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Algeria: Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (3-21 May 2010)

Publication Date: 
May, 2010
Source: 
ECOSOC Council


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Highlights from the Report

8. The Committee notes with concern that, despite the amendments to the Constitution through article 31(bis) of Act No.08-19 of 15 November 2008, the Family Code and the Nationality Code, de iure and de facto inequalities continue to exist between men and women, in particular the persistence of stereotypes, attitudes and patriarchal traditions on family and societal roles of men and women. It is also concerned about discrimination against women, in particular regarding inheritance rights, a lower representation of women in decision-making and public positions, and wages that are nearly a third of those for men. (article 3)

The Committee recommends that the State party introduce further legislative amendments to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, and adopt temporary special measures aimed at increasing the representation of women in public office and decision-making positions. The Committee also recommends that the State party take measures to reduce the wage gap between men and women. The Committee furthermore recommends that the State party increase its efforts to promote equality between women and men at all levels of society, including those aimed at eliminating stereotypical attitudes and traditional norms about the responsibilities and roles of women and men in the family and society. It draws the attention of the State party to its General Comment No.16 (2005) on the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights.

9. The Committee, despite the general decrease in unemployment, notes with concern the high level of unemployment among women (ONS 2009 figure: 18.1 percent) and younger Algerians (official figure: 75 percent of the unemployed are younger than 30 years). The Committee also notes with concern that, in 2008, only 33.7 percent of the total workforce was in permanent salaried employment and that a significant proportion of new jobs are home-based and of a temporary nature. (Article 6)

The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures to decrease the unemployment rate among women and younger Algerians, including through temporary special measures. The Committee emphasizes the importance of the creation of stable employment opportunities for both groups in the implementation of the 2008 Plan of Action for the Promotion of Employment. The Committee also recommends that the State party establish a national mechanism to monitor the implementation of the plan of action, and that numerical targets be set as well as a time frame for its implementation. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its General Comment No.18 (2005) on the right to work

24. The Committee notes with concern that the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value is not guaranteed in the State party. (Article 7)

The Committee urges the State party to increase its efforts to ensure equal remuneration for work of equal value, in accordance with the Covenant, and to reduce the wage gap between men and women. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party establish a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the right of workers including the equal pay for work of equal value and conduct awareness-raising campaigns in this respect.

31. The Committee, is deeply concerned at the alarming levels of violence against women, in particular domestic violence and so-called honour killings, in spite of the adoption of the Law to Eliminate Violence against Women in (2009). The Committee is also concerned at the fact that perpetrators of such crimes remain unpunished. (Article 10)

The Committee recommends that; (a) in line with article 54 of the Constitution, the State party take effective measures to eradicate practices that are harmful to women and girls, through enacting legislation and policies; (b) review all national legislation, including the Penal Code, the Civil Code and the Law on Marriage to ensure compliance with the Constitution and International human rights law; (c) ensure that women are able to register complaints with the police without fear or reprisals; that all cases are duly prosecuted without delay; and that perpetrators of violence against women are sanctioned; and (d) launch awareness-raising campaigns to combat harmful traditional practices against women, and educate parents, particularly mothers, and children, as well as the community leaders.

32. The Committee notes with concern that the State party is a source, transit point and destination country for human trafficking and that women and girls are kidnapped, lured by fraudulent marriage or job proposals, or sold into marriage or commercial sexual exploitation, despite the efforts made by the State party. (Article 10).

The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to eradicate human trafficking, including by imposing appropriate sanctions on the perpetrators.

42. The Committee is concerned that over two millions of Afghans are affected by mental health problems due to the long period of armed conflict. (Article 12)

The Committee recommends that the State party take adequate measures to address the health problems of Afghan who suffer from war related traumatic disorders, if necessary by seeking international cooperation and assistance.

43. The Committee, while noticing the efforts deployed by the State party to improve and promote the access to education and reducing gender disparities, notes with concern and in particular that the right to education is not guaranteed in the State party without discrimination, and at the poor situation of the education in Afghanistan. In particular, the Committee is deeply concerned about the increase in the number of child victims of attacks against schools by insurgents and the throwing of acid to prevent girls and female teachers from going to school. (Articles 13 and 14)