Birth Registration: Citizenship can be derived by birth within the country or from one’s parents. The government has a network of services, such as notary and civil identification records offices in all municipalities, and the Birth Registration Project, located in hospitals and health centers. Failure to register births did not result in denial of public services. Nonregistration of births was attributed by the government to uncertainty as to the identity of fathers, parental neglect, and a lack of information on registration in the poorest communities. The number of newly registered children decreased from 10,579 in 2011 to 8,946 in 2012. In the first half of 2013, a total of 4,158 children were registered.
Education: The government provided tuition-free and universal education for all children between the ages of six and 12. Education remained compulsory until the age of 11. Secondary education was free only to children whose families had an annual income below 147,000 escudos ($1,820).
Child Abuse: Violence against children remained a problem. The government tried to combat it through a national network that included the Cape Verdean Institute of Childhood and Adolescence (ICCA), various police forces, the attorney general, hospitals, and health centers. The government attempted to reduce sexual abuse and violence against children through several programs such as Dial a Complaint, the Children’s Emergency Program, Project Our House, Welcome Centers for Street Children, Project Safe Space, Project Substitute Family, and the creation during the year of five ICCA offices.
Data from the Children’s Emergency and the Local Social Service programs indicated that in 2012 approximately 357 children were victims of violence or aggression. Of those, 40 percent were emergency cases and 28 per cent constituted bad treatment or negligence.
From January to April, 105 cases of child abuse were identified, and 105 child emergency cases were identified. Of those, 13 constituted bad treatment and eight were cases of sexual abuse.
Early and Forced Marriage: The legal minimum age of marriage is 18 years, but there was no official data on the rate of marriage for boys and girls under age 18.
According to 2011 data from the INE, the average age of women when they got married was 34, while the average age of men was 38. This data showed that 46.7 percent of girls and women 12 years and older were single, compared to 55.6 percent of boys and men 12 years and older.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The penalty for the commercial sexual exploitation of children is two to eight years in prison. The minimum age for consensual sex is 14. The law prohibits child pornography, with penalties of one to five years’ imprisonment. Prostitution is legal for consenting adults, and 17-year-olds are not considered children under the law. The law also prohibits pedophilia. During the year there were no reported cases of child pornography, but there were cases of child prostitution. Past reports indicated that boys and girls, some of whom may be foreign, were exploited in prostitution in Santa Maria, Praia, and Mindelo. There were cases of sexual exploitation of children in Vila Nova and Calabaceira, neighborhoods in Praia, which were pending. Sex tourism, at times involving prostituted children, was a growing problem. In April a German journalist and two Cape Verdeans were convicted of sexually abusing six children in 2010 and 2011. Penalties ranged between four years and six months to five years in prison, in addition to monetary compensation.
International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.