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, with increased attention to prevention and care for affected children (Algeria);

A - 78.72. Continue taking measures that favour the increase of enrolment rates in all its territory (Chile);

A - 78.73. Take appropriate measures, in accordance with its international obligations, aimed at ensuring universal education, including free and compulsory primary education (Malaysia);

A - 79.12. Accede, as a priority, to CED, to CRPD and to the two Optional Protocols to CRC (Algeria);

A - 79.13. Ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes (United States);

A - 79.24. Adopt legislative measures to eliminate gender violence and ensure that all women and girls who were victims of gender violence have access, among others, to health, legal and emergency services as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Spain);

A - 79.27. Develop proactive strategies for economic development and social cultural transformation, with priority given to addressing the problems of discrimination against women, gender-based violence, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, child labour, corporal punishment of children, and sorcery-related killings (Thailand);

A - 79.37. Prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings and ensure protection against child labour and child prostitution (Slovenia);

A - 79.45. Take immediate measures to investigate cases of brutal torture and killings of girls and women, especially elderly women, accused of witchcraft, and to prosecute and punish perpetrators (Czech Republic);

A - 79.59. Review its legal measures and, if necessary, request the necessary technical assistance so as to ensure that boys and girls of all regions of the country have access to free and compulsory primary education (Mexico);

A - 79.61. Consider the possibility of ensuring free and compulsory education, at least at the primary level (Algeria);

A - 79.62. Guarantee universal basic education, in accordance with the international human rights treaties it has ratified, and ensure that primary education is compulsory and free for all (Indonesia);

A - 79.63. Ensure compulsory, free and accessible primary education for all. Enhance also the availability and accessibility of secondary and higher education and close the gender gap at all levels of education (Slovenia);

A - 79.64. Ensure that primary education is free and compulsory and prioritize the accessibility of secondary education, making it progressively free in accordance with the new Universal Plan on Basic Education (Spain);

A - 79.65. Adopt further measures to ensure universal primary education, free of charge (Brazil);

A - 79.66. Continue working towards the elimination of the user-pay policy for education with the aim of providing free primary education, as per Millennium Development Goal 2 (South Africa);

The following recommendations were rejected:

R - 79.19. Review its national legislation so as to repeal all laws giving rise to discrimination against women and girls, with the aim of bringing the domestic system into line with the commitments made at the international level (Switzerland);

R - 79.28. Strengthen its cooperation with treaty bodies and give the greatest possible attention to the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the various United Nations joint reports (Haiti);

R - 79.60. Ensure that education is accessible to all children, including by providing the educational system with necessary resources (Slovakia);

No recommendations were left pending.


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