Experts of the Committee on the Rights of the Child Commend Cuba’s Health System, and Ask About Justice for Adolescents
The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the combined third to sixth periodic report of Cuba, with Committee Experts commending Cuba’s healthcare system, and asking about the situation of adolescents in the justice system.
A Committee Expert said that Cuba’s health system was reported globally to be one of the best. Was there a shortage of doctors and paediatricians domestically due to programmes encouraging them to gain experience overseas? Another Committee Expert commended that 99 per cent of children were born in hospitals and had their births registered.
On justice for adolescents, a Committee Expert said that following protests against the Government in 2021, 27 teenagers aged under 16 had received punishments as a consequence of these events, including being sent to comprehensive development schools. At least six adolescents had received imprisonment sentences for 6 to 19 years. Faith Marshall-Harris, Committee Expert and Coordinator of the Country Taskforce for Cuba, applauded the minimum age for criminality being 16, which likely was one of the highest globally. What measures were in place regarding assessing the cases of children aged 16 to 18?
In response, the delegation said that none of the allegations received by the Committee regarding ill-treatment or torture of minors by public officials were true. Cuba had set the age of criminal responsibility at 16, and no person under 16 could be deprived of liberty. The law of criminal proceedings introduced safeguards for children aged 16 to 18 charged with offences. Temporary detention was only enforced for such children for crimes that posed a risk to society. Relevant courts acted in strict compliance with the law and ensured that due process was upheld. There were no minors who were prisoners. Children who committed crimes were provided with support teams that included psychologists in comprehensive training schools. Currently, support was given to 1,700 children in such facilities. Most of these children were boys aged between 14 and 16. The Government conducted visits to these facilities regularly.
Introducing the report, Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba and head of the delegation, said that since 2011, the Cuban Government had, with broad public cooperation, including from children and adolescents, intensively updated and harmonised legislation. The Cuban Government was working to enact the previous recommendations of the Committee, focusing on recognising the autonomy of children, among other issues.
In concluding remarks, Ms. Marshall-Harris noted that there were always areas where the Committee saw gaps, and its role was to help the State party identify those gaps. Cuba had done extremely well in answering questions as clearly as possible within the time available. The dialogue had been enjoyable.
Ms. Rodríguez Camejo said it had been an interactive dialogue by which Cuba could emerge strengthened in its protection of children and adolescents. The concerns and views of children would guide Cuba’s national policy in the area of children.
Mikiko Otani, Committee Chair, conveyed the best wishes of the Committee to the children of Cuba.
The delegation of Cuba consisted of representatives from the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Education, the University of Havana, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The Committee will issue the concluding observations on the report of Cuba at the end of its ninetieth session on 3 June. Those, and other documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, will be available on the session’s webpage. Summaries of the public meetings of the Committee can be found here, while webcasts of the public meetings can be found here.
The Committee will next meet in public on Thursday, 12 May at 3 p.m. to begin its consideration of the combined third to fifth periodic report of Djibouti (CRC/C/DJI/3-5).
The Committee has before it the combined third to sixth report of Cuba (CRC/C/CUB/3-6).
Presentation of Report
ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba and head of the delegation, said that since 2011, the Cuban Government had, with broad public cooperation including from children and adolescents, intensively updated and harmonised legislation.
In 2018-2019, a popular referendum on the draft Constitution of Cuba was held, and 86.85 per cent of the seven million voters who voted supported the adoption of the draft. More than 100,000 consultations were carried out, with 1,585 held with university students and 3,256 held with secondary school students between 12 and 18 years old. The Magna Carta elevated to constitutional status the principle of the best interests of the child.
On 1 January 2022, four new laws entered into force: the law on courts of justice, the law on criminal procedure, the law on administrative procedure and the Code of Procedures, which reinforced guarantees and strengthened the protection of children and adolescents in accordance with the Convention. Other legal norms that extended this protection had been presented to the Cuban Parliament, including the Criminal Code, the criminal enforcement law and the law on the protection of constitutional rights. A Family Code was also being developed to strengthen the protection of families in Cuba. The United Nations Children’s Fund had contributed to holding consultations on this Code, and a referendum on it would be held.
In 2020, there were 2.3 million Cubans under the age of 18, representing 21 per cent of the overall population. The Government was discussing the establishment of a more effective national mechanism for protecting minors’ rights. The Government was also working on a comprehensive policy of care for children and young people.
The availability of statistical data still failed to meet the high level of detail required by the Committee. In this regard, a decree was approved that supported progress in obtaining disaggregated statistics on children and adolescents.
In 2022, 69 per cent of the budget had been allocated to sectors with a very high impact on children’s comprehensive protection, in particular public health, education and social assistance and security. The National Health System was free and universal. Throughout the pandemic, the Government continued its vaccination scheme. Children were vaccinated against COVID-19 from two years of age with domestically developed vaccines of proven efficacy. At the end of 2021, children, adolescents and young people returned safely to their classrooms. Cuba had also contributed to protecting children and adolescents around the world during the pandemic, with 58 medical brigades providing assistance in 42 countries and territories.
In Cuba, the system for the specialised care of children and adolescents with disabilities promoted integrated education. With each school year, the number of learners with disabilities in regular classrooms had increased. In 2020, Cuba was recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in its “Global Education Monitoring Report” for inclusive quality education and for the “Educate Your Child Programme”.
In 2019, the World Health Organization announced that the Cuban Government had for four consecutive years eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV-AIDS and congenital syphilis. Cuba had a comprehensive sexuality education policy, which included prevention, care and treatment actions on sexually transmitted infections, HIV-AIDS and hepatitis.
The Cuban Government was working to enact the previous recommendations of the Committee, focusing on recognising the autonomy of children; replacing notions of “parental authority” with “parental responsibility”; modifying policies for alternative care modalities; reinforcing the premise that children remain in the care of their own family, including children and adolescents in family counselling; requiring specialised officials for dealing with family matters; implementing judicial protection for child victims of violence; and expressly prohibiting inappropriate forms of discipline, including the use of corporal punishment in any form.
Child labour was outlawed by law. Measures had been adopted that, with broad effectiveness, had prevented infants from becoming victims of sex tourism, human trafficking, servitude, smuggling, sale of organs or illegal adoptions. Article 86 of the Constitution explicitly prohibited all forms of violence against children, including family violence. The comprehensive strategy for the prevention of gender violence and violence in the family for the period 2021-2030 introduced concrete actions preventing discrimination and violence against women and girls. The Government would work on raising awareness about these issues.
The Cuban State had policies for decriminalising, educating and integrating into society children under 16 years of age who committed crimes. Cuba had set a single minimum age of criminal responsibility that at 16 was higher than the world average. The administration of justice for young people aged 16 to 18 was carried out in full accordance with articles 37 and 40.3 of the Convention. Criminal legislation established the application of the juvenile justice system for persons up to 20 years of age.
Cuba had made progress in complying with almost all the recommendations made by the Committee, including those presented in 2015, despite the sanctions imposed by the Government of the United States for more than 60 years. These sanctions affected children’s access to medicines and other essential supplies. A fierce political and media campaign had also been held to discredit Cuba's real and effective protection of children and adolescents.
The Government would continue to work with civil society organizations to advance the State’s promotion and protection of children's rights.
Questions by Committee Experts
FAITH MARSHALL-HARRIS, Committee Expert and Coordinator of the Country Taskforce for Cuba, extended on behalf of the Committee condolences to the victims of the Saratoga Hotel explosion and their families.
Sixty years of sanctions against Cuba had impacted the State’s ability to fully protect its children. However, there were areas that the State party could address even without the resources that it may have had were it not for sanctions.
What was preventing the State party from changing the age of adulthood to 18? Ms. Marshall-Harris welcomed and commended the 2019 Constitution, which codified the Convention, specified children’s rights, and was a step in the right direction. When would the legislative instruments that accompanied the values expressed in the Convention be implemented? The Constitution did not provide for an institutional body to oversee child protection, with child protection roles spread over a number of institutions. The Committee welcomed that the Family Code was being discussed, and expressed hope that it would soon be adopted. Producing legislation was not easy. Was the State party encountering obstacles to adopting this legislation? What could be done to speed up its enactment?
Would Cuba consider establishing a ministerial body to implement the provisions of the Convention, and could it provide such an institution with the necessary resources? Why had a national human rights commission not been established?
Ms. Marshall-Harris said that 48 per cent of the budget was spent on health and education, but what extent of that budget was spent on children? The State needed to strengthen its disaggregated data to better plan policies for protecting children.
The Committee noted that action had been taken to raise awareness about children’s rights, and called on the State party to further strengthen these campaigns. Would the State consider implementing measures to prevent child sex tourism and child labour?
Another Committee Expert said that the timing of the dialogue was very appropriate, with many new laws being developed in Cuba. Article 42 of the Constitution was very commendable, being even broader than the Convention. On what grounds did the Constitution ban discrimination on the basis of the parents’ status? What were some examples of cases where the Convention had been invoked?
What measures did the Government envision implementing to enhance the protection of children’s best interests? What measures had been implemented to protect children from traffic accidents, a major cause of death of children in Cuba?
How would the Family Code change the legal landscape pertaining to nationality and statelessness? Did the State plan to ratify the international conventions on statelessness? The Expert commended that 99 per cent of children were born in hospitals and had their births registered.
What were the restrictions in the Constitution pertaining to the freedom of expression? What were examples of cases where the violation of freedom of religion was punished? What did the legal framework that protected peaceful assembly entail? How did it protect children’s right to peaceful assembly? The State party had said that it had “taken action” against websites that threatened the normal development of children? What were these websites, and what actions had been taken?
Another Committee Expert acknowledged that Cuba was a leader in its region, despite the illegal sanctions that had been imposed against it for six decades. In 41.6 per cent of households in 2019, corporal punishment was used, an increase from 2014. What measures was Cuba implementing to address this situation? Did the State intend to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings? Did the State have a system for compiling data on corporal punishment?
A series of protests against the Government had been held in 2021 and 27 teenagers aged under 16 had received punishments as a consequence of these events, including being sent to comprehensive development schools. At least six adolescents had received imprisonment sentences for 6 to 19 years. These adolescents had allegedly been treated violently by police, and been subject to lengthy interrogations. Had these allegations been investigated? What penalties had perpetrators received?
What measures were in place to facilitate the reporting of violence against children? Cases of sexual abuse against children affected 274 victims in 2019. What support had been provided to these victims?
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation said that the 2019 Constitution fine-tuned and improved human rights in Cuba, and would help the Government to harmonise legislation and promote the rights of the child. The Constitution incorporated the concept of the best interests of the child, recognised the rights of children, and protected children from all forms of violence. In addition to the Constitution, Cuba had also prepared several laws that protected the rights of children.
The law of criminal procedure allowed for hearings of minors to be held privately, and for the State to appoint legal defenders for minors when necessary. Children between 16 and 18 were provided with access to lawyers and could take part in all criminal proceedings. Parents were allowed to participate in hearings. The Government supported these minors in returning to society. Courts were required to consider the best interests of minors in all cases. The State had no plans to establish juvenile justice courts, but specialised judges did deal with cases involving minors.
None of the allegations received by the Committee regarding ill-treatment or torture of minors by public officials were true. Cuba had set the age of criminal responsibility at 16, and no person under 16 could be deprived of liberty. The law of criminal proceedings introduced safeguards for children aged 16 to 18 charged with offences. Temporary detention was only enforced for such children for crimes that posed a risk to society. Relevant courts acted in strict compliance with the law and ensured that due process was upheld.
Concerning what a Committee Expert had alleged, the delegation said that the young people in question had caused bodily harm to police officers, vandalised buildings, and destroyed police vehicles. These young people were granted all rights available to them within the justice system, including being granted legal aid by the State.
Cuba had achieved tangible results through its measures protecting children’s rights. There were macro programmes with targets and indicators that allowed the Government to monitor the efficacy of its initiatives. Cuba had implemented a national plan for children, adolescents and families. More had been done to protect children during the pandemic, with vaccines provided to children as young as two years old. The vaccination rate of children was 97 per cent. Cuba was working on a comprehensive policy for children and youth that included measures related to education, sport and social participation. The law on safeguarding constitutional rights would be approved next week. The Government encouraged the participation of youth in these processes.
Cuba ensured universal and free birth registration. There was an office of the civil registry in every hospital that registered births. The Ministry for Health sought to protect women and children in childbirth. Material and food assistance was provided to families. The Government promoted breastfeeding, but children were provided with milk if they needed it. The Ministry of Justice admitted the registration of children born overseas to Cuban nationals.
The new Constitution had four articles that provided protection against violence. The Government aimed to bring laws in line with the new Constitution. The Government was working on a comprehensive approach to protect children from violence, which included monitoring, as well as statistical and assistance measures. The public and civil society organizations had been consulted regarding the draft Family Code. The Code provided reparations for child victims of violence, and the notion of positive parenting was also included. The Code also prohibited inappropriate forms of discipline, and violence in the digital sphere.
Cuba was reviewing international instruments with a view to ratifying more instruments. While this review was taking place, the State continued to comply with its international commitments and promote and protect human rights. Cuba was under no obligation to establish a national human rights commission. Police and the Attorney General’s Office were tasked with receiving complaints from citizens; 906 complaints had been received from children. Information related to legal concerns was provided online by the State.
The right to freedom of expression was set out in the Constitution, and could only be repressed when it threatened national security or public order. Children were free to profess any belief or religion without interference from State institutions. The freedom of association and assembly was also provided for in the Constitution. Children could join student organizations in primary and secondary schools.
The National Assembly would soon consider the draft people’s rights bill. This included provisions ensuring that citizens were able to make complaints.
There were no minors who were prisoners. Children who committed crimes were provided with support teams that included psychologists in comprehensive training schools. Currently, support was given to 1,700 children in such facilities. Most of these children were boys aged between 14 and 16. The Government conducted visits to these facilities regularly.
In 2022, 69 per cent of the budget had been allocated to basic services, including public health, education and social assistance; 1.56 million young persons were provided with support through the education budget. Mothers with three children or more were provided with financial support.
Cuba did not recruit children in the armed forces. The recruitment of children was punished as a criminal offense. The State party would be able to comply with the Committee’s 2015 recommendations in this regard.
The Population and Housing Census would take place this year. It would gather a significant amount of data related to issues on child rights. The State was working on strengthening the data collection system.
Questions by Committee Experts
A Committee Expert asked whether State institutions took rapid action in response to ill-treatment and abuse. The Committee believed that the absolute prohibition of ill-treatment and abuse was necessary. Were children in special schools isolated from the community?
Another Committee Expert asked about the timeframe for establishing a birth certificate. What was the State doing to ensure that birth certificates were provided to the relevant parties?
One Committee Expert asked what the State party’s position was on the explicit prohibition of corporal punishment. There was a need to promote positive parenting. Did the State intend to address these issues?
A Committee Expert acknowledged and commended the protection that the 2019 Constitution provided for families. There was a risk that corresponding legislative reforms were not sufficient. What actions would the State party take to protect children in family settings beyond the Family Code? What changes would be made to laws related to children deprived of parental care under the new Family Code? Were parents who had been separated from their children abroad able to return to Cuba? What measures were in place to ensure family reunification?
Children who were detained with their mothers suffered a great deal. Would the State consider allowing such mothers to live in a community environment?
The Expert called for further information on the monitoring and follow-up of cases concerning the sale of children. Would the State consider broadening the definition of child pornography to include distribution?
What measures had been taken to prohibit the recruitment of children in armed forces? Would the State prohibit the use of firearms for children?
Another Committee Expert asked whether the State had considered enacting dedicated legislation that dealt with children with disabilities. Was there an action plan in place that dealt with children with disabilities? What progress was the State making to achieve fully inclusive education for children with disabilities? What training was provided for teachers that dealt with children with disabilities in schools? What opportunities were provided for children with disabilities to participate in sports, as well as cultural and artistic activities? What support was provided to parents of children with disabilities?
The Expert said that Cuba’s health system was reported globally to be one of the best. What measures were being taken to combat rising child obesity? Was there a shortage of doctors and paediatricians domestically due to programmes encouraging them to gain experience overseas? Iron deficiency in infants was an ongoing problem. What was being done to address this? What was the situation regarding the availability of contraception?
The blockage enforced by the United States had led to shortages of food and supplies. How would the State address this problem?
Another Committee Expert said that Cuba was the only country in Latin America that had achieved the Global Education Goals. How would the State build on this impressive record? How did the State catch up for time lost in school due to the pandemic? It was noted that 99.2 per cent of the child population were enrolled in school. What was the average rate of school attendance? What trends had been observed during the pandemic? How had pandemic measures affected children with disabilities in schools?
FAITH MARSHALL-HARRIS, Committee Expert and Coordinator of the Country Taskforce for Cuba,commended the arrangements in place to provide refugees and asylum seekers with services. Would the State consider putting into law what it practiced regarding support for refugees? Who had administrative responsibility for refugees? Would the State party consider monitoring sexual abuse of children in the tourism sector, and formally regulate against such abuse?
Would the State party investigate allegations of child labour on farms? What was the minimum age of employment? Were there exceptions? Ms. Marshall-Harris applauded the minimum age for criminality being 16, which likely was one of the highest globally. What measures were in place regarding assessing the cases of children aged 16 to 18?
Another Committee Expert asked whether there was an independent monitoring system in place for comprehensive development schools? Did children in these schools have the freedom to come and go from the facilities? How many children were currently detained in Cuba, how old were they, and how long was the detainment on average?
Responses by the Delegation
In response to the question on care for children aged 12 to 18 in comprehensive development schools, the delegation explained that things had evolved, and the system had been updated. At such schools, children and adolescents were provided with care by specialised, trained staff and could then be reintegrated into mainstream schools once their behaviour had improved. When it came to persons with disabilities, they only stayed for an average of two years at specialised schools; the aim was to fully integrate them into mainstream schools. Children who stayed for longer in paediatric hospitals, or who were chronically ill, received teaching in hospital or at home. Cuba was gradually improving its mainstream schools to guarantee the quality of the process.
All children in Cuba, as part of their school curriculum, were taught physical education. Sport was practiced on a large scale and was part of mainstream education. There were annual national games which included participation from educational establishments for students with disabilities.
When it came to education and the COVID-19 pandemic, the main alternative to in-person schooling had been televised teaching. On a temporary basis, families had had to convert their homes into schools. Remote learning activities were supported by sign language and other resources. Children had returned to the classroom in a staggered fashion once the vaccination process had advanced. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 were currently receiving booster doses of vaccine.
Follow-Up Questions by Committee Experts
A Committee Expert asked who decided what the criteria were for children to be placed in comprehensive development schools? Another Committee Expert asked for further details about Cuba’s policy of inclusive education. Was the policy working in practical reality? One Committee Expert asked the delegation to explain what the comprehensive development schools looked like, and how the balance was struck between security and education, or pedagogy? For example, were there barriers and doors that were locked to prevent young people from leaving? How many of the centres existed nationwide, and how many places were available?
A Committee Expert asked what was the percentage of children with a disability in Cuba, and were there early detection services? Were children living in remote areas taken care of; did they have access to the Internet?
Could the delegation provide details about Cuba’s new strategy against violence; what was its impact at the family level?
The Committee Expert and Coordinator of the Country Taskforce for Cuba, cited reports of minors being detained following protests. Did Cuba have any specialised courts for dealing with that age group? People aged between 16 and 18 were still minors under the Convention.
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation explained that in relation to events that took place in the summer of 2021, no minors under age 16 were subjected to criminal proceedings. Some of those individuals were subject to measures whereby they had been sanctioned to deprivation of liberty. Those proceedings were at the appeals stage and were being assessed by higher courts. Judgments or sentences were not yet final. Courts would assess and, if necessary, amend the judgments handed down. It was not possible to issue criteria or interfere in the in-depth work of judges examining those appeals.
The treatment given to minors between the age of 16 and 18 was a priority of the Cuban judicial system. There was specialised justice in dealing with such cases.
By complying with general comment 24, Cuba had set a single minimum age of criminal responsibility at age 16, which was above the world average. No minors under that age were tried or deprived of liberty.
In response to questions about refugees, the delegation explained that Cuba observed the principle of non-refoulement despite not having acceded to several refugee instruments. Child refugees in Cuba would remain in the country on a temporary basis and were offered services including education on a par with citizens.
In Cuba, the minimum age for military service was 18 years. In exceptional circumstances, like a state of emergency, the minimum age could be reduced. The law on military offences provided for sanctions under criminal law for any violations of those provisions.
In response to questions about Cuba’s policies for children with severe disabilities, the delegation explained that a basic principle was to give preference to family-based rather than institutional care. Human dignity was a transcendent value in Cuban society.
Child labour was prohibited in Cuba. The Labour Code protected young people who were exceptionally permitted to work. It included obligations for employers, including to limit young workers’ weekly working hours.
On the subject of sexual tourism, specific regulations related to the issue; Cuba’s approach was based on prevention. An annual report on human trafficking set out data on that topic. Child victims of that form of exploitation received special care; three centres for girls, boys and adolescents had specialists providing therapeutic and psychological support.
Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts
A Committee Expert asked for further information about juvenile justice. Could minors who were interned lodge complaints? Another Committee Expert noted that Cuba was undergoing an in-depth reform of laws, including the Criminal Code. Would it be possible to reform article 335.1 of the Criminal Code, which raised barriers to parents returning to the country?
Responses by the Delegation
The delegation explained that Cuba was using a differentiated juvenile justice system, in compliance with the Convention. Another question had referred to the situation of children of incarcerated parents; in response, the delegation explained that support was being provided to over 9,000 families in that situation. Pregnant women were provided with healthcare support throughout their pregnancies. All Cuban children benefitted from the immunisation programme.
In response to questions about an article of the Criminal Code, the delegation explained that parliamentarians would soon deal with the draft of the Criminal Code. Following discussions in Parliament, a decision would be taken.
In response to a question about teen pregnancy, sex education, and the availability of contraception, the delegation said that the causes of teen pregnancy were multiple. The draft Family Code eliminated marriage for individuals under 18 years of age. There was an irregular use of contraception due to a lack of availability, caused by the blockade. Caring for teenage pregnancy was a priority, and family planning services focused on teen pregnancy.
In response to questions about comprehensive development schools, the delegation explained that they really were schools, providing sport and activities for youth, as well as opportunities for youth to develop skills.
The teaching force of all Cuba’s primary schools included speech therapists. Among the staff members, there were also pedagogical psychiatrists, ensuring proper care for early childhood. That care was provided to all children, not just children with disabilities. For a number of years, child mortality had been on a downward trend. A number of socio-demographic factors had influenced that fact. Cuba’s public health system guaranteed health care for 100 per cent of the population. The Ministry for Public Health maintained analysis through which mortality indicators for child and maternal mortality were collected.
In 2020, Cuba had issued a publication including data on how effective the country’s public health system was. Cuba had been able to produce its own vaccines against more than 13 diseases, the latest being three vaccines to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba was committed to continuing to work with United Nations funds and programmes to benefit children and adolescents.
In response to questions about the dissemination of the Convention, the delegation explained that multiple actions had been taken so children and adolescents knew their rights. Support from civil society had been fundamental to those efforts. A dissemination project on the rights of children and adolescents aimed to raise awareness about the Convention, and train officials and staff tasked with complying with those rights. Another programme promoted a rights-based culture. It was important for children to know about their rights, and in the national programme for the advancement of women, a specific area aimed to bolster communication strategies. An educational programme on sexual education had had a significant impact of children and teenagers’ understanding of their rights under the Convention.
Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts
A Committee Expert asked for further explanations about the potential ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, noting that it would be a fully independent mechanism with significant monitoring powers.
Follow-up Questions by Committee Experts
The delegation explained that Cuba’s mechanism was not solely family visits and visits from social workers; Cuba’s system included the Attorney-General’s office, which conducted periodic visits to centres and prisons. The Attorney-General could open cells and review files, and interview those who were deprived of their liberty, including those in pre-trial detention. Cuba’s institutional mechanism conducted periodic and surprise visits to monitor the effectiveness of the law. Family members and relatives who interacted with detainees in establishments could note the living conditions and treatment provided to those deprived of liberty.
FAITH MARSHALL-HARRIS , Committee Expert and Coordinator of the Country Taskforce for Cuba, said Cuba had provided the Committee with abundant information. However, there were always areas where the Committee saw gaps, and its role was to help the State party identify those gaps. Cuba had done extremely well in answering questions as clearly as possible within the time available. The dialogue had been enjoyable.
ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba and head of the delegation, confirmed that the delegation had also enjoyed the useful dialogue, and viewed it as an interactive dialogue by which Cuba could emerge strengthened in its protection of children and adolescents. It had been a constructive and respectful dialogue. The concerns and views of children would guide Cuba’s national policy in the area of children. Firm commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of children needed to be guaranteed.
MIKIKO OTANI, Committee Chair, noted that while the scheduled dialogue had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was positive that the dialogue had now taken place in person. She conveyed the best wishes of the Committee to the children of Cuba.
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