Concluding Observations, CRC/C/VEN/CO/3-5, 19 September 2014: Venezuela
C. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)
27. The Committee notes with satisfaction the adoption of the Law against Racial Discrimination, in 2011, and other laws aimed at protecting the rights of indigenous peoples. It also welcomes the adoption of the Education Act, in 2009, which includes a provision on non-discrimination. However, the Committee is concerned at reports that those legal advances have not been translated into greater protection of children from discrimination. It also regrets the lack of information on the measures taken to combat discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, as well as against children living with HIV/AIDS. In that regard, the Committee is particularly concerned at the persistent patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls and the lack of adequate measures to address this situation. The Committee is also concerned at reports of cases of bullying and discrimination against children because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
28. The Committee recommends that the State party undertake all necessary measures to:
(a) Translate the legal and political advances for combatting racial and ethnic discrimination into greater protection of children’s rights, and conduct an evaluation of the implementation of laws, policies and programmes, including indicators, to measure the achievements;
(b) Eliminate patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that discriminate against girls, including through the implementation of educational and awareness-raising programmes;
(c) Prevent all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and disability, and ensure, in law and in practice, that such discrimination is prohibited and adequately sanctioned;
Respect for the views of the child
34. 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.
35. 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;
Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CRC-Venezuela-2014-eng