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Concluding Observations, CEDAW/C/MOZ/CO/2, 23 May 2007: Mozambique

32. The Committee is concerned that adequate sex education, essential for a healthy view of sexuality, is not sufficiently covered in school curricula. The Committee is particularly concerned that, on the contrary, girls in schools are sometimes victims of sexual abuse by teachers, colleagues and others, despite the existing legal provisions addressing this issue.

33. The Committee urges the State party to guarantee that adequate age-appropriate sex education is provided to girls and boys, aimed at a healthy and responsible view of sexuality. The Committee also urges the State party to ensure that those responsible for the harassment or abuse of girls in the educational system are effectively punished, that such abuse is viewed as a human rights violation and that girls are supported in denouncing such situations. The Committee also urges the State party to take measures to promote the creation of a positive environment that will prevent such situations from arising, including by encouraging families not to accept the settlement of such cases through the marriage of the girl with the aggressor.

44. The Committee, although welcoming the major breakthrough brought about by the new Family Law, is concerned that discriminatory customary practices still persist with regard to marriage and family relations. The Committee is further concerned that women in de facto unions (a common form of union in Mozambique) and their children do not enjoy adequate legal protection.

45. The Committee calls upon the State party to ensure regular monitoring of the implementation of the new Family Law to guarantee equal rights for women in marriage and family relations, and to ensure that where conflicts arise between formal legal provisions and customary law, the formal provisions prevail. The Committee recommends that the State party seriously consider the situation of women in de facto unions, and of the children resulting from such unions, and ensure that they enjoy adequate legal protections.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CEDAW-Mozambique-2007-eng