Belgium ratifies Optional Protocol 3 to the UNCRC

Date: 30th May 2014
Category: UK 1st periodic review

Belgium has become the 11th country to ratify Optional Protocol 3 to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on a communications procedure.

The State ratified Optional Protocol 3 (OP3 CRC) on 30th May 2014 and children and their representatives will be able to bring complaints against Belgium from the 30th August.

Belgium joins Albania, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Gabon, Germany, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Thailand who have already ratified the treaty. A further 36 states have signed but not ratified OP3.

In the UNCRC UK fifth periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UK has stated that it "recognises that ratifying the Optional Protocol may add further protection for children in respect of their rights and will continue to keep this under review in light of emerging information about procedures and practice".

Together has written to representatives of both the Scottish and UK Government's to urge the UK Government to ratify Optional Protocol 3 with immediate effect (as per Together's 2012 and 2013 State of Children's Rights reports). Together will continue to work with other children's organisations to encourage UK ratification as a matter of priority.

Optional protocols complement and add to existing treaties, and in this case, the UNCRC. A protocol may be on any topic relevant to the original treaty and is used to further address something in the original treaty, address a new or emerging concern or add a procedure for the operation and enforcement of the treaty.

Together is a member of Ratify OP3 CRC, an international coalition committed to achieve rapid ratification of OP3 CRC.