On 8 October 2015, DCI-Mauritania/AMSME presented its recommendations at the pre-session of the Universal Periodic Review of Mauritania. The official review of the State of Mauritania took place on Tuesday 3 November 2015, and a number of reviewing States supported various recommendations made by DCI-Mauritania.
Despite acknowledging the various efforts made by the Mauritanian State, DCI-Mauritania continued to observe a number of violations of women and children’s rights. DCI-Mauritania particularly highlighted the prevalence of acts of sexual violence committed against children and women, with 1’960 cases of child abuse and rape reported between 2010 and 2015, and a number of shortcomings in the national juvenile justice system. DCI-Mauritania also reported that 69% of girls were subjected to the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and that 32% of children were married before reaching the age of 18.
In the light of these problems, DCI-Mauritania recommended that the State implement the following measures:
Elaborate and implement plans of action aiming at combating all forms of discrimination and violence against women, notably through intensified sensitization programs and reinforced collaboration with the civil society organization. The United Kingdom supported this recommendation
On Sexual Violence and Female Genital Mutilation
Enact a legislation that clearly defines and criminalizes sexual violence against children and women, including rape
Strengthen efforts to enforce the criminalization of FGM and ensure that it applies in all circumstances. The Philippines shared this recommendation in order to strengthen the efforts to combat FGM;
Establish an effective and preventive strategy against harmful tradition practices, including FGM, and develop that strategy in consultation with civil society organizations. Latvia supported this recommendation and Namibia proposed that a national program of action was set up;
Awareness-raising campaigns on the negative effects of FGM on the health and self-esteem of children;
Concretely support centers run by NGOs that provide support and assistance to victims, especially to guarantee their rehabilitation and reintegration.
On Juvenile Justice:
Establish effective judicial and monitoring mechanisms to effectively punish perpetrators of violence against children and to prevent out-of-court/friendly settlements;
Raise awareness on the Convention on the Rights of the Child through sensitization programs at the national level and by increasing collaboration with civil society organizations. The States of Uganda, Morocco and Qatar supported this recommendation and the States of Sierra Leone, Vietnam, and Ethiopia proposed that such programs should be implemented in schools.
Concretely implement the law preventing marriage before the age of 18 and concretely revise the responsibility given to the legal tutor of the child;
On Child Labor:
Effectively implement the laws prohibiting child labor, a recommendation that was reiterated by the States of Sierra Leone, Palestine and Italy;
Initiate a nation-wide awareness-raising program to eliminate child labor and ensuring that families receive adequate and sufficient support to protect their children. Uganda, Morocco and Qatar shared this recommendation and Sierra Leone, Vietnam and Ethiopia proposed to implement awareness-raising campaigns on child labor in schools.
Define and implement a national plan of action to put an end to the phenomenon of talibés and to protect all children in vulnerable situations. Malaysia made a similar recommendation by underlining the special protection needs of street children.
DCI-Mauritania will continue to monitor children and women’s rights and help the Mauritanian government to find solutions in order to tackle the issues that continue to affect the well-being of children and women.
Up next for the UPR pre-sessions: Belgium and Sierra Leone in December, with our two national sections submitting their recommendations.