Children of San Marino

Children of San Marino

Realizing Children’s Rights in San Marino


Surrounded by Italy and the fifth smallest state in the world, San Marino is a country with about 5,000 children less than 15 years old. In other words, such a small “world” facilitates the application of the Children’s Rights Convention.

In this way, San Marino gives great importance to the protection and promotion of children’s rights, and allocates considerable resources to ensure their adequate protection at all stages of their lives.


Realization of Children’s Rights Index: 8,83 / 10
Yellow level: Satisfactory situation

Population: 31.000
Pop. ages 0-14: 16.8 %

Life expectancy: 83 years
Under-5 mortality rate: 3 ‰

Main problems faced by children in San Marino:


The literacy rate is estimated at 98% and (free) education is compulsory until age 16. Courses are taught in Italian.

Given the small size of the country, San Marino has only one university: the Università degli Studi di San Marino.

In San Marino, all children go to school, including those who suffer from disorders or disabilities.


The age of criminal responsibility is set at 12 years, which is considered to be too low by the Children’s Rights Committee. According to Article 10 of the Penal Code, a child under the age of 12 cannot be charged with a crime. However, a minor over the age of 12 may get a reduced sentence, after checking his or her mental capacity.

With regard to the administration of juvenile justice, criminal law provides that a sentenced person under 18 years old may be pardoned when, after taking available information into consideration, the judge concludes that he or she will not reoffend.

There is no juvenile court in San Marino even though there is a special section responsible for questions relating to minors in the courts.

San Marino does not require military service.


The country is ranked among the top 3 medical services providers in Europe.

Social Security does not depend on the acquisition of San Marino citizenship and all inhabitants of the country can benefit from health coverage.

However, as in many developed countries, there is unfortunately a high prevalence of obesity.

Moreover, abortion is illegal in San Marino, even in cases where the life of the mother is at risk. It is one of the most restrictive European legislations in this area.


San Marino was asked to establish statistics on child abuse and neglect. Without numbers, it is difficult to know what is really going on.

The Children’s Rights Committee has nevertheless asked the state to take further measures to protect children against all forms of violence, including physical or mental abuse, abandonment, neglect, mistreatment, or exploitation.

Regarding corporal punishment, San Marino’s laws punish abuses of power of correction, which are considered to be crimes.