Convention on the Rights of the Child
1 July 2004
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child:
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
1. The Committee considered the second periodic report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (CRC/C/65/Add.24) at its 965th and 966th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.965 and CRC/C/SR.966), held on 1 June 2004, and adopted at the 971st meeting (see CRC/C/SR.971), held on 4 June 2004, the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the State party’s reports which followed the established guidelines. The Committee also takes note of the timely submission of the written replies to its list of issues (CRC/C/Q/PRK/2), which allowed for a clearer understanding of the situation of children in the State party. The Committee notes the constructive dialogue it had with the State party’s delegation.
B. Follow-up measures undertaken and progress achieved by the State party
3. The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption of the following laws aimed at enhancing the implementation of the Convention:
(a) The Education Law, adopted in 1999, ensuring free compulsory education for 11 years, including for children with disabilities;
(b) The Law on the Protection of Disabilities, adopted in 2003, ensuring equal access for persons with disabilities to public places, transportation and public services; and
(c) The Law on Complaints and Petitions adopted in 1998.
4. The Committee notes the amendments made to various legislative provisions to enhance the implementation of the Convention, including the Citizenship Law (1999), the Law on Medical Care (1990), the Law on Compensation for Damages (2001) and the Inheritance Law (2002).
5. The Committee also notes the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2001.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
6. The Committee takes note of the fact that the State party still suffers from the dissolution of its traditional economic ties at the beginning of the 1990s, and from the effects of the natural disasters in the mid-1990s, which still have a negative impact on its economy and trading capacity, despite the economic reform process it has engaged in since 2002.
D. Principle areas of concern and recommendations
1. General measures of implementation
The Committee’s previous recommendations
7. The Committee notes with satisfaction that some concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.88) made upon the consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/3/Add.41) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, recommendations regarding, inter alia, data collection (para. 22), non-discrimination, the best interests of the child and respect for the views of the child (para. 11), corporal punishment (para. 13), child abuse and neglect (para. 19), alternative care (para. 29), and juvenile justice (para. 34) have not been given sufficient follow-up. The Committee notes that these concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.
8. The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address those recommendations from the concluding observations of the initial report that have not yet been implemented and to address the list of concerns contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
9. While taking note of legislative reforms mentioned in paragraph 3 above, the Committee remains concerned that not all domestic legislation fully conforms to the principles and provisions of the Convention.
10. The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure that its domestic legislation conforms fully to the principles and provisions of the Convention and ensure that the laws which have already been amended or adopted are implemented effectively.
National Plan of Action and Coordination
11. The Committee welcomes the establishment of the National Coordination Committee for the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) on 28 April 1999 and the adoption of a second National Plan of Action for the Well-Being of Children (2001-2010), which sets out clear goals and a time frame to meet them. However, the Committee is concerned that the Plan does not deal with the rights of the child in a comprehensive manner, and at the lack of clear coordination of the efforts of various ministries to implement the Plan. The Committee also regrets the lack of information on the financial and human resources provided both for the implementation of the Plan and its coordination.
12. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take necessary steps to either supplement the existing National Plan of Action, or consider drafting a new, comprehensive Plan to include the Millennium Development Goals and reflect the conclusions contained in “A World Fit for Children”, and to involve agencies of the United Nations system, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donor countries, as well as children, in these efforts;
(b) Designate or establish a single governmental body responsible for the effective coordination of all activities for the future implementation of the National Plan of Action, and allocate the necessary human and financial resources for its full implementation, and put in place appropriate coordinating, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. This body should also coordinate all other activities related to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including those at the local levels, as well as the concluding observations of the Committee.
13. While welcoming the adoption of the Law on Complaints and Petitions in June 1998, the Committee notes with concern that, although there are many institutions that have the ability to receive complaints, this is restricted to complaints on their own mandates. Furthermore, the Committee expresses concern over their lack of independence, their limited accessibility, and that children have little or no knowledge of their existence or their functions.
14. The Committee recommends that the State party improve the existing complaints mechanisms, inter alia, by issuing clear guidelines that are understandable and accessible to children, and guaranteeing that filing individual complaints against any particular institution will have no negative consequences for the child. In addition, the Committee strongly recommends the State party to establish an independent and effective mechanism, taking into account the Committee’s General Comment No. 2 on national human rights institutions, and in accordance with the Paris Principles (General Assembly resolution 48/134). Such an institution should monitor the implementation of the Convention, be easily accessible for children, be provided with adequate human and financial resources, and have the power to deal with complaints from children in a child sensitive and expeditious manner and to provide remedies for violations of their rights under the Convention.
Cooperation with civil society
15. The Committee is concerned that despite its previous recommendations, insufficient efforts have been made to involve civil society in the implementation of the Convention, its rights-based approach and its reporting process.
16. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to systematically involve communities and other elements of civil society throughout all stages of the implementation of the Convention, including the formulation of policies and programmes, and in the drafting process of the next report to the Committee.
Resources for children
17. The Committee is concerned that despite the increase of the social budget, expenditures for children in absolute terms, especially in the education and health sectors, have decreased over the years.
18. The Committee recommends that the State party pay particular attention to the full implementation of article 4 of the Convention by prioritizing budgetary allocations to ensure implementation of the economic, social and cultural rights of children, in particular those belonging to economically disadvantaged groups, “to the maximum extent of … available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international cooperation”.
19. The Committee is concerned at the absence of reliable data and the lack of an adequate national qualitative and quantitative data collection system in all areas covered by the Convention, which limits the State party’s capacity to adopt appropriate policies and programmes.
20. The Committee recommends that the State party continue to develop a system of qualitative and quantitative data collection and indicators consistent with the Convention and disaggregated by gender, age, provinces and cities, as well as urban and rural areas. This system should cover all children up to the age of 18 years, with specific emphasis on those who are particularly vulnerable. It further encourages the State party to use these indicators and data in the formulation of laws, policies and programmes for the effective monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the Convention both at the national and local levels. The Committee recommends that the State party seek technical assistance from, inter alia, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
21. The Committee notes that the State party’s cooperation with United Nations bodies and specialized agencies and international NGOs have significantly contributed to the implementation of the rights of children, but is concerned that a large proportion of children are still in need of humanitarian assistance, which indicates the necessity for the State party to strengthen its international cooperation.
22. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its cooperation with United Nations bodies and specialized agencies and the international donor community in the area of policy planning, and to provide them with full access to all vulnerable groups, in particular children, and to areas which require special attention and share information on policies and financial expenditures in the social sector.
Training and dissemination
23. While aware of the measures undertaken by the State party to promote awareness of the principles and provisions of the Convention, the Committee is of the opinion that these measures need to be strengthened and systematized with a specific focus on the child as a subject of rights. In this respect, the Committee is concerned at the lack of a systematic plan to introduce training and awareness among professional groups working for and with children, as well as children themselves.
24. In line with its previous recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.88, para. 35) and article 42 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to disseminate the principles and provisions of the Convention as a measure to sensitize society about children’s rights. Moreover, the Committee encourages the State party to undertake systematic education and training on the provisions of the Convention for all professional groups working for and with children, in particular parliamentarians, judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials, civil servants, municipal workers, personnel working in institutions and places of detention for children, as well as teachers, health personnel, psychologists and social workers and the children themselves. Technical assistance from, inter alia, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNICEF could be requested in this regard.
2. Definition of the child
25. The Committee reiterates its previous concerns that the age of majority, set at 17, does not ensure full protection for all persons under 18 and that some legal minimum ages are discriminatory, such as the age of marriage for girls (17), which is different to the one of boys (18).
26. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party increase the age of majority to 18. The Committee further recommends that the State party raise the minimum age of marriage for girls to that of boys (18 years).
3. General principles
27. The Committee is concerned that some groups of children, including children with disabilities, children belonging to different social groups, and children living in rural and remote areas, suffer from disparities in accessing basic services. In some instances, girls still suffer from prejudicial traditional stereotypes.
28. The Committee recommends that the State party increase its efforts to ensure implementation of existing laws guaranteeing the principle of non-discrimination and full compliance with article 2 of the Convention, and to adopt a proactive and comprehensive strategy to eliminate discrimination on any grounds and against all vulnerable groups. The Committee requests the State party to pay particular attention to children with disabilities, children belonging to different social groups, and those living in rural and remote areas, as well as to preventing and combating prejudicial stereotypes against girls and women.
29. The Committee requests that specific information be included in the next periodic report on the measures and programmes relevant to the Convention on the Rights of the Child undertaken by the State party to follow up on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and taking account of General Comment No. 1 on the aims of education.
Respect for the views of the child
30. The Committee notes that children are given opportunities for participation, principally through the Youth League and Children’s Unions. However, it is concerned that children’s opinions are not given sufficient consideration and that respect for their views remains limited in the family, in schools, in courts and before administrative authorities and in society at large, due mainly to traditional and patriarchal attitudes. It is also concerned that child participation remains essentially a formal and hierarchical concept, and that creative and informal channels of participation are not given enough consideration and weight.
31. The Committee encourages the State party to ensure that children’s views are given due consideration, in accordance with article 12 of the Convention, in the family, at schools, in the courts, and in all relevant administrative and other procedures concerning them. This should be undertaken through, inter alia, the adoption of appropriate legislation and policies, the training of professionals, awareness-raising of the public at large and the establishment of specific creative and informal activities in and outside schools.
4. Civil rights and freedoms
32. The Committee is concerned about the lack of information on civil and political rights and persistent reports of limitations on the civil and political rights of citizens, including children, in particular freedoms of opinion, expression, thought, conscience, religion, and movement, as well as the right to privacy, as stated by the Commission on Human Rights in its resolutions 2003/10 and 2004/13.
33. The Committee recommends the State party to provide concrete information in its next report, citing examples of daily practices, on the ways domestic provisions apply to persons under the age of 18 in the State party, with specific reference to the rights enshrined in articles 13 to 17 of the Convention, including freedom of opinion, expression, thought, conscience, religion, and movement, as well as the right to privacy.
Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
34. The Committee is concerned at the various reports on the persistence of some forms of institutional violence against persons under 18, especially in detention and in social institutions.
35. The Committee recommends the State party to continue and strengthen all necessary measures to prevent and eliminate any form of institutional violence.
36. While welcoming the positive steps taken by the State party and the information that it has almost eliminated corporal punishment through, inter alia, public campaigns, the Committee remains concerned that owing to traditional customs, corporal punishment may still be practised and accepted in schools, families, and care institutions.
37. The Committee encourages the State party to continue to reinforce its public awareness campaigns to promote positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.
5. Family environment and alternative care
Parental responsibilities and childcare services
38. The Committee notes with appreciation the commitment of the State party to early childcare based on the 1976 Law on Nursery and Upbringing of Children. However, it is concerned at the excessive degree of State involvement in childcare to the detriment of the parental involvement, hindering psychosocial and cognitive development of children. Of particular concern are the widespread practice of leaving children in nurseries from Mondays to Saturdays and the upbringing of twins and triplets being relinquished to the State. Furthermore, the Committee expresses concern over the lack of human and financial resources available for nurseries, which affects the quality of care.
39. In the light of article 18, paragraph 1 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party place greater emphasis on its policies on the primary responsibilities of parents, and to encourage and provide parents with the necessary support to enable their greater involvement in the nursing and upbringing of their children, reducing the role of the State to a subsidiary and not a primary one.
40. The Committee notes the State party’s commitment to early childhood development and the high enrolment rates in nurseries and kindergartens. However, it is concerned that the economic hardships facing the country have negatively affected the quality of services provided by childcare facilities, and that there is no comprehensive strategy to address this problem.
41. The Committee recommends the State party to promote day-care nurseries and kindergartens and to discourage the use of the 24-hour nursery and kindergarten system (often 5 days a week), to be used by parents only as a last resort. The Committee recommends the State party to develop a strategy to increase the financial and human resources available for childcare facilities and ensure a basic minimum standard of services for all institutions, in particular with regard to nutrition, heating, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Separation of children from parents
42. The Committee is concerned at the information that the whereabouts of parents may not be provided to children if the parents have been sentenced to reform through labour or have been punished by death for a crime.
43. The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures in line with article 9, paragraph 3, of the Convention to keep children informed about the whereabouts of their parents, and to fully implement their right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis.
44. The Committee is concerned at the relatively high numbers of children who are separated from their parents and are living in institutions, such as children’s homes, orphanages and orphan schools.
45. The Committee recommends the State party:
(a) To undertake the necessary measures to reduce the institutionalization of childcare by strengthening and supporting the system of foster care, family group homes (4-6 children) and, whenever appropriate, domestic adoption;
(b) To ensure that placements in institutions, if made, are periodically reviewed, in accordance with article 25 of the Convention;
(c) To consider adopting legislation on adoption, in light of the provisions of the Convention; and
(d) To consider ratifying the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption of 1993.
Abuse and neglect
46. The Committee notes the low number of cases of child abuse reported in families and the absence of any reported cases of abuse outside the family, which may indicate underreporting. The Committee is concerned about the State party’s assertion that “as violence, abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation of children are no longer a social issue, the social reintegration of the victim is no longer a matter of great concern” (CRC/C/65/Add.24, para. 145). The Committee also notes some seemingly confusing information on the prevalence of abuse and neglect of children. The low number of reported cases may be a reflection of the reality, but may also be indicative of an ineffective reporting system.
47. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Conduct an in-depth study to find out the nature and the extent of abuse and neglect, with a view to developing a strategy to deal with this phenomenon;
(b) Give attention to addressing and overcoming sociocultural barriers associated with child abuse and neglect;
(c) Ensure that child victims receive appropriate support and services;
(d) Train parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, care workers, judges and health professionals on the identification, on reporting and management of ill-treatment cases; and
(e) Seek assistance from, among others, UNICEF.
6. Basic health and welfare
Children with disabilities
48. The Committee notes with appreciation the new legislation enacted in 2003 to protect the rights of disabled persons and the active work undertaken since 1998 by the Korean Association for Supporting the Disabled, including its first survey. It remains nevertheless concerned at the very poor living conditions of the disabled, their lack of integration in schools and society at large, the lack of recovery measures, and at prevailing discriminatory attitudes toward them in society.
49. In line with the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (General Assembly resolution 48/96) and the recommendations adopted by the Committee at its day of general discussion on the rights of children with disabilities (CRC/C/69), it is recommended that the State party:
(a) Establish a comprehensive and inclusive policy for children with disabilities;
(b) Take effective measures to collect adequate and disaggregated statistical data on children with disabilities and use such data in developing policies and programmes to prevent disabilities and to assist disabled children;
(c) Reinforce its efforts to develop early detection programmes to prevent and remedy disabilities;
(d) Establish special education programmes for disabled children and integrate them in the regular school system to the extent possible;
(e) Undertake awareness-raising campaigns to sensitize the public, and parents in particular, about the rights and special needs of children with disabilities, including those with mental health concerns;
(f) Increase resources, both financial and human, for special education, including vocational training, and the support given to families of children with disabilities;
(g) Seek technical cooperation from, among others, UNICEF and WHO for the training of professional staff, including teachers working with children with disabilities.
Basic health and health services
50. While noting that health services are free and cover all areas of the country, the Committee is concerned about increasing infant and child mortality rates, high rates of malnutrition and stunting in children, alarming increases in maternal mortality rates and due to the high rate of voluntary termination of pregnancy. It is also very concerned that, despite the competence of doctors and other medical or paramedical staff, hospitals and clinics acutely suffer from shortages of basic medicine and medical instruments. The Committee is also seriously concerned that access to clean drinking water is rare in the country, sanitation conditions are poor, and that human excrements are sometimes used as fertilizers.
51. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take all necessary measures to improve the quality of its health system and its health expenditures, reducing infant, child and maternal mortality rates, preventing communicable diseases by stepping up immunization programmes, preventing and treating diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory tract infections and malaria, among others;
(b) Improve accessibility to information on family planning and availability of contraceptives;
(c) Effectively address the serious issue of malnutrition by providing adequate nutritional food and supplements, as well as education on healthy early habits; and
(d) Seek, where necessary, international cooperation.
52. The Committee is concerned that insufficient attention has been given to adolescent health issues, including developmental, mental and reproductive health concerns.
53. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Undertake a comprehensive study to assess the nature and extent of adolescent health problems, and, with the full participation of adolescents, use this as a basis to formulate adolescent health policies and programmes, and especially reproductive health education and child-sensitive counselling services with a particular focus on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections;
(b) Strengthen developmental and mental health counselling services and make them known and accessible to adolescents.
7. Education, leisure and cultural activities
54. The Committee notes the State party’s commitment to free universal education, particularly in the light of its current economic difficulties, and welcomes the information that compulsory education up to the age of 17 is free. However, the Committee remains concerned at the following problematic aspects with regard to education:
(a) Increasing absenteeism and seasonally low attendance rates of 60-80 per cent as a result of the prolonged economic hardship;
(b) Hidden costs for parents, which constitute a serious burden in sending children to schools;
(c) The quality of education, which requires further improvement;
(d) That political background, opinions and activities can have an influence on admission to higher education;
(e) That aims of education as stipulated in article 29 of the Convention are not at the centre of the learning process;
(f) Human rights, including child rights, are not fully integrated into the school curricula, but only constitutes a part of “Virtue and Law” courses.
55. The Committee welcomes the recent efforts of the State party to increase the quality of its education system and encourages that these efforts be pursued. It also recommends that the State party:
(a) Take measures to prevent and reduce absenteeism, including by providing adequate heating of school buildings in wintertime;
(b) Ensure that female pupils have the same opportunities as male pupils to access higher education;
(c) Sensitize the general public and children in particular to ensure that traditional gender stereotypes do not dictate the subjects studied by male and female pupils;
(d) Facilitate children’s access to information, including strengthening of efforts to increase access of the population to materials from other countries, and strengthen student exchange programmes;
(e) Ensure full implementation of the aims of education, taking into account article 29 of the Convention and the Committee’s General Comment No. 2;
(f) Integrate human rights and, in particular, child rights, in the school curricula as a subject on its own; and
(g) Seek technical assistance from, inter alia, UNESCO and UNICEF.
8. Special protection measures
Children and military service
56. The Committee is concerned that, according to the current legislation, the minimum age for voluntary enlistment in the armed forces is set at 16 years and that, according to information it provided to the Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (HR/CESCR/NONE/2003/1), children attending school follow military camps during summer holidays, where “they learn how to dismantle and assemble weapons”.
57. The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure that article 38, paragraph 3, of the Convention is respected and to ensure that recruitment is genuinely voluntary when recruiting children between 16 and 18, and that priority will be given to the oldest applicants. The Committee also recommends the State party to ratify the Protocol to the Convention (see para. 66 below) and increase by law the age for recruitment and voluntary enlistment to 18 years. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to avoid the early militarization of children.
58. The Committee is concerned that, according to the State party information, there are some children from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that cross the borders and apparently live on the streets of some Chinese cities close to the border which they cross. The Committee is deeply concerned at the information that children and their families who return or are deported back to the State party are considered not as victims, but as perpetrators of a crime.
59. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Assess and analyse the causes of children crossing the borders to other countries;
(b) Treat the children who return to the State party as victims and not as perpetrators of a crime;
(c) Negotiate their safe repatriation with the Chinese authorities; and
(d) Provide them with the necessary support for reintegration and counselling.
60. While noting that the minimum age for employment and labour is set at 16, the Committee notes that the State party has not ratified ILO Conventions No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, and No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, whose ratification would further improve the protection of persons below 18 from economic exploitation. The Committee also notes that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is not yet a member of the International Labour Organization.
61. The Committee recommends the State party to consider membership in ILO in order to be in a position to hereafter consider ratifying relevant ILO international conventions to protect persons below 18 from economic exploitation, and that it strictly apply the minimum age for access to employment (16).
Trafficking in children
62. The Committee notes the lack of information in the State party report on human trafficking, in particular, involving children.
63. In the light of article 34 and other related articles of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Undertake a comprehensive study to assess the nature and the extent of human trafficking, in particular involving children;
(b) Ensure the protection from sexual exploitation and trafficking in relevant legislation to all boys and girls below the age of 18 years; and
(c) Pursue efforts to combat sexual exploitation in accordance with the 1996 Declaration and Agenda for Action and the 2001 Global Commitment adopted at the World Congresses against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
64. The Committee takes note that most persons under the age of 17 in conflict with the law are dealt with without resorting to judicial proceedings, but the Committee remains unclear on how the safeguards enshrined in the Convention, especially in articles 37 and 40, are fully respected in this regard. In particular, it is concerned about the independence and impartiality of the authority taking the sentencing decisions. The Committee remains also unclear about the type of sentencing, called “public education measures”, which is applied to persons under 17. Furthermore, the Committee is very concerned that persons aged 17 are considered and treated as adults in the justice system, and therefore do not benefit from the special protection measures recognized in the Convention and can be sentenced to “reform through labour”.
65. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Review its legislation and policies to ensure that the treatment of all persons in conflict with the law under the age of 18 conforms entirely to international juvenile justice standards and, in particular, articles 37, 40 and 39 of the Convention, as well as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules) and the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), and ensure its full implementation;
(b) Amend the law so that persons under 18 are not sentenced to “reform through labour”;
(c) Provide in its next periodic report detailed information on how the non judicial approach of the State party conforms to the human rights safeguards enshrined in articles 37, 40 and 39 of the Convention and on the nature and application of the sentence of “public education measures”;
(d) Provide in its next periodic report detailed information on the number of children that have appealed to a higher competent, independent and impartial authority according to law, and on the outcomes of these appeals;
(e) Develop programmes for the reintegration of juvenile offenders, including those that were subject to education measures instead of detention; and
(f) Seek technical cooperation from, inter alia, OHCHR and UNICEF.
9. Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
66. The Committee recommends that the State party ratify the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
10. Dissemination of documents
67. Finally, in the light of article 44, paragraph 6, of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the second periodic report and written replies submitted by the State party be made widely available to the public at large and that the publication of the report be considered, along with the relevant summary records and concluding observations adopted by the Committee. Such a document should be widely distributed in order to generate debate and awareness of the Convention and its implementation and monitoring within the Government, the Parliament and the general public, including concerned non-governmental organizations.
11. Next report
68. In the light of the recommendation on reporting periodicity adopted by the Committee and described in the report on its twenty-ninth session (CRC/C/114), the Committee underlines the importance of a reporting practice that is in full compliance with the provisions of article 44 of the Convention. An important aspect of States parties’ responsibilities to children under the Convention is ensuring that the Committee on the Rights of the Child has regular opportunities to examine the progress made in the Convention’s implementation. In this regard, regular and timely reporting by States parties is crucial. As an exceptional measure, in order to help the State party catch up with its reporting obligations in full compliance with the Convention, the Committee invites the State party to submit its third and fourth reports in one consolidated report by 20 October 2007, the due date for the submission of the fourth report. This consolidated report should not exceed 120 pages (see CRC/C/118). The Committee expects the State party to report every five years thereafter, as foreseen by the Convention.