Committing to children’s rights in Haiti

Bill on the Reorganization of the Institute for Social Well-Being and Research – not voted

Decree on Documentation (2014)

Any person without a birth certificate shall be granted a period of five (5) years from the publication of the present Decree to have their civil status regularized.

Government commissioners, justices of the peace, civil registrars, Haitian consuls abroad, religious officials of various faiths, CASEC members, and authorized persons in hospitals and psychiatric institutions shall inform the persons concerned and provide the necessary assistance to any person without a birth certificate with a view to the issuance of a birth certificate.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)

Ratified on 8 October 2013

Among its provisions, Article 10 stipulates that “[t]he widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family […] while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children” and that “[s]pecial measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young persons […] Children and young persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation. Their employment in work harmful to their morals or health or dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should be punishable by law.” Furthermore “[t]he States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing” (Article 11) and in Article 13 “[p]rimary education shall be compulsory and available free to all; [s]econdary education […], including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all”.

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2000)

Ratified on 30 April 2014 by the Haitian Parliament
Not ratified to date.

The protocol offers guarantees to protect children in situations of armed conflict. It obliges the States Parties to take measures to avoid the enlistment of children under 15 years of age into the armed forces and the participation of children in hostilities.

ILO Convention No. 138 (1973)

Ratified on 3 June 2009.
The convention concerns the minimum age for admission to employment or work, specified at 15 years of age. However, upon the ratification Haiti specified a minimum legal age of 14 year, which is permitted by the Convention under certain provisions.

ILO Convention No. 182 on eliminating the worst forms of child labour (1999)

Ratified on 19 July 2007.
The convention prohibits all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, as well as forced or compulsory labour and work likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children. The Member States are also required to take measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. A list of dangerous work that was drawn up in 2014, under the aegis of the Tripartite Committee gathering the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MAST), employer and worker organizations with technical support from the International Labour Office, in accordance with the convention is awaiting promulgation by the MAST. It is an integral part of the new Child Protection Code adopted by the Government on 20 August 2014 which is pending a vote in parliament.