This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Sao Tome and Principe ratified the CRC in 1991 but to date has not ratified any of its Optional Protocols. The CRC takes precedence over domestic legislation; if a conflict arises between the CRC and a constitutional provision, the CRC prevails, except if the provision is deemed fundamental. The country’s legislation is only partially harmonised with CRC. Children can bring civil cases through their representatives or the Public Prosecutor. The country lacks child-friendly procedures, and juvenile courts have not yet been established. The country does not have an ombudsperson or a national human rights institution. There is no legal aid system, but court fees are reduced for children.