UNCRC Communications Procedure is now in force

Date: 14th April 2014
Category: UK 1st periodic review

Optional Protocol 3 to the UNCRC on a Communications Procedure entered into force on 14th April 2014 following its ratification by the required 10 countries.

United Nations child rights experts have hailed this new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights.

The Optional Protocol recognises a child's capacity to exercise and claim their own rights. 25 years after the adoption of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), children's rights continue to be violated on a daily basis, including through violence, exploitation and abuse.

The 10 countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol and confirmed their determination to improve children's access to justice are Albania, Bolivia, Gabon, Germany, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Slovakia and Costa Rica.

Ratification signifies that States take their obligations seriously and are ready for any scrutiny concerning individual allegations of child rights violations. The UK Government must ratify the Optional Protocol in order for children and young people in Scotland to be able to access this critical instrument. 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". Together is urging the Scottish Government to step up its efforts for UK ratification of Optional Protocol 3 to allow access to justice and the means of redress for children's rights violations. We want Scotland to lead the way in the UK by responding positively to international treaties by being the jurisdiction in the UK to push for ratification.