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Committee on the Rights of the Child concludes seventy-second session

ROUNDUP
 
Adopts Concluding Observations on Reports of Eight States and General Comment on Public Budgets to Realize the Rights of the Child
 
GENEVA (3 June 2016) - The Committee on the Rights of the Child this afternoon concluded its seventy-second session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Samoa, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Gabon, Pakistan, Bulgaria and Luxembourg under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. 
 
The concluding observations and recommendations on the reports will be made available on the Committee’s webpage as of Thursday, 9 June 2016.
 
At the closing meeting, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chairperson of the Committee, and Kirsten Sandberg, Committee Rapporteur, summarized the activities of the Committee during the session, which was held from 17 May to 3 June. 
 
Mr. Mezmur, in his concluding remarks, said that as of today, there were 196 States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict had been ratified or acceded to by 165 States parties, with Samoa and Brunei Darussalam joining since the beginning of the session.  The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography had been ratified or acceded to by 173 States parties.  The third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure remained at 27 ratifications.

Mr. Mezmur said that during the session, the Committee, in addition to considering the reports of the States parties, reviewed information it had received in relation to the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, and adopted the Guidelines against Intimidation or Reprisals - San José Guidelines – which were adopted at the twenty-seventh meeting of chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies.  In the context of the outcome of the treaty body strengthening process as adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/268, the Committee held a retreat during the weekend of 28 and 29 May, in order to decide how to ensure that the Committee’s concluding observations were focused, clear, actionable and implementable in line with the said General Assembly resolution.
 
During the session, the Committee also adopted its General Comment number 19 on Public Budgets to Realize the Rights of the Child (article 4), and continued its work on three other General Comments: on adolescents, children in street situations, and children in the context of international migration, which was a joint General Comment with the Committee on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.  Finally, the Committee continued to work on the organization of the next Day of General Discussion, which would be held on Friday, 23 September 2016 on the theme of “The right of the child to a healthy environment”, and also met with Ms. Vukovic-Sahovic, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

The Committee is a body of independent experts formed in 1991 to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its States parties.  The Convention gives a comprehensive collection of children's rights the force of international law.  The Committee also monitors the implementation of two Optional Protocols to the Convention: on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.  A third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2011 and entered into force on 14 April 2014.  It allows individual children to submit complaints about specific violations of their human rights under the Convention and its first two Optional Protocols.

Ms. Sandberg, Committee Rapporteur, in addition to talking about the work carried out during the session, said that the Committee continued to collaborate with Terre des Hommes on the preparation of the next Day of General Discussion, and with other members of the Working Group that had been established for this purpose.  The Working Group on the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure held two meetings to be updated on the complaints received and to decide how to proceed.  One case of individual complaint was submitted to the State party in question for comments, while several other complainants were asked to provide additional information before their cases could be submitted to concerned States parties.  Ms. Sandberg went on to update the Experts on the status of the three draft General Comments, saying that the General Comment on the implementation of the rights of the child during adolescence would be ready for adoption by the Committee during its next session in September 2016.

Meeting summaries, in English and French, of all the States parties reviewed during this session can be found here.

The Committee will hold its seventy-third session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 13 to 30 September 2016, during which it will review reports on the Convention or its Optional Protocols from Estonia, Nauru, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Suriname.

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For use of the information media; not an official record