United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child comments and makes recommendations on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

February 19, 2024

On February 8, 2024 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child publishes its concluding observations for the 95th session. These observations covered areas of concern, recommendations for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and positive aspects. The Committee welcomed the amendments to the Framework Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child, which unequivocally prohibit all forms of violence against children, including corporal punishment. However, doubts remain about the prevailing public acceptance of the practice in families and communities.

The Committee advocated for more awareness-raising campaigns to explain the harmful effects of violence on children’s physical and psychological well-being. The Committee also recommended that Lithuania give priority to the consideration of children’s views in legislative, administrative and judicial procedures and decisions. The need to formulate a comprehensive policy and strategy on the rights of the child to guide the development of the necessary programmes, projects and monitoring systems, while allocating core resources to the relevant agencies, was stressed.

Particular attention was paid to corporal punishment, which the Committee called on Lithuania to universally prohibit in all settings, including in households and alternative care settings. The Committee highlighted the rights of children in the context of international migration and called for an end to the detention of asylum-seeking and migrant children in all circumstances. This would require a reassessment of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners and the provision of alternatives to detention, ensuring timely access to safe and dignified accommodation. It recommended ending pushback operations at borders and ensuring that children have access to information on asylum procedures and legal aid, as well as to the right to apply for asylum and to an individual assessment without discrimination. For unaccompanied or separated children, it was recommended that a comprehensive child protection system, including an individual assessment of their best interests, should continue.

Highlighting concerns about adolescent health in the country, the Committee called on Lithuania to decriminalise abortion under all circumstances. It called for legal and practical measures to ensure that adolescents have access to safe abortion and post-abortion care and that their views are duly taken into account in decision-making. Throughout this comprehensive analysis, the Committee has consistently called for strengthening children’s rights, combating negative stereotypes, and striving for a safe, fair and dignified environment for children to grow up in society.

The full text of the recommendations can be found here.

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