The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child published its final observations on the protection of children’s rights in France on 1 June 2023. It welcomes the progress made by France and the public authorities’ active efforts for children; it also calls for further advances to be made for children.
In its final observations, published today following the report submitted by France and the subsequent hearing on 9 and 10 May 2023, the Committee welcomed the quality of the discussions held in Geneva with the high-level interministerial delegation led by Mme Charlotte Caubel, Minister of State for Children, attached to the Prime Minister.
Drawing on its observations from 2016, the Committee was able to appreciate the many advances made when it comes to children’s rights. The Committee paid special tribute to the national strategy on prevention and the protection of children, the first 1,000 days policy, and the plans to tackle violence against children and child prostitution. The Committee also gave a very favourable response to the creation of a ministry of State for children, and of a parliamentary delegation on children’s rights at the National Assembly. The Committee appreciated the progress on developing bodies for children’s participation in political decision-making processes. Finally, the Committee emphasized the importance of resources dedicated to public policies in favour of children.
The Committee urged us to continue the initiatives begun, for example by creating a delegation for children’s rights at the Senate, renewing the various plans which have expired and opening even more places where child victims’ testimonies can be heard.
France takes note of the points of concern brought to its attention by the Committee and notes that they are broadly in line with its priorities. Indeed, the Committee emphasized its concern about violence against children, especially sexual violence, which remains at too high a level in our country and must be better known and dealt with. It also pressed the case for improving the child protection policy, in particular by stepping up prevention, promoting de-institutionalization and reducing the time taken to execute measures. It would also like to see solutions developed to support disabled children and a road map established for children’s mental health. Finally, the Committee called for greater attention to be given to poor, migrant and overseas children.
The next meeting of the Interministerial Committee for Children, on 15 June, will provide an opportunity, with all the ministers concerned, to take stock of these observations and actions to address them. The initiatives under way, for example the national disability conference or the paediatrics and child health conference, all aim to address these major concerns. The imminent presentation of the major objectives of a new plan to tackle violence against children, and the future communication campaign on sexual violence, will also address the Committee’s observations.
Source – French Government