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.
The Republic of the Congo ratified the CRC in 1993, and has also ratified the optional protocols on children in armed conflict and on the sale of children. The CRC has the force of law and prevails over domestic legislation. However, it is unclear whether courts enforce the treaty and it seems that only few human rights cases are filed in domestic courts. Children can bring cases through their representatives and constitutional and administrative recourse exists for human rights violations. Juvenile courts seem to exist but there is no consolidated Child Act. There are no child-friendly provisions for children involved in judicial proceedings. Access to justice for children is further compromised by a lack of resources, corruption and distrust towards the judiciary. Once all other domestic remedies have been exhausted, children can refer to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.