Convention on the Rights of the Child


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United Nations

CRC/C/ETH/Q/4-5/Add.1



Convention on the
Rights of the Child


Distr.: General

4 May 2015
Original: English

English, French and Spanish only
Committee on the Rights of the Child

Sixty-ninth session

18 May–5 June 2015

Item 4 of the provisional agenda

Consideration of reports of States parties

List of issues in relation to the combined fourth to fifth periodic reports of Ethiopia

Addendum

Replies of Ethiopia to the list of issues*

[Date received: 27 April 2015]

1. Please provide information on the implementation and outcome of the National Plan of Action on Children (2003–2010), referred to in paragraph 27 of the State party report and on the development of any new national plan or policy in this regard.

Implementation and Outcome of the National Plan of Action on Children (2003–2010 and Beyond)

  1. The Government mainstreamed the rights and interests of children in national development policies and programmes as its primary strategy in implementing the National Plan of Action. Accordingly, the policies and programmes the Government adopted, including the Health, Developmental Social Welfare, HIV/AIDS, and the Food Security Policies, and the Growth and Transformation Plan all accorded explicit consideration to the rights and interests of children.

  2. The implementation of the National Plan of Action resulted in positive improvements in the rights and conditions of children notably in their education and health. Pre-primary education gross enrolment rate increased from 2.2% 2003/04 to 26% in 2012/2013. Primary school gross enrolment rose from 68.4% in 2003/2004 to 96.3% by 2012/2013, while net enrolment rate for primary level (grades 1-8) rose from 57.4 in 2003/2004 to 85.9% in 2012/2013. Rise in the number of secondary schools improved enrolment in the past fourteen years. The total enrolment of students at the first cycle of secondary education (9 10) reaches 38.4% in 2012/2013 from 22.1% in 2003/04. Second cycle secondary school (grades 11-12) enrolment increases to 9.5% in 2012/2013 from 3.2% in 2003/04. The share of girls in grades 9-10 increased from 34.6% in 2004/05 to 47.3% in 2012/2013. Outcomes of the implementation of the National Plan of Action in relation to harmful traditional practices and child health are reported in paragraphs 35-37 and 49-66 respectively of this reply. Other outcomes of the implementation of the National Plan of Action are also indicated in the health and child protection part of the State party report as well as subsequent parts of this reply.

Developing a New National Plan

  1. The Government is preparing the third National Plan of Action on Children (2015/16-2019/20). Reflecting the current situation of children in Ethiopia and the comprehensive child policy submitted by the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs for approval by the Council of Ministers, the third National Plan of Action focuses on seven identified priority areas. These are: child protection, child care and support, access to quality education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, child participation, leisure and cultural activities, and strengthening institutional capacity for the implementation of children’s rights. The third National Plan of Action will be aligned with the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (2015-2019), and other relevant development programmes and policies, and, therefore, will be instrumental in prioritizing children’s issues in the coming development strategies and programmes of the Government.

2. Please provide further detailed information on measures to coordinate activities under the Convention across sectors and between central, regional and local levels. In particular, with reference to paragraph 21 of the State party report, please provide detailed information on human and financial resources allocated to the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, and also elaborate on the Ministry’s working strategies, referred to in paragraph 22 of the State party report.

Coordinating Activities under the Convention

  1. The Government, through the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, adopted a child mainstreaming strategy. The Ministry developed a Guideline on Child Mainstreaming that federal government agencies follow. The guideline helps line ministries and other agencies mainstream children’s rights in their activities, and incorporate children’s issues in their policies, strategies and programmes. The Ministry also uses the Child Rights Committee established at the federal level as a mechanism to facilitate its responsibility of coordinating activities under the Convention.

  2. The regional states and the two federal cities (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa) follow a similar approach in coordinating activities under the Convention. At regional levels, the principal coordinating executive agencies are the regional Bureaux of Women, Children and Youth Affairs. The regional states are administratively structured at the levels of zones (in the case of the two federal cities, sub-cities), and woredas (the lowest level of administrative structure). The Regional States established Women, Youth and Children Affairs Offices accountable to the Regional Bureaux of Women, Children and Youth Affairs at these administrative levels. These offices have the primary responsibility of coordinating activities under the Convention in their respective jurisdictions. Child Rights Committees established at regional state, zonal and woreda levels facilitate coordination among the corresponding relevant agencies.

  3. The Government established special task forces to address particularly pressing issues needing high-level coordination. These include: the National Committee on Eradication of harmful traditional practices, the National Steering Committee on Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children, and the National and Regional Task Forces on orphans and vulnerable children. The Government also established special units within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to provide institutional support in monitoring trafficking of women and children, and child labour respectively.

Human and Financial Resources of the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs

  1. The Government continues its efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs through progressively increasing the latter’s allocated budget and enhancing its human resources both in terms of numbers and skills. Regional governments take similar measures. The budget allocated for the Ministry has significantly increased year to year, birr 45,487,026 in 2010/11 increased to birr 227,169,929 in 2013/14. The Human Resources also increased from 170 in 2010/11 to 232 in 2014/15.

  2. The Government is carrying out a civil service restructuring and reform programmes including the implementation of business process reengineering measures in public service offices to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of its civil service. As a result, the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs has a functionally streamlined institutional set-up, as well as improved systems of coordination, collaboration, networking, timely communication, accountability, and monitoring and evaluation.

Working Strategies of the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs

  1. The Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs formulates different child specific long and short-term development plans, programmes and national plans of action. In the implementing these, the Ministry adopts the following strategies: promoting child participation, continuous advocacy, sensitization, awareness raising, capacity building, intensive community mobilization, creating and strengthening partnerships, conducting researches and studies to identify needs and root causes of children’s problems, and scaling up of best practices both at community and organizational level.

3. Please indicate the steps taken, if any, towards establishing a centralized data collection system, disaggregated by age, sex, ethnicity, geography and socioeconomic background.

  1. The Government established the Central Statistics Agency to organize the centralized collection, compilation, analysis and supply of national statistics. The Agency conducts decadal censuses, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey every five years. As indicated under paragraph 57 of the State party report, the Government is working with the Agency to address the gaps in data related to children in the latest census conducted in 2007.

  2. In 2012, the Government enacted the Vital Events Registration and National Identity Card Proclamation No. 760/2012 introducing a national system for the registration of vital events including birth. To implement the Proclamation, the Government established the Federal Vital Events Registration Agency by issuing Council of Ministers Regulation No. 278/2013. The Agency as well as its governing bodies — a council and board composed of relevant federal and regional government agencies that will oversee the vital events registration system — are now formally set up. Regional states followed a similar direction by adopting respective regulations and by establishing bodies responsible for the coordination and implementation of registration services at all administrative level. All regional states will send their data to a central database system. It will thus be possible to have centralized nation-wide data on children.

  3. The Ministry is developing a Child Wellbeing Management Information System (MIS) to centralize data on children from federal, regional and local government agencies across all sectors. Accordingly, child wellbeing indicators to be used at both federal to regional state levels are identified. The MIS links and properly aligns the identified targets from the federal to the regional and local levels. In addition to the indicators, the MIS includes a monitoring framework equipped with the required resources. At present, the MIS usable at the regional state level is established and piloting is under way in the Amhara; Oromia; Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples; and Harari Regional States, and the federal cities of Dire Adwa and Addis Ababa. The design of the MIS usable at the federal level is in progress.

4. Please inform the Committee about measures taken to address the discrimination and stigma faced by girls, children with disabilities, and children of ethnic minorities, as well as by children who live with HIV/AIDS and/or noma (cancrum oris).

  1. The Federal Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, nation, nationality, social origin, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, property, birth, or other status. The constitutions of the regional states contain similar injunctions. The Government issued several subsidiary laws and acceded to relevant international treaties in line with its commitment to end discrimination. The Government also designs policies and is implementing strategies as well as development plans and programmes aimed at achieving equality of opportunity for marginalized population groups and children. Thus, discrimination on the ground of Noma is no occurrences in Ethiopia.

Preventing Discrimination against Girls

  1. The Government adopts the Development and Change Package of Ethiopian Women to address gender discrimination. The Package aims at ensuring the equal participation of women in all sectors by tackling obstacles to attaining gender equality in the economic, social and political spheres. The Government, through the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, also formulated and implemented a National Plan for Gender Equality (2006-2010).

  2. A crucial measure the Government implements to address discrimination against girls is promoting and creating favourable conditions for their education. The Education Sector Development Programme sets targets to achieve gender parity in the education and training sectors. Measures implemented in the Programme to attain these targets include strengthening gender forums, establishing and strengthening girls’ education advisory committees and girls/gender clubs, integrating and mainstreaming gender issues during planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, mobilizing communities and raising their awareness on the strategic importance of girls’ education for socioeconomic development, and providing preferential subsidies to vulnerable children. The Government trained girls themselves to empower them. It also implemented gender sensitive school curricula and affirmative action measures.

  3. The Government reviewed and updated its Girls’ Education Strategy and Action Plan. It also adopts and implements other policy measures, directives, and working documents including a Gender Mainstreaming Guideline, a Gender Responsive Pedagogy Training Manual, a Life Skills Training Manual and Implementation Guidelines, and a Sexual Violence Code of Conduct.

Preventing Discrimination against Children with Disabilities

  1. The Federal Constitution under its article 41(5) requires the State to “within available means allocate resource to provide rehabilitation and assistance to the physically and mentally disabled.” In 2010, Ethiopia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and established a National Council to oversee its implementation. The Convention is translated and distributed in several local languages. The Government also took other significant legislative measures to ensure that persons with disabilities including children are not discriminated. These include the Right to Employment of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation No. 568/2008 prohibiting employers from engaging in discriminatory practices on the basis of disabilities; and the Building Proclamation No. 624/2009 requiring the accessibility of all public buildings to persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs.

  2. The Government encourages and cooperates with associations of the disabled. Such associations include: the Ethiopian National Association of the Visually Impaired, the Ethiopian National Association of Women with Disabilities, the Ethiopian National Association of Persons with Hearing and Speaking Disabilities, the National Association of Disabled Persons, and the National Association of Persons Afflicted with Leprosy. Currently, the Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ Social Welfare Department, is working together with these associations to incorporate issues of disabled children in the United Nations Millennium Development Programme. The Government also encourages the participation of children with disabilities in children’s parliaments to promote their interests within and outside the parliaments.

  3. The Government adopts mainstreaming as a useful tool for the promotion of disability issues making its policies and programmes responsive to the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, including children. Two significant measures in this connection that specifically address discrimination against children with disabilities are the Social Protection Policy and the Growth and Transformation Plan that lay special emphasis to addressing the needs and rights of children with disabilities.

  4. The Government adopts a National Plan of Action on Persons with Disabilities (2012-2021) continuing the previous Action Plan launched in 2000. The new Plan envisions an inclusive society in Ethiopia that promotes, protects, and ensures full and equal enjoyment of fundamental rights, public services, opportunities for education and work, and that allows full participation in family, community and national life, by all persons with disabilities. One of the principles set out in the National Plan of Action is respect for the rights and evolving capacities of children with disabilities. Within the larger society, the Government promotes positive attitudes of acceptance towards persons with disabilities, including children, producing and broadcasting a series of radio and TV programmes. The Government also takes measures, reported in paragraphs 43–45, below specifically addressing discrimination that children with disabilities face in the realm of education.
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