February marks one year anniversary of the UNCRC Complaints mechanism

Date: 20th December 2012
Category: UK 1st periodic review

The end of February will mark the one year anniversary of the signing ceremony of the third Optional Protocol to the CRC establishing a complaints mechanism for children or their representatives - yet we are still seven ratifications away from its entry into force.

Thailand and Gabon were the first two countries to ratify the new treaty in September. Germany will be third once its Upper House confirms ratification and the president signs the Act. Another 32 countries have signed but actual ratification could be some way away.

The UK is yet to sign up to the Optional Protocol although committed in the UPR that it is "...considering the merits of the new Optional Protocol for the whole of the UK, taking account of the views of the Devolved Administrations and in light of how it will be applied in practice. The Government will consider signing the Optional Protocol when it has fully evaluated its merits for the UK."

NGOs continue to campaign globally, hoping that the treaty will enter into force on the first anniversary of its opening for signature. You can visit the website of the international campaign for ratification for updates, campaign ideas, and other useful materials.
Meanwhile, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the body that will eventually be considering complaints, is working on its Rules of Procedures.
While we await their publication, we have prepared a comparative table that looks in detail at all other existing complaints mechanisms, including issues of admissibility, confidentiality, who can bring a case, and more.

  • Access the comparative table here.

You can also read about cases that have been taken to the other complaints mechanisms by or on behalf of children here.