The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted on its recent 50th session a number of concluding observations concerning state parties’ reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this way, the Committee observed in relation to the situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo that:
The right to life was severely compromised. Concerted action was required to ensure that children grew up in a supportive environment. The notion of the best interests of the child was not implemented as a guiding principle in all activities concerning them. The definition of the child must be brought to line with the Convention in a number of areas. Birth registration was very low, and the Government must see to it that every child was registered at birth. The right to education was severely hampered, and allocations for education were insufficient. Teachers should be paid decent salaries; the hidden costs of education must be eliminated and education quality improved. Schools must be made safe from armed forces, including in Ituri and North Kivu. Boys and girls should be encouraged to attend school and not drop out. Priority should be given to education for peace and early childhood development programmes in rural areas.’
Even though the situation of children appears to be grim in many countries, it is nonetheless encouraging that countries are obliged to submit periodic reports and that they in fact submit it.