Convention on the Rights of the Child


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United Nations

CRC/C/NLD/4



Convention on the
Rights of the Child


Distr.: General

19 September 2014
Original: English
Committee on the Rights of the Child

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention

Fourth periodic reports of States parties due in 2012

The Netherlands*

[Date received: 22 November 2013]



Contents

Paragraphs Page

Introduction 1–13 7

Part one: The European part of the Netherlands 14–542 9

Executive summary 14–24 9

I. General measures of implementation 25–55 12

Article 4: Changes in Dutch legislation 25–48 12

Article 42: Publicizing the Convention 49–54 18

Article 44, paragraph 6: Availability of reports 55 19

II. Definition of the word “child” 56 19

Article 1 56 19

III. General principles 57–100 19

Article 2: Non-discrimination 57–58 19

Article 3: Interests of the child 59–71 19

Article 6: Right to life and development 72–78 21

Article 12: Respect for the child’s opinion 79–100 22

IV. Civil rights and freedoms 101–144 25

Article 7: Name and nationality 101–108 25

Article 8: Right of the child to preserve/re-establish its identity 109 27

Article 13: Freedom of expression 110–111 27

Article 17c: Access to information 112–125 27

Article 14: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion 126–129 29

Article 15: Freedom of association 130 30

Article 16: Privacy; right to a private life 131–133 30

Article 37a: Torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment of children 134–144 30

V. Family environment and alternative forms of care 145–255 33

Introduction 145 33

Article 5: Parental guidance of children 146–152 33

Article 18, paragraph 1: Parents’ responsibility for the upbringing
and development of the child 153–166 34

Article 9: Separation from parents and the right of access 167–172 36

Article 10: Family reunification 173–174 39

Article 27, paragraph 4: Recovery of child maintenance 175–181 39

Article 20: Children temporarily or permanently deprived
of their family environment 182–201 40

Article 21: Inter-country adoption 202–213 43

Article 11: International child abduction 214–227 45

Article 19: Domestic violence, sexual abuse of children, and neglect 228–255 47

VI. Basic health and welfare 256–348 52

Article 23: Disabled children 256–272 52

Article 24: Health and health care 273–320 55

Articles 26 and 18, paragraph 2: Social security and youth care 321–338 62

Article 18, paragraph 3: Childcare services 339–346 65

Article 27, paragraphs 1–3: Standard of living 347–349 67

VII. Education, leisure and cultural activities 350–399 67

Article 28: Education, including vocational training and guidance 350–375 67

Article 29: Aims of education 376–387 72

Article 31: Leisure, recreation and cultural activities 388–399 74

VIII. Special protection measures 400–562 76

A. Children in emergency situations 400–410 76

Articles 22 and 39: Refugees 400–407 76

Article 1f: Children 408–409 77

Article 38: Children in armed conflicts 410 78

B. Children and the criminal justice system 411–466 78

Article 40: Juvenile criminal law 411–440 78

Article 37 b–d: Children deprived of their liberty 441–478 84

Article 39: Special care for victims of crime 479–484 92

C. Children in exploitative situations 485–562 92

Article 32: Economic exploitation of children, including child labour 485–493 92

Article 33: Drugs 494–495 94

Article 34 : Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse 496–551 94

Article 35: National, bilateral and multilateral measures
to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children 552–553 105

Article 36: Protecting children against forms of exploitation 554–555 106

Article 30: Education for ethnic and language minorities 556–562 106

Part two: The Netherlands in the Caribbean 563–604 108

Introduction 563–565 108

I. Basic principles underlying the Netherlands’ drive to improve youth services in the
Netherlands in the Caribbean 566 108

II. The situation of young people on the islands in 2009 567–568 109

III. Progress made in the area of education 569–577 109

IV. Prevention and help with educational and developmental problems 578–585 110

V. Guardianship Board and youth probation service 586–604 112

Part three: Aruba 608–664 116

Introduction 608–609 116

I. General measures of implementation 610–617 116

A. Measures taken to ensure compliance of Aruban law and policy
with the provisions of the Convention 610 116

B. Existing or planned mechanisms at national or local level for coordinating
policies relating to children and monitoring implementation of the Convention 611–615 116

C. Measures taken or envisaged to make the Convention’s principles
and provisions widely known to adults and children alike 616 118

D. Measures taken to make the reports widely available to the public 617 119

II. Definition of the word “child” 618 119

III. General principles 619–620 119

IV. Civil rights and freedoms 621–623 119

V. Family environment and alternative forms of care 624–632 120

VI. Basic health and welfare 633–652 121

Article 23: Disabled children 633–636 121

Article 24: Health and health care 637–650 122

Articles 26 and 18, paragraph 2: Social security and youth care 651 125

Article 18, paragraph 3: Childcare services 652 125

VII. Education, leisure and cultural activities 653–655 125

VIII. Special protection measures 656–664 126

Part four: Curaçao 665–927 127

Introduction 665–666 127

I. General measures of implementation 667–704 127

Article 42: Making the Convention widely known 705–714 133

II. Definition of the word “child” 715–718 135

III. General principles 719–747 135

Article 2: The right to non-discrimination 719–729 135

Article 3: Allowing the best interests of the child to prevail 730–733 137

Article 6: The right to life, survival and development 734–737 137

Article 12: Respect for the views of the child 738–747 138

IV. Civil rights and freedoms 748–774 139

Article 7: Name and nationality 748–752 139

Article 17c: Access to information 753–759 140

Article 37a: Torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment 760–774 141

V. Family environment and alternative forms of care 775–799 143

Article 9: Separation from parents and the right of access 775–777 143

Article 10: Family reunification 778–780 143

Article 11: Illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad 781–782 144

Article 18: Parenting support 783–785 144

Article 19: Protection from abuse and neglect 786–796 145

Article 20: Children deprived of their family environment 797–799 146

VI. Basic health and welfare 800–862 147

Article 6: The right to survival and development 800 147

Article 18: The right to childcare facilities 801–806 147

Article 23: Disabled children 807–830 148

Article 24: Health and health care 831–853 151

Article 27: Standard of living 854–858 154

Article 33: The right to protection from the illicit use of drugs 859–862 155

VII. Education, leisure and cultural activities 863–877 156

Article 28: Education, including vocational training and guidance 863–864 156

Article 29: Aims of education 865–870 157

Article 30: The right to one’s own culture, to profess and practise
one’s own religion, and to use one’s own language 871 158

Article 31: Leisure, recreation and cultural activities 872–877 158

VIII. Special protection measures 878–927 159

A. Children in emergency situations 878–882 159

Article 22: Refugee status 878–881 159

Article 38: Rules of international humanitarian law applicable to children 882 159

B. Children and the criminal justice system 883–915 159

Article 40: Application of juvenile criminal law 883–893 161

Article 37a: Torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 894 161

Article 37 b–d: Children deprived of their liberty 895–915 161

Article 39: Special care for victims of crime 915 165

C. Children in exploitative situations 916–927 166

Article 32: The right to protection from economic exploitation,
including child labour 916–917 166

Article 33: The right to protection from the illicit use of drugs 918 166

Article 34: The right to protection from sexual exploitation
and sexual abuse 919–922 166

Article 35: The right to protection from abduction, sale or trafficking 923–926 167

Article 39: The right to physical and psychological recovery
and social reintegration 927 167

Part five: St Maarten 928–978 168

Introduction 928 168

I. General measures of implementation 929–945 168

A. Measures taken to ensure compliance of the law and policies of
St Maarten with the provisions of the Convention 929–938 168

B. Measures taken or envisaged to make the Convention’s principles
and provisions widely known to adults and children alike 939–945 170

II. Family environment and alternative forms of care 946–969 170

Article 42 967–969 174

III. Basic health and welfare 970–978 175

Annexes*

Introduction

  1. The Kingdom of the Netherlands signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 26 January 1990. The CRC entered into force in the Netherlands on 8 March 1995, and on the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles on 16 January 1998. On 17 January 2001 the CRC entered into force on Aruba.

  2. The initial reports date from 15 May 1997, 22 January 2001 and 29 January 2002 (for the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, respectively). The Committee on the Rights of the Child considered the third periodic report of the Netherlands and the former Netherlands Antilles and the second periodic report of Aruba on 30 January 2009. Pursuant to recommendation 84 these reports, including written responses and recommendations, have been made widely available to the public at large.

  3. This report by the Kingdom of the Netherlands is submitted in accordance with article 44, paragraph 1(b) of the CRC. It updates previous reports and describes policy measures taken in the period October 2006 – December 2012 to implement the Conclusions and Recommendations in the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/NLD/CO/3).

  4. The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four countries of equal status. Each of these countries is autonomous when it comes to the implementation of the CRC. The report is therefore divided into different sections describing the children’s rights policy pursued in the various parts of the Kingdom.

  5. Pursuant to recommendation 86 the Kingdom of the Netherlands is examining the scope for eventually submitting a Common Core Document which covers all four countries of the Kingdom in detail. Since the experiences of States Parties that currently use a common core document have not been universally positive, the Kingdom intends to await the outcome of the present debate within the United Nations on reforming the treaty bodies before commencing the use of a common core document.

Constitutional restructuring

  1. Since the last report the Kingdom of the Netherlands has undergone a process of constitutional restructuring. This concerned the former Netherlands Antilles, which consisted of the islands of Curaçao, St Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. The reforms were based on referendums and decisions by the parliamentary assembly concerning the constitutional future of the country. Except in the case of one island, the result of the consultation process was clear: the islands no longer wished to be part of the Netherlands Antilles, but nevertheless wished to retain their ties with the Kingdom.

  2. An agreement was reached concerning the new constitutional relations within the Kingdom. It was decided that the amended Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands would enter into force on 10 October 2010. Since that date, the Netherlands Antilles has ceased to exist as a country.

  3. Under the new structure, Curaçao and St Maarten have acquired the status of countries within the Kingdom, similar to Aruba, which has held the status of country within the Kingdom since 1986. As a result, since 10 October 2010 the Kingdom has consisted of four rather than three countries of equal status: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. All have a large degree of internal autonomy.

  4. The three other islands – Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba – opted for direct ties with the Netherlands and now constitute “the Netherlands in the Caribbean”. These ties took their new legal form with the conferment of the status of public bodies within the meaning of article 134 of the Constitution. Their status is roughly equivalent to that of a municipality in the Netherlands, with some adjustments to reflect their small scale, their distance from the Netherlands and their location in the Caribbean. The vast majority of Netherlands Antillean law remains in force, in amended form, in these public bodies. The constitutional reform brought no change in terms of representation in foreign relations.

  5. To clarify the situation, maps of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (1) and the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom (2) are shown below:

Figure 1

Map of the Kingdom of the Netherlands



Figure 2

Map of the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom



Table 1

Size and population

Country




Land area

Population

Netherlands

European part

41,526 km2

16,727,255 (11/2011)




Bonaire

288 km2

15,666 (2011)




St Eustatius

21 km2

3,643 (2011)




Saba

13 km2

1,824 (2011)

Curaçao




444 km2

150,563 (2011)

Aruba




180 km2

106,050 (2008)

St Maarten




34 km2

37,429 (2010)

Source: Statistics Netherlands and Central Bureaus of Statistics of Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten.

  1. Countries are individually responsible for implementing obligations stemming from international treaties. With due regard for this individual responsibility, the Dutch government supports the other countries in the Kingdom, in response to recommendation 19, in the field of children’s rights through cooperative programmes and by other means.

  2. For instance the Education and Young People Programme (OJSP) and the accompanying action plan for Curaçao and St Maarten focus on compulsory schooling, combating dropout, achieving a better match between education and the job market, and promoting the active involvement of parents with their children. Other projects, for instance in the area of poverty reduction, parenting support, sport and neighbourhood renewal are funded within the framework of the Socio-Economic Initiative (SEI). Grants are provided for school meals, the food bank, after-school childcare and foster care through AMFO, a cofinancing organisation for the former Netherlands Antilles.

  3. In addition, the Dutch Representation in Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten also supports specific grant applications, including those for small projects and projects on children’s rights. For instance, the office in Aruba provides grants to the Childline telephone counselling service, an NGO that runs activities for physically and mentally disabled children, and a children’s home that trains its staff with the aim of ensuring openness and good communication at work. In Curaçao, the Foundation for Combating Child Abuse also recently received financial support to run an information service.
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