Venezuela (CRC 07-07-2014)
The Committee considered the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (CRC/C/VEN/3-5) at its 1903rd and 1904th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.1903 and 1904), held on 1 and 2 September 2014, and adopted, at its 1929th meeting, held on 19 September 2014, the following concluding observations.
- The Committee welcomes the development of guidelines to ensure that children’s right to be heard is implemented in legal proceedings. However, the Committee is concerned about how the guidelines are translated into practice. Taking note of the legal progress made in allowing children older than 15 years to be part of the Community Councils, the Committee, nonetheless, regrets the lack of information on the actual representation of the elected children, their role and the results achieved. The Committee is further concerned about the lack of a comprehensive strategy to promote the participation of children in all spheres of life.
- In the light of its general comment No. 12 (2009) on the right of the child to be heard, the Committee recommends that the State party take measures to strengthen that right, in accordance with article 12 of the Convention. To that effect, it recommends that the State party:
(a) Develop a comprehensive strategy to promote the participation of children in all spheres of life, in consultation with children, all civil society organizations, UNICEF and other relevant organizations, and allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources, as well as a monitoring mechanism. The strategy should address the different needs of boys and girls, in terms of participation, and be directed to different groups of children, in particular children with disabilities, indigenous children, Afro-descendants and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) children;
(b) Provide training on the guidelines developed to ensure that children’s right to be heard is implemented in legal proceedings and closely monitor and evaluate their implementation;
(c) Closely monitor and evaluate the extent and results of the participation of adolescents in the Community Councils and include that information in its next periodic report.