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FMSI’s submissions for Ghana and Zambia

09/05/2017: General House

FMSI submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council the reports for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Ghana and Zambia, in preparation for the next session of the HRC working group scheduled for November 6-17, 2017 in Geneva (Switzerland). On that occasion, both states will be examined on their performance regarding compliance with human rights, and on the progress made regarding the recommendations received during the previous UPR round.

The report on Zambia was submitted jointly with Franciscans International, and Edmund Rice International.

The report on Ghana highlights FMSI concerns related to child rights issues especially those related to education in the country, namely the teacher/pupil ratio and the obstacles to education such as disability, harmful traditional practices and forced marriages. The report also addresses the issues of child labour and corporal punishment.

The statistics and information presented in this submission came from personal interviews and surveys with local members within the country and also includes information from national institutions dealing with children’s issues in Ghana.

The report on Zambia focuses on: (1) child marriage and (2) the impact of mining on human rights and the environment.

Regarding child marriage, the following recommendations were addressed to the Government of Zambia:

a)  Intensify efforts in terms of raising awareness of the population at large on the negative consequences of early marriages on the development and the welfare of children;

b)  Accelerate the legislative reform to comply with international standards and harmonize the existing legislation related to child marriage and the legal age of marriage;

c)   Provide education on sexual and reproductive health to prevent teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

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