Cape Verde

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Persistent violations
  • Physical abuse of children[1]
  • Sexual exploitation of children[2]
  • Corporal punishment[3]
  • Ill-treatment of children by police[4]
  • Detention of children in inappropriate conditions, including with adults and in overcrowded facilities[5]
  • Lack of alternative sentences to detention for children in conflict with the law[6]
  • Trafficking of children[7]
  • Barriers to access to education for children, particularly girls[8]
  • Inadequate reproductive health care and education[9]
  • Inadequate provision to combat HIV and AIDS[10]
  • Child labour[11]

For more details, go here

Footnotes
  1. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, Universal Periodic Review
  2. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, Universal Periodic Review
  3. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, Universal Periodic Review
  4. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, Universal Periodic Review
  5. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review
  6. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review
  7. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Universal Periodic Review
  8. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  9. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  10. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review
  11. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Universal Periodic Review



Introduction

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, 600km off the Senegalese coast, Cape Verde is an archipelago nation. Since the country first held multiparty elections in 1991, it has transformed into one of the most stable democratic nations in West Africa. However; international human rights mechanisms have highlighted a number of concerns about the State’s human rights record, including physical abuse of children in the home and in schools and the ill-treatment of children by the police.


Geography

Cape Verde is an archipelago nation 600km off the Senegalese coast, in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands have a hot and dry climate and experience periodic droughts. The capital city is Praia.


Population and Language

The country is home to just over 500,000 people,[1] a figure that is significantly lower than the diaspora population. Portuguese and Crioulo, a dialect which mixes Portuguese and West African vocabulary, are both widely spoken.


History and Politics

Cape Verde was colonised by the Portuguese in in the 15th century, and the islands remained part of the Portuguese empire until the islands gained their independence is 1975. Following independence, Aristide Pereira and the Partido Africano da Independencia da Guine e Cabo Verde led the country as a single party state. The party became the Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde (PAICV), reflecting political events in Guinea Bissau and increasing distance between the two states, but it was not until 1990 that multi-party politics was instituted.

In the first multi-party elections of 1991, the opposition Movimento pela Democracia (MPD) won a landslide and Pereira lost the Presidency one month later. Cape Verdean politics have been dominated by the MPD and PAICV since the electoral reforms, the MPD held both the Presidency and a majority in the National Assembly throughout the 1990s, and the PAICV have held both the legislature and the Presidency since 2001. Jorge Carlos Fonseca, of the MPD, won Presidential elections in 2011 and faces the unusual position in Cape Verdean politics of governing with an opposition legislature.[2]


Economy

Cape Verde has experienced strong and sustained economic growth in recent years, and real GDP growth of more than 5 per cent between 2005 and 2008. The global financial crisis of 2008, caused a decline in growth, but real time growth remained positive throughout the period and is expected to return to 6.8 per cent in 2012. The World Bank has credited this success to “good governance, sound macroeconomic management … trade openness and increasing integration into the global economy”. The islands have few natural resources, and the arid and mountainous terrain poses serious obstacles to agriculture, making the country a net importer of fuel and foods. The services industry, particularly tourism, accounts for 75 per cent of national GDP, and remittances a further 9 per cent. The national currency, the Escudo, is pegged to the Euro, and the State has strong trade ties with the EU, primarily through Portugal. [3]


Media and Civil Society

Reporters Without Borders rated Cape Verde 9 out of 179 in its Press Freedom Index of 2011/12, the country's highest rating and the highest rating of any African country that year.[4] Freedom House, too, has identified the country as among the freest media environments in Africa and the Lusophone world. The Constitution contains protections for press freedom and, though there are requirements that newspapers and other publications obtain operating licenses, there have been no reports of political abuses of media regulations. The majority of media outlets are state operated, but there are a growing number of private publications and outlets. Difficulty in raising funds, and a lack of specific regulations governing community radio have, however, been identified as major issues affecting the sustainability of the radio sector.[5]

Human Rights and Children's Rights

In reviewing Cape Verde's human rights record, UN human rights mechanisms have raised a number of concerns over the treatment of children in the country. Violence against children has been a prominent feature of criticisms of the country, including the physical and sexual abuse of children in the home and in schools, as well as the ill-treatment of children by police.[6]


Footnotes:

  1. UNDESA, "Population Statistics 2011"
  2. BBC, "Jorge Carlos Fonseca wins Cape Verde presidential poll" 22 August 2011
  3. World Bank, "Cape Verde Country Brief" September 2011
  4. Reporters Without Borders, "Press Freedom Index 2011/12"
  5. Freedom House, "Freedom of the Press 2012: Cape Verde"
  6. CRIN, "CAPE VERDE: Persistent violations of children's rights"

Sources:

Quick Facts

  • Population: 505,300 (UNDP, 2012)
  • Population under 18: 190,000 (UNICEF, 2011)
  • Number of internet users: 167,542 (32% of the population) (Internet World Stats, 2012)
  • Human Development Index ranking: 133 (UNDP, 2012)
  • Happy Planet ranking: N/A