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COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Monitoring children's rights


image: Students in Karachi, Pakistan. (UN Photo #153528)
Students in Karachi, Pakistan
© UN Photo #153528

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of 18 Independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties. It also monitors implementation of two Optional Protocols to the Convention, on involvement of children in armed conflict and on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. On 19 December 2011, the UN General Assembly approved a third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, which will allow individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights under the Convention and its first two optional protocols. The Protocol opened for signature in February 2012 and will enter into force upon ratification by 10 UN Member States.

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must submit an initial report two years after acceding to the Convention and then periodic reports every five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.


Some of the students at the school in Fatu-Ahi, East Timor © UN/DPI Photo# 203235C
Some of the students at the school in Fatu-Ahi, East Timor
© UN/DPI Photo# 203235C

The Committee also reviews the initial reports which must be submitted by States who have acceded to the first two Optional Protocols to the Convention, on involvement of children in armed conflict and on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Committee will soon be able to consider individual complaints by children. In the meantime, violations of child rights may be raised before other committees with competence to consider individual complaints.

The Committee meets in Geneva and normally holds three sessions per year consisting of a three-week plenary and a one-week pre-sessional working group. In 2010, the Committee considered reports in two parallel chambers of 9 members each, "as an exceptional and temporary measure", in order to clear the backlog of reports.

The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as general comments on thematic issues and organizes days of general discussion.

For more information about the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, click here.

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