Optional Protocol 3 of the UNCRC: Complaints mechanism update

Date: 15th September 2013
Category: General measures of implementation

Portugal and Montenegro have become the seventh and eight States to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a complaints procedure.

They now join the ranks of Thailand, Gabon, Bolivia, Germany, Spain and Albania. The Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (OP3 CRC) is still two ratifications away from the mechanism's entry into force. Forty-one other States have signed the Optional Protocol, including Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau and Seychelles, which all became signatories in September 2013.

Children will only be able to use this new procedure if their States ratify the OP3 CRC, and only after the OP3 CRC has become international law, or 'entered into force', i.e. after 10 States have ratified the OP3 CRC.

Scottish Context

At the UK's examination at the Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review, the UK Government was urged to ratify the new Optional Protocol. Alongside other children's rights alliances and the four Children's Commissioners across the UK, Together is also encouraging the UK and devolved governments to sign up to the Optional Protocol.

The Scottish Government has welcomed the Optional Protocol in principle and "would be minded to offer measured support for its signature and ratification in the future". However, the Scottish Government states that before doing so, "it is important to better understand exactly how the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child intends to apply the Protocol".

Spain and Albania were the last two States to ratify the Optional Protocol.

  • Click here to find out more.
  • Guidance for the OP3 CRC has also been released: access the guidance here.