Children's and Young Persons’ Rights

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received a petition in favor of Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosica against the Dominican Republic for denying them the Dominican nationality although they were born there. The petitioners claimed that, since their nationality was not acknowledged, the girls were exposed to the imminent threat of being expelled from the country and, lacking an identity document, could not attend school.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the indigenous Mapuche community of Paynemil, because they had been exposed to water contaminated with lead and mercury. The applicant requested that the State be ordered to provide enough drinking water to ensure the survival of the affected community, to conduct the diagnosis and treatment of affected minors, and to adopt adequate measures to prevent future soil and water contamination.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed a complaint with the IACHD alleging violation of children's right to the protection required by their status as minors, as well as of rights to health, a healthy environment, land ownership and effective remedy. The Official Defender had filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the Paynemil Mapuche community exposed to consumption of water contaminated with lead and mercury.

The Prosecutor's Office initiated a public civil action against the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, seeking to achieve enforcement of the Children and Adolescents Law (domestic law), including the creation and maintenance of confinement and partial release programs for young offenders.  The Regional Courts for Young Offenders had to order socio-educational confinement measures to be implemented in Porto Alegre, because this was the only city where such facilities were available.  This situation prevented children and adolescents from exercising their right to be confined at the same or

South Africa is in the midst of an HIV/AIDS epidemic with more than 6 million people infected.    In 2,000, with infections of newborns in the range of 80,000 per year, the anti-retroviral drug Nevirapine offered the potential of preventing the infection of 30 – 40,000 children per year.  The drug was offered to the Government for free for five years, but the South African Government announced it would introduce Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) only in certain pilot sites and would delay setting these up for a year, thereby denying most mothers access to treatment.  The Treatment Action

A community of squatters, evicted from an informal settlement in Wallacedene had set up minimal shelters of plastic and other materials at a sports centre adjacent to Wallacedene community centre. They lacked basic sanitation or electricity. The group brought an action under sections 26(the right of access to adequate housing) and 28 (children's right to basic shelter) of the South African Constitution for action by various levels of government.

An action was filed by several minors represented by their parents against the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cancel existing timber license agreements in the country and to stop issuance of new ones. It was claimed that the resultant deforestation and damage to the environment violated their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health (Sections 16 and 15, Article II of the Constitution).   The petitioners asserted that they represented others of their generation as well as generations yet unborn.

The applicants were permanent residents in South Africa. They challenged legislative provisions, which limited entitlement to social grants for the aged to South African citizens, and would prevent children of non-South African citizens in the same position as the applicants from claiming any of the childcare grants available to South African children (regardless of the citizenship-status of the children themselves).  

FIDH claimed that France had violated the right to medical assistance (Article 13 of Revised European Social Charter) by ending the exemption of illegal immigrants, with very low incomes, from charges for medical and hospital treatment. Further, the complainant alleged the rights of children to protection (Article 17) were contravened by a 2002 legislative reform that restricted access to medical services for children of illegal immigrants. The Committee found that France had acted contrary to the rights of children, but not adults.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) alleged that a large number of children in Portugal (estimated at 200,000 children) worked in poor conditions that affected their health. The ICJ claimed that Portugal was violating article 7(1) of the European Social Charter (ESC) by failing to properly supervise child labour. The government disputed the ICJ's statistics, claiming a maximum of 27,000 children worked and only 2,500 children were paid workers and employed in contravention of the Charter.