Andorra

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Persistent violations
  • Corporal punishment[1]
  • Child abuse and neglect (including domestic violence)[2]
  • Inadequate access to health and social services for children of illegal residents[3]
  • Declaration on articles 7 and 8 of the CRC (on nationality)[4]

For more details, go here

Footnotes
  1. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review
  2. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review
  3. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review
  4. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review



Introduction

Located on the border between Spain and France, Andorra is a landlocked principality in the Pyrenees. The Bishop of Urgell and the President of France act as co-Princes of the country, though the democratically elected General Council now holds the power to legislate. Criticisms of children’s rights in the country tend to focus on a lack of human rights laws, rather than failings in human rights standards.

Geography

Andorra is a small landlocked and mountainous country on the border between France and Spain. At an elevation of more than 1000 metres, the country's capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe.

Population and Language

The country's population has more than doubled over the past 30 years to its current level of 86,000[1]. This rapid growth has largely been a result of immigration, the level of which has led to unusual national demographic characteristics. The most prevalent nationality within Andorra is Spanish, at around 44 per cent, native born Andorrans account for 32 per cent of the population while there are substantial Portuguese and French communities[2].

The national language is Catalan, but Castilian Spanish and French are also widely spoken.

History and Politics

Andorra was historically ruled by the Spanish Counts of Urgell, a title now passed to the See of Urgell. The line divided when one of these Counts became king of France, a history that has led to an unusual constitutional arrangement in the form of a parliamentary co-principality. Now, the French head of state is joint head of state of Andorra in conjunction with the Bishop of Urgell. The role of the co-princes is now, however, largely ceremonial, as the Consell Generall holds legislative power while the Cap de Govern (Prime Minister) leads the executive.

There are currently two major parties in the Consell General, the Democrats for Andorra (DA) and the Social Democrats (SD). In a dramatic landslide victory in April 2011 the DA took control of the legislature following the dissolution of the previous parliament amidst the SD's inability to pass their budget. Antoni Marti of the DA is the current Prime Minister.

Economy

Tourism accounts for around half of Andorra's economic activity, with over 2 million people visiting the country every year, and particularly high numbers during the skiing season. The country also maintains an agricultural base, specialising in tobacco products and livestock breeding.

Andorra is not a member of the European Union, though it does use the Euro as its currency. Traditionally the country has been a prominent tax haven, but legislation was introduced in the Parliament in 2011 with the intention of bringing a variety of new taxes to the country[3].


Media and Civil Society

Andorra has access to high quality media from France and Spain as well as national newspapers, television and radio stations, and has a Constitution with substantial protections for free speech and a free press. A large majority of Andorrans also have access to internet.

Human Rights and Children's Rights

Andorra has a wealthy population and a high standard of living. The Constitution contains strong human rights protections and Andorra, as a member of the Council of Europe, has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and accepted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has raised concerns in relation to the rights of children in Andorra, however, though these concerns tend to focus on the absence of national law to implement the Convention rather than significant failings in human rights standards per se[4].

  1. UNDESA Population Statistics 2011
  2. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Andorra State Report, July 2001, paragraph 23
  3. Reuters, Andorra to end long history as tax haven: PM
  4. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations, March 2002

Sources:


Quick Facts

  • Population: 87,500 (UNDP, 2012)
  • Population under 18: 16,000 (UNICEF, 2011)
  • Number of internet users: 68,740 (81.0% of population) (Internet World Stats, 2011)
  • Human development index ranking: 33 (UNDP, 2012)
  • Happy Planet ranking: N/A