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Recommendations from the Children’s Rights Committee

© UNICEF RD/A.Eguia/2008

47th Period of Sessions
Dominican Republic

In 1991, the Dominican Republic ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, taking on the commitment to respect and fulfil all its sections and articles.

As a State party of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the DR is obliged to respect the norms contained in this convention, including the submission of a report to the Children’s Rights Committee every five years. In this report, States must list “the circumstances and difficulties, should they exist, that affect the degree of fulfilment of the derived obligations”. This committee is based in Geneva (Switzerland), and is composed of international experts in children’s rights. Their main task is to analyse the situation of children and adolescents in the country and to make recommendations about aspects that need to be improved.

The Dominican Republic submitted two reports during 2007: an official report and an alternative report. The official report was presented by the Government and explains the situation of children and adolescents in the country, and what the government is doing to protect children’s rights. The NGO Childhood Coalition presented the alternative report, in which the NGOs conducted an analysis of children’s situation from their perspective.

Following a process of examination of the documents and interviews with government officials and representatives of several NGOs in the country, the Committee members made a series of recommendations about the areas where the country still needs to make improvements aimed at genuinely guaranteeing all the rights of children and adolescents who live in the Dominican Republic.

The recommendations emphasise the total fulfilment of Law 136-03, and calls for the adoption of the necessary measures for restructuring the judicial and administrative systems as needed; to adopt a global policy on children’s rights, especially when it comes to providing the necessary human and financial resources.

There are also recommendations on the execution of the National Action Plan for children that consolidates all the sectorial plans; strengthens the national coordination of the Protection System and the basic Rights of Children and Adolescents at all levels.

Likewise, the Committee has recommended that the Dominican Republic “should guarantee the rights of each and every child to be registered” and that all the procedures should be reviewed in order to ensure that children are issued their birth certificates, that birth certificates should never be used to discriminate against children, and “that an efficient and free procedure should be established in order to issue birth certificates to all children under the age of 18 who still don’t have said certificate”, among others.

 

 
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