UN recommendations are out!

Human Rights Council Working Group

on the Universal Periodic Review

Fourteenth session / Geneva, 22 October–5 November 2012

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Botswana noted concerns raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child over multiple forms of discrimination against children.

Brazil raised concerns over reports of social stigma and hardship faced by single mothers, which may lead mothers to relinquish their children. It hoped that the enactment of the 2011 Special Adoption Act will improve this situation.

Costa Rica … expressed concern at the discrimination of children of single women,

Germany … expressed concern over… the situation of single mothers and their children.

Hungary … requested information on measures to protect pregnant employees as well as to counter discrimination against single mothers.

Switzerland noted deficiencies in the birth registration system

Italy… raised concerns over reports of inadequate universal birth registration system,

Ireland noted the absence of a universal birth registration system in the Republic of Korea, which may give rise to children being secretly adopted between their birth and registration. It noted the results of a 2010 survey, which estimated that there might be as many as 17,000 undocumented migrant children were unable to access to medical care and other services.

The Netherlands … noted concerns expressed by the CEDAW Committee about disadvantages faced by women in the employment sector and the concerns from the CESCR on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Korean Government Responses

Regarding birth registration and adoption, the law was changed in 2008 so that an adopted child would enjoy the same rights and status as a biological child, and the problems in the past of registering a birth rather than an adoption were mostly corrected. Legal controls were also strengthened. Adoptions can only take place with a court permit. [NOTE: They are referring to regular adoption vs. simple adoption, NOT the birth registration. They are also not recognizing the widespread secret adoptions as a problem. –Jane Jeong Trenka]

60. The Government has been making thorough preparation for accession to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Child Adoption. For instance, international adoption previously overseen by private adoption agencies will now be overseen by the Government. The Government will also monitor closely the recently launched ‘court permit system’, prior to ratifying the Hague Convention. [However, the Government still does not have an adequate watchdog function over the agencies, and the adoption agencies are still the first contact for parents considering relinquishing. –JJT]

61. Under the Single Parent Family Support Act, support for childcare, education, and living subsidies are provided. For low-income single mothers under the age of 24 there are self-support and employment package programmes with counseling and training to enable the families to become financially independent and viable. Moreover, relevant laws and school regulations have been amended to help teenage parents stay in school. [STILL NOT ADEQUATE to provide a decent standard of living, too much emphasis on institutions – JJT]

Recommendations

124.9. Adhere to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (France); Ratify the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Honduras); Accede to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Ireland);

124.10.     Consider withdrawing the remaining reservations to international human rights instruments to which it is a party (namely to the CRC, ICCPR, OP-CRC-SC, CEDAW) (Slovenia);

124.11.     Withdraw its reservations on Article 21(a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Germany); Lift its reservation to article 21 (a) of the CRC (Ireland);

124.26.  Increase governmental efforts to ensure that women, in particular single mothers, can have access, as men do, without any discrimination, to employment, equal pay and matrimonial rights, especially following an inheritance or a divorce (Belgium);

124.28.  Combat discrimination against single mothers and their children (Brazil); Conduct national awareness campaigns to eradicate the discrimination against single mothers, in law and in practice (Mexico); Establish a governmental authority to support and advise single mothers and their children (Germany);

124.29.     Improve the registration of children with a view to ensuring that the statelessness of children is prevented (South Africa); Revise the single parent family support law and introduce legislation to ensure that all children are automatically and legally registered immediately after birth, regardless of parents’ legal status and origin (Norway); Facilitate the implementation of a birth registration system to allow immediate registration at birth, independently of the status or nationality of parents (France); Provide for a full system of universal birth registration including immediate registration upon birth regardless of the parent’s nationality or status in the country (Ireland); Consider the possibility to introduce a system of automatic registration of children born in the country, regardless of the parents’ nationality or status (Italy); Revise the national legislation with a view to guarantee that all persons are registered at birth, independently of their migrant condition or the nationality of their parents (Mexico); Enact measures regarding the civil registration of children at birth in order to fight the possible traffic in human beings (Romania); Carry out a legislative review so as to ensure an automatic and legal registration at birth, while guaranteeing the protection of personal data and especially the right to access such data (Switzerland); Review its birth registration system to safeguard the human rights of unwed mothers and children by (i) ensuring immediate birth registration is available to all children regardless of the parents legal status; (ii) ensuring that the birth registration accurately indicates the biological parent(s) of the child; and (iii) taking steps to prevent birth registration of children by third parties, such as adoptive parents, that could result in the occurrence of de facto adoptions in the absence of proper judicial oversight, which could also put children at risk of being trafficked (Canada);

124.47.     Continue the review of its international adoption system with a view to reform relevant legislation, and to bring it fully in line with the CRC; make the consent of teenage single mothers in the process mandatory; and adopt measures for all adoptions to be subject to the approval of a central authority with a clear mandate and responsibilities for the judicial supervision and the regulation (Honduras); Establish a national adoption centre and an obligation to register right after birth (Germany);

124.49.  Implement legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in the workplace, and set up mechanisms to monitor the implementation of this legislation (The Netherlands);

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