Tunisia: UN Child Rights Committee Publishes Findings On Luxembourg and Tunisia

-- The UN Child Rights Committee (CRC) on Thursday issued its findings on Luxembourg and Tunisia, the two State parties examined during the CRC's latest session.

The findings contain positive aspects of each country's implementation of the Child Rights Convention, as well as the Committee's main concerns and recommendations. Some of the key highlights include:

Luxembourg

The Committee noted the State party's measures to strengthen the Office of the Ombudsman for Children and Youth and welcomed the country's accession to the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

The CRC, however, was concerned about the right to identity for adopted children and children born via anonymous births or assisted reproduction technologies. The Committee recommended that Luxembourg ensure that draft legislation regarding an individual's origins, in cases where they were adopted or conceived through egg or sperm donation, allows them to access information regarding their identities.

The Committee also remained concerned about children deprived of a family environment. The Committee recommended that the State party phase out institutionalisation, and strengthen the system of family-based foster care for children who cannot stay with their own families.

Luxembourg's existing legal system allows children above the age of 16 to be tried by adult courts. The Committee urged the State party to ensure that all children under 18, without exception, are tried within the juvenile justice system by specialised judges and that children have access to specialised lawyers.

Tunisia

The Committee welcomed Tunisia's accession to the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure to the Child Rights Convention, a significant step making it the first country in the Middle East and North African region to take measures to allow individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights.

The Committee was, however, concerned about the situation of children born to Tunisian members of ISIL and affiliated armed groups living in camps abroad, including in Syria, Libya and Iraq. It urged the State party to repatriate these children, ensure that child victims receive assistance to aid their physical and psychological recovery, and to take action to prevent children being recruited for organized violence and armed conflicts abroad.

The experts also expressed concern about high levels of violence against children in Tunisia, including domestic violence and sexual abuse. They called on the State party to expedite the legislation to protect child victims and witnesses of crime, as well as to allocate sufficient resources to provide support for them.

The Committee was also troubled by reports of forcible deportations of asylum-seeking and migrant children, and of children living in immigration detention centres. It recommended that the State party ensure the best interests of the child are the primary consideration in all asylum- and migration-related procedures.

The above findings, officially named as Concluding Observations, are now available online on the session website.

The CRC is due to hold its next session from 6 to 24 September to review Afghanistan, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Eswatini, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

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