ZAMBIA: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

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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.

Zambia – 2nd Session – 2008
Friday 9th May 2008 - 9.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.

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Natonal Report
Compilation of UN information
Summary of Stakeholder Information
Final Report
Accepted and rejected recommendations

National Report

Zambia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Article 24 of the Zambian Constitution prohibits the exploitation of young persons. It defines a young person as a person below the age of 15 years. Article 24(1) provides that a young person shall not be employed in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

The Penal Code18 prohibits practices such as trading, accepting, receiving or detaining a person as a slave; procuring or attempting to procure a woman below the age of 21 as a prostitute in a brothel in Zambia or elsewhere either through the use of threats or other means. Owners of premises are also prohibited from using such premises for men to have unlawful carnal knowledge of girls under 12 years, an offence which attracts a term of 5 years’ imprisonment.

Zambia ratified the protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo Convention) on 24th April, 2005.

In 2004 Government established an Inter-ministerial Committee on Trafficking under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The mandate of the Committee is to respond to the problem of human trafficking and to develop a national policy on trafficking and a preliminary national plan of action. It is also mandated to raise public awareness amongst individuals about the vices of trafficking.

Individuals are free to attend educational institutions of their choice, including those not of their faith. A minor attending any place of education is not required to receive religious instruction or to take part in any religious ceremony or observance except with the consent of his parent or guardian, especially where the instruction or religious ceremony is different from his own.

Zambia’s education system consists of pre-schooling, basic, secondary and tertiary levels. The formal education system is in transition, moving from seven years of primary; five years of secondary; and four years of tertiary education to nine years of basic; three years of high school; and four to five years of university. The system is governed by the Education Act which provides for the promotion, development and control of schools, educational institutions and services.

Zambia acknowledges that there are more boys than girls accessing education and training. However, there has been an increase in the gross enrolment ratio for girls and the country is now close to reaching gender parity in grades 1 to 7 with girls representing 49 per cent of total enrolment.

During the period 2001 to 2004 there was a steady increase in student enrolment in Technical Education and Vocational Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) institutions. This was largely due to the general policy direction by the Government to provide education for all by 2015.

The enrolment of females in colleges increased by 53 per cent between 2003 and 2004, while between the years 2004 and 2005 the increase was recorded at 42 per cent. On the other hand, enrolment for males increased by 51 percent between 2003 and 2004 while it increased by 30 per cent between 2004 and 2005. However, despite the increase of enrolment in this sector, the number of females has been relatively low compared to that of males in most of the disciplines except for service oriented fields such as secretarial training.

Enrolments at the public universities increased from 11,005 in 2003 to 12,774 in 2005 representing a 16 per cent increase. There is a recorded increase in the number of female enrolments from 3,059 in 2003 to 4,179 in 2005 representing 18 per cent compared to a 13 per cent increase among their male counterparts.

The Government, through the National Health Policy and the FNDP continues to undertake measures aimed at improving health standards in the Country. These include improving child health and reducing child mortality. In this regard the Ministry of Health has continued to undertake massive nation-wide health campaigns for children under the age of five, on radio and national television. The campaigns have included giving vaccinations and medicines to children below the age of five, free of charge at all Government health centres. In addition, Child health weeks are held every six months to boost the immunisation of children and to provide free intervention for the prevention of malaria.

In an effort to protect the life a child at birth, provides free antenatal care services for pregnant women. Women are advised on the nutritional standards to adhere to during pregnancy. This measure helps to increase the chances of child survival at birth and a child’s good health during the first five years of its life. All pregnant women are free to visit their local antenatal clinics during their pregnancy.

Safe motherhood is addressed by providing affordable quality care for the mother and the new born baby as close to the family as possible. Intervention includes the putting in place of measures to improve maternal and neonatal deaths.

The Government has initiated measures to address problems related to social security for the vulnerable and rural population. These include:
(a) Free medical care for children under the age of 5, pregnant women and persons above 65 years in all public health institutions.
(b) The redesigning of the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) to provide for the protection of vulnerable persons through the provision of various services such as bursary schemes for children whose families are unable to send them to school, medical schemes and food security packs. Under the same programme, Government embarked on a Cash Transfer Scheme. The project aims at reducing poverty and hunger.

Children are entitled to the human rights guarantees stipulated in Part III of the Constitution. Several statutes make provision for the promotion of the rights of children and protection namely Adoption Act, Juveniles Act, Affiliation and Maintenance of Children Act, Employment of Young Persons and Children Act, Apprenticeship Act, Penal Code, Wills and Administration of Testate Estate Act, Intestate Succession Act, Zambia Police Act, Defence Act, Births and Deaths Registration Act, Day Nurseries Act, Probation of
Offenders Act, Liquor Licensing Act; and Termination of Pregnancy Act.

These statutes are undergoing revision in order to strengthen them and bring them into compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

In August 1994, Zambia adopted the National Child Policy, the National Plan of Action and the National Youth Policy. The National Child Policy constitutes core guidelines for improving the welfare and quality of life of children as well as for protecting their survival and developmental rights. Survival and development of children are major objectives of the National Child Policy, which aims at reducing moderate to severe malnutrition in children, and expanding early childhood care and development programmes throughout the country.

The National Youth Policy covers children and young persons in furthering survival and developmental rights.

The policies aim at providing guidelines for improving the welfare and quality of life of children by consolidating all existing and proposed legislation pertaining to children.

On the other hand the National Plan of Action (NPA) provides guidelines for achieving total development of children through various survival, developmental and protective rights.

Zambia has been going through the process of making the principles and provisions of the CRC widely known to adults and children. A popularised version of the CRC has been translated into seven major local languages.

Compilation of UN Information

In 2003, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended
Zambia to ratify OP-CRC-SC and OP-CRC-AC8. CRC also encouraged
Zambia to accede to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption of 1993.

UNICEF noted that the period 2004-2007 has seen a drastic transformation in the legal system to improve the protection of human rights and noted that a new Constitution specifically addresses the rights of women and children.

In 2003, CRC welcomed the establishment of the Law Development Commission, the National HIV/AIDS Council, the National Steering Committee on Child Labour and the National Committee for Human Rights Education.

UNICEF informed that in January 2007, the Fifth National Development Plan 2006-2010 and the Vision 2030 were launched, which outline programs in the areas of reproductive health, curative and rehabilitative care and maternal health services, safe motherhood, and the legal and social protection of children and women.

CRC, in 2003, also highlighted by UNHCR, was further concerned that the principle of non-discrimination is not adequately observed with respect to children belonging to vulnerable groups such as girls, children with disabilities, orphans, disadvantaged children, refugee children and children born out of wedlock. It recommended Zambia to ensure that all children within its jurisdiction enjoy all the rights set out in the Convention without discrimination. UNICEF also informed that due to an inefficient birth registration system, less than 10 per cent of all Zambian children have a proper Birth Certificate, and that the process of obtaining a Birth Certificate is cumbersome, expensive and often impossible for most poor and rural inhabitants.

In 2003, CRC was concerned about allegations of ill treatment by law enforcement officers against street children and children in custody in police stations and other detention centres and recommended, inter alia, that Zambia set up child sensitive mechanisms to receive complaints against law enforcement officers.

CRC noted that the Constitutional Court has outlawed the practice of corporal punishment and the HR Committee welcomed its abolition. However, both Committees remained concerned that corporal punishment is still widely practised and recommended that Zambia prohibit all forms of violence against children wherever it occurs. Furthermore, CRC noted the establishment of the Police Service Victim Support Unit and recommended, inter alia, that Zambia properly investigate cases of violence through a child-sensitive judicial procedure and impose sanctions on perpetrators.

CRC was concerned at the increasing number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including for prostitution and pornography, especially among girls, child orphans and other disadvantaged children. A 2005 UNICEF report noted that of those children working as prostitutes in Zambia, 47 per cent were found to be double orphans, while a further 24 per cent were single orphans. CRC recommended Zambia to implement appropriate gender-sensitive policies and programmes in that regard. In 2005, CESCR expressed concern, like CRC in 2003, at the large number of street children who are particularly exposed to physical and sexual abuse, prostitution and HIV/AIDS. CESCR reiterated the recommendation made by CRC that street children be provided with preventive and rehabilitative services for physical and sexual abuse, as well as adequate food, clothing, housing, health care and educational opportunities.

The HR Committee, in 2007, and the CRC, in 2003, were concerned that under the Penal Code, 8-year-old children are criminally responsible and recommended that immediate action be taken to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to an acceptable level under international standards. The CRC was also concerned, inter alia, at the absence of juvenile courts and juvenile judges; the detention of children with adults; the lack of social workers; the very poor conditions of detention; the frequent recourse to and excessive length of pre-trial detention. It recommended that appropriate measures be taken to implement a juvenile justice system in conformity with the Convention and with other United Nations standards.

In 2005, CESCR expressed concern about the large number of widows and orphans, a situation further exacerbated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and about the harsh living conditions of widows and girl orphans due to, among other things, harmful traditional practices such as “widow-cleansing”, early marriages and denial of inheritance.

CRC and CESCR were deeply concerned at the persistent and widespread problem of child labour, in particular, according to CESCR, children working in hazardous occupations such as small-scale mining operations and stone-crushing. Both Committees strongly urged Zambia to strengthen its legislative and other measures and to improve its monitoring mechanisms so as to address effectively the persistent problem of child labour.

CESCR was deeply concerned that extreme poverty in Zambia has negatively affected the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights especially by the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups, including girl children and those afflicted by HIV/AIDS. CRC expressed similar concerns.

UNICEF informed that malaria is the primary cause of child morbidity and mortality in the country. CRC also requested Zambia to, inter alia, develop and implement comprehensive policies and programmes to improve the health situation of children.

The CRC, in 2003, and CESCR, in 2005, were concerned at the high incidence and increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. While CESCR noted with concern that people afflicted with HIV/AIDS seldom have adequate access to the necessary health-care services, CRC was concerned at the insufficiency of alternative care for children.

A 2006 UNAIDS report noted the HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (2006–2010), which supports for the reduction of HIV prevalence among women and girls, including pregnant women.

While noting the adoption of a number of programmes, CRC and CEDAW were concerned, inter alia, at the lack of free and compulsory primary education; the high illiteracy rate and on the decreasing budget allocation to education, notably in rural areas. UNICEF informed that while enrolment shows improvement the quality of education continues to be a serious problem throughout the country. It also noted that the gender gap in primary school completion rate was at a high level of 11.6 per cent. Also, while noting the activities undertaken by Zambia aimed at encouraging girls to stay in the school system, and Zambia’s policy of allowing pregnant girls to continue in mainstream education, CESCR remained concerned that traditional attitudes continue and that discrimination against girl children is prevalent. It recommended that Zambia strengthen its National Strategic Plan to ensure that its objective of providing nine years of free and compulsory basic education by 2015 is reached.

A 2004 UNICEF report mentioned that Zambia’s “Programme for the Advancement of Girls’ Education” with its 12 ‘interactive interventions’, which seek to enhance girl’s access to a quality education, has been successful and since piloted in 20 schools in 1995 it has been extended and was by 2002 operational in over 1,000 schools in all 72 districts. UNICEF also noted that Zambia is potentially moving towards achieving the goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.

The CRC acknowledged that the full implementation of the Convention in Zambia has been impeded by its geographical position as a landlocked country, its extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, all of which have had a negative impact on the institutions and behavioural patterns within the society and on children’s lives in particular, especially children belonging to the most vulnerable groups.

Summary of Stakeholders' Information

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) indicated that in its pledge to the Council, Zambia pledged to “accelerate the processes” to adhere to the two Optional Protocols to CRC and the Optional Protocol to CEDAW. Zambia is yet to fulfil this pledge. Children in Need Network, Zambia Civic Education Association, Plan-International, Save the Children Norway and Sweden and other organisations (Child Rights organisations) recommended the Government to immediately ratify the two CRC optional protocols to offer full protection of children in Zambia. The protocols will also be useful as the Government revises child related legislation in line with international instruments.

According to Child Rights organisations, the Zambian Government, through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) has embarked on a law reform process to comprehensively review various aspects of child related legislation in order to ensure their compatibility with provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the process is slow, has on occasion stalled and there is still lack of clarity regarding the process and the mandate of MCDSS to review all child related legislation. They also noted that the law reform process needs to be anchored in the right structure of Government (specifically the Zambia Law Development Commission supported by the Ministry of Justice) so that it can be comprehensively and effectively addressed. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to take advantage of the goodwill shown by children’s rights non governmental organisations to speed up the law reform process and within the next three years have a comprehensive Children’s Act.

Child Rights organisations stated that the Children’s Rights Committee within the Commission, created to strengthen the monitoring and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, has not performed according to expectations due to inadequate resources. Child Rights organisations reported however, that there is a new process to strengthen the independent monitoring of children’s rights under the Commission through the establishment of the Commissioner for Children. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to progressively scale up the human and financial resources to the Commission to promote the establishment of institutions such as the Office of the Commissioner for Children vested with the relevant power and authority to effectively protect children and to uphold their rights.

Child Rights organisations further indicated that the announced National Child
Council has not yet been established; therefore there is still poor coordination of programmes relating to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, The National Orphans and Vulnerable Children Steering Committee (established in 2000) ‘is not functioning’. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to immediately set up the National Child Council and coordination of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the country should be a key mandate of this body.

Apart from the Ministry of Education mainstreaming the teaching of human rights and specifically children’s rights in the high school Civic Education curriculum, Child Rights organisations noted that there is still no effort by the Government to undertake systematic awareness training of professional groups, children, parents and the general public on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the rights-based approach. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to systematically train and disseminate the provisions of the CRC especially at local level.

According to Child Rights organisations, although there is now a new National Child Policy (2006) that has taken into account the worsening situation of orphans and vulnerable children in the country, there is still only a draft National Plan of Action to translate the policy into programmes. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to finalise the Nation Plan of Action and allocate progressively sufficient human and financial resources in line with other planning documents such as the Fifth National Development Plan and to elaborate a comprehensive national programme for children that stakeholders can work and support.

Child Rights organisations noted that, since 2005, the Government has allocated resources to areas which were not considered before in the national budget such as the resettlement of street children, Child Development and Coordination Program, Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Program, mainstreaming of children’s rights, under the Child Affairs’ Department in 2005, and the sensitisation programme on children’s rights and rehabilitation of disadvantaged children, adults and youth. However, the lack of disaggregated data makes it difficult to plan adequately and to monitor whether the funds actually benefit the intended target. Furthermore, according to Child Rights organisations, the birth registration rate of children between 0-5 years is estimated at about 9 per cent.

Child Rights organisations recommended the Government prioritise birth registration and to completely overhaul and decentralise the system of birth registration, particularly in rural areas. Child Rights organisations also recommended to put in place data collection mechanisms that are comprehensive, with indicators that can be used to measure implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Government should be consistent in the amount of funding allocations to children’s programmes. If it cannot increase funding, it should at least maintain the same allocation; the Government should narrow the funding gap between authorised expenditure and the actual expenditure. Child Rights organisations further recommended the Government to develop clear guidelines for mainstreaming child participation at all levels of programming and to ensure that such structures as the National Youth Council and Children’s Council (once established) are used effectively for this purpose. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to take measures including legislative, financial, and institutional to sufficiently provide for the needs of children with disabilities and; to adopt and provide an integrated and well co-ordinated response for disability prevention and disability management for children, especially in rural areas.

Child Rights organisations also noted that there is no child sensitive mechanism for children to complain against law enforcement officers regarding ill-treatment during arrest, questioning and police custody.

According to OMCT, there is a large and increasing number of child victims of commercial exploitation, including prostitution and pornography, especially among girls, child orphans and disadvantaged children. OMCT further indicated that according to information received by relevant authorities, Zambia is a country of origin, destination and transit for trafficking in persons.

In the penal system, corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for crime by virtue of a Supreme Court ruling in 1999 (John Banda v The People HPA/6/1998) and subsequent amendments to the Penal Code and the Local Court Act, but as at May 2007, article 73(1)(e) of the Juveniles Act, which allows a court to order caning, was yet to be repealed, as indicated by GIEACPC. GIEACPC also indicated that, although corporal punishment is also unlawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions, it is still lawful in alternative care settings, where article 46 of the Juveniles Act and rules made under the Act provide for corporal punishment in childcare facilities. OMCT also noted that in practice, corporal punishment and other forms of humiliating and degrading punishment are widely practiced against children in Zambia as a means of discipline and education. GIEACPC, Child Rights organisations and OMCT, recommended to prohibit all forms of corporal, physical and humiliating punishment of children in all settings, including in the home. Child Rights organisations also recommended putting in place a programme to raise public awareness on other non violent forms of discipline.

OMCT stated that there is a need to raise the minimal age of criminal responsibility, which is presently 8 years old. A major concern remains the difficulty in establishing the real age of the child accused. The reform of the juvenile justice system started in 2000 created the Child Justice Administration System and the Child Justice Forum (CJF) which focus on compliance with international standards, on adequate training and on increasing efficiency and preventing recidivism. However, as noted by OMCT, today, the CJF still fails to properly implement strategies and plans at local level. It sometimes happens that children are arrested and put in a cell without warrant. Moreover, the right to inform a relative or any other person is regularly violated. OMCT reported the absence of juvenile courts and judges; the lack of social workers; the very limited rehabilitation and integration services for juveniles and the limited training of judges, prosecutors and other staff. OMCT also reported that in practice, detention of children is not used as a measure of last resort: pre-trial detention is excessively common and no alternative to detention, such as rehabilitation measures, is really applied.

Moreover, both in the law and in practice, children do not have special guarantees in the right to legal assistance. OMCT recommended the Government to ensure that deprivation of liberty of children is effectively only used as a measure of last resort (particularly for children in need of care and protection); and develop alternatives to detention as well as diversion and rehabilitation.

According to Child Rights organisations, the 1996 Situation Analysis of Children in Zambia and the 2004 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Situational Analysis described a worsening situation and estimated the ‘population of street children to have increased rapidly to 75,000 since the first Situation Analysis undertaken in 1991. The phenomenon of children sleeping and/or working on the streets in Lusaka, as well as across the nation was also raised by FI-ERI, indicating that their vulnerability exposes them to various risks such as child trafficking, child labour, and abuse, including sexual mistreatment and exploitation. Child Rights organisations recommended to widely publicise social welfare schemes available to support vulnerable children and to ensure sufficient funds are allocated to programmes; FI-ERI urged the Government to specifically dedicate attention to: prevention measures; participation of families, community-based associations, traditional and Church leaders; empowerment of families to increase their support to children for an effective access to social services; educational programmes.

Of the estimated population of 12,000,000 in Zambia, 1.2 million are HIV infected as indicated by FI-ERI. FI-ERI indicated that the response of the Government to HIV and AIDS should be addressed during the UPR and recommended the Human Rights Council to urge the Government to adopt a specific national programme matched with a national action plan to effectively address the problem of Orphan Vulnerable Children (OVC), grandparents heading households composed with poor orphan vulnerable children, poor households struggling to provide care for orphans on much wider scale than at present; to meet the needs of children without adult caregivers; to increase support and coordination among community-based associations and other civil society organisations to improve their contribution to tackling the disease and its consequences on children; to integrate HIV and AIDS services into other child health services; to identify HIV infected children; to expand the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services; and transparency in management of resources devoted to the combat against HIV and AIDS.

According to Child Rights organisations, there are no counselling services specifically for children who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Child Rights organisations recommended the Government to scale up testing for HIV after birth to other parts of the country; to train counsellors to ensure confidential child-friendly services without discrimination or being judgmental; to introduce a certification system that prohibits uncertified individuals to provide counselling services to children in order to reduce any further or potential damage to children as a result of poor counselling offered.

FI-ERI further indicated that during the UPR, particular attention needs to be given to primary education, community schools and skills education in Zambia. Regarding primary education, FI-ERI made a call for social partners in the consultation process of the Education Bill that is currently before the Parliament. They also indicated that community schools, especially in poorer urban and some rural areas, are mainly reliant on private donor funding and urged the Government to effectively implement the policy enunciated in its Education Our Future document and to contribute to the running costs of the community schools.

Zambia has made considerable progress in promoting and implementing the right to education, as reported by FI-ERI. According to UNESCO data for 2005, provided by FI-ERI, some 93 per cent of girls and 91 percent of boys are in primary school. However, only 83 per cent of children complete a full course of primary school.

Final Report

- Algeria commended Zambia on the continuing efforts to ensure the right to education, in particular in view of the increase of girls and recommended that Zambia continue its efforts to improve its educational system and seek international assistance in this regard.

- Latvia noted with appreciation the adoption of several policies and programme to promote the rights and full equality of women, including in the areas of reproductive health and the legal and social protection of children and women.

- The Russian Federation asked whether members of all 72 official tribes in Zambia had equal access to participating in State elections and receiving education, and whether tribal languages were also taught in schools.

- Austria asked about the status of compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in particular with regard to the obligation to register children immediately after birth, the protection from all of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, and the implementation of a juvenile justice system. Austria recommended that juvenile courts and justices be established to enhance access to justice of children in conformity with their specific needs.

- Canada recommended that Zambia take measures to improve the situation of widows and girl orphans, including by ensuring protection of inheritance through the enforcement of legislative provisions.

- The delegation of Zambia responded to the questions raised, in particular on the question on sanitation facilities in schools, it referred to the existent water supply and sanitation facilities and programmes promoting new facilities related to hygiene in all schools.

- Regarding education, the delegation stated that in addition to English, seven local languages are taught in schools from grades 1 to 12, and explained that whereas private schools use English as language of instruction and no laws compel them to use the local languages.

- France asked for further information on measures taken to combat child labour.

- The Netherlands noted concerns by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the number of children living and working on the street, particularly their exposure to physical and sexual abuse, prostitution and HIV/AIDS and recommended that a strategy be developed for the prevention and assistance to children living and working on the street in order to protect and guarantee their rights, involving community-based associations and other civil society organisations.

- As 90 per cent of the sentences in the country are handed down by local courts governed by customary law, Mexico recommended to train in human rights judges working in the local courts, administering Zambian customary law, in particular, in respect to the human rights of women and children and a gender perspective and to promote a flexible and effective system of reviewing sentences, so as to guarantee the due process of law.

- Germany noted that Zambia was not party to the Optional Protocols to the CRC, inter alia, and asked when Zambia intends to sign and ratify them and what concrete measures would be taken to better incorporate the provisions of those conventions into domestic legislation.

- Referring to CESCR concerns about the negative impact of extreme poverty on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, especially by the most disadvantaged groups such as girl children and those affected by HIV, Germany asked what measures were planned to improve the situation of these groups.

- Cuba expressed admiration for Zambia’s progress in economic and social rights, particularly in education and health, adding that being a developing country with financial and material difficulties has not been an obstacle to Zambia’s decisive protection of the human rights of its people. It congratulated the Government’s determination and efforts to attain the MDGs, its good legal framework and human rights institutions, and its progress in enrolling girls in schools. It asked what measures and actions Zambia had taken to achieve these results as a useful guide for other countries facing disparities in gender in the education system. It also recommended that Zambia share its experiences and good practices, which have enabled them to obtain significant results in the field of education, particularly in the access of girls to education and training.

- Malaysia requested information on the efforts to address the high level of child mortality.

- Italy also recommended that Zambia develop a national strategy for human rights education in the school system in accordance with the Plan of Action 2005-2009 of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, including the review and revision of curricula and textbooks, the training of teachers, and the practice of human rights in the school community.

- The Zambian delegation also referred to the training of local court justices, in particular relating to human rights of women. Through these trainings, Zambia hopes that local justices will be educated to deal adequately with laws relating to justice for women and children.

- On the question from France on child labour, the delegation stated that Zambia has ratified ILO Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and that the Government revised the Employment of Young Persons and Children Act in order to ensure full implementation of the Convention. Through programmes sponsored by the ILO, measures are being taken to eradicate child labour, and the Government is currently considering a draft document on child labour. In

- terms of institutions, a child labour unit has been set up within the Ministry of Labour, which monitors issues regarding child labour and a national steering committee has been established, which is comprised of ministries, NGOs and other stakeholders that have child welfare/labour-related programmes. The delegation underlined the importance of developing a multi-faceted approach, which requires concerted efforts of all stakeholders, and stated that child labour committees are being created that carry out awareness programmes.

- New Zealand noted that infant and child mortality has declined. It welcomed the positive steps taken to address maternal neo-natal and child health and would welcome any information on current levels of engagement with practitioners at the community level who are involved in the development of national strategies to improve health standard in these areas.

- The Syrian Arab Republic welcomed the Government’s efforts to implement national education services to increase the number of girls receiving education.

- Azerbaijan appreciated the willingness of Zambia to comply with its human rights obligations, through its efforts in combating trafficking in persons. It commended Zambia on methods of eradicating extreme poverty and the measures taken in the area of education.

- The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya commended Zambia on the legislative reforms to ensure the protection of the rights of the child and the additional resources allocated by Zambia thereto and the adoption of a national plan for children. It recommended that Zambia continue its efforts to strengthen the rights of the child and protect them even further; in particular, the necessary resources should be earmarked so as to protect the weakest segments of the population, above all disabled persons, and assistance should be requested from UNICEF in that regard.

- The Republic of Korea cited the concern of the Committee on the Rights of the Child that Zambia lacks juvenile courts and juvenile judges and asked what measures had been taken to guarantee special protection of juveniles.

- Angola asked about measures taken to ensure the legal protection of women and children.

- Bangladesh with appreciation Zambia’s initiatives for the advancement of girl education.

- Concerning the rights of the child, Zambia responded that a child law reform secretariat within the Ministry of Community Development has been set up with the purpose of reviewing all child-related legislation to bring it into conformity with CRC and the African Charter on the Rights of the Child. The legal reform involves other line ministries, United Nations agencies as well as NGOs. Furthermore, a legislative audit has been completed and a National Plan of Action for Children on the Street has been developed to sensitise all stakeholders working in this area.

- Regarding child mortality, Zambia responded that it supports a countrywide child health programme.

- In terms of juvenile justice, Zambia stated that most cases are heard before a magistrate camera and some magistrates are now specialised in dealing with matters involving juveniles. The Juvenile Act, Chapter 59 of the Law of Zambia provides protection for children in conflict with the law and creates special conditions for the treatment of children in conflict with the law.

Accepted and Rejected Recommendations

The following recommendations were accepted:

58- 4. To take measures to improve the situation of widows and girl orphans, including by ensuring
protection of inheritance through enforcement of legislative provisions (Canada);

- 10. That juvenile courts and justices be established to enhance access to justice of children in
conformity with their specific needs (Austria);

- 11. That a strategy of assistance and prevention be developed for street children in order to protect and guarantee their rights, involving community-based associations and other civil society
organizations (The Netherlands);

- 12. To continue with its efforts to strengthen the rights of the child and protect them even further, in particular, the necessary resources should be earmarked so as to protect the weakest segments of the population, above all the disabled persons, and assistance should be requested from UNICEF in that regard (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya);

- 13. To continue its efforts to improve its educational system and seek international assistance in this regard (Algeria);

- 14. To develop a national strategy for human rights education in the school system in accordance
with the Plan of Action 2005-2009 of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, including the review and revision of curricula and textbooks, the training of teachers, and the practice of human rights in the school community (Italy);

- 16. To consider developing a strategy that ensures that the experiences of community practitioners are taken into account in the development of its national strategies to improve health standards in maternal neo-natal and child health (New Zealand);

- 18. To share the experiences and good practices which have enabled Zambia to obtain significant
results in the field of education, particularly the access of girls to education and training (Cuba);

No recommendations were rejected

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