Bolivia Accepts Recommendations to Address Violations of Rights of Children

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The issues of violence against children in the home, school and workplace; child labour and the right to education, featured prominently in the recently concluded UPR of Bolivia.

A total of 193 recommendations were made to Bolivia, of which only 15 were rejected. However while accepting the remainder of the recommendations, Bolivia claimed that 132 of them were either already implemented or in the process of being implemented – including a number relating to the issues listed above.

Of the remaining 46 recommendations, 12 dealt with issues raised by Edmund Rice International in its submission.

In formulating recommendations, States and NGOs that suggest them face the dilemma of deciding how specific to make the recommendations. On the one hand, States Under Review are reluctant to accept recommendations that are very specific, and for which they can easily be judged accountable, but on the other hand, the broader and more general the recommendation the less effective it is likely to be.

For example the recommendation of Spain which was closely aligned to that proposed by ERI ‘to Develop a National Strategic Plan for the Progressive Elimination of Child Labour, with short- and medium-term goals as well as follow-up and evaluation mechanisms, both quantitative and qualitative, and endowed with financial resources for its implementation at the national, departmental and municipal level’  was rejected, whilst the recommendation put forward by Poland to ‘Introduce effective and comprehensive measures to prevent violence against children and to eliminate the worst forms of child labour’ was accepted.

The challenge is now to work with the government of Bolivia to ensure the recommendations are effectively implemented. A clear theme that emerged during the review is that whilst Bolivia frequently has comprehensive and admirable legislation in place regarding human rights, the resources and structures for implementation are often lacking.

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