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

Adopts Concluding Observations on Reports of Seven States
GENEVA (30 September 2016) - The Committee on the Rights of the Child this afternoon concluded its seventy-third session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Nauru, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Suriname 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 session’s webpage as of Thursday, 6 October 2016.
During the session,  in addition to considering the reports of States parties, the Committee held a Day of general discussion on children’s rights and the environment.  Following introductory remarks, work continued in two Working Groups – one on children’s exposure to environmental toxicants, and another on children and the effects of environmental degradation, and children and climate change. In the closing session, the two Working Groups’ conclusions were presented to the plenary session.  It was stated that environmental toxicants exposure directly affected the enjoyment of children’s rights, most importantly their survival, development, and their ability to attain the highest available standard of health.  Threats to natural resources affected health, life, survival and development, play, leisure and the adequate standard of living od children.  The Working Groups also concluded that children’s rights were overlooked in national and international climate policies, and climate change was frequently omitted from child-related policies.

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 13 to 30 September. 

Mr. Mezmur, in his concluding remarks, stated that, as of today, the Convention had been ratified by 196 States; the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict had 165 States parties; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography had been ratified by 173 States, while there were 29 parties to the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.  Mr. Mezmur stated that all members of the Committee attended the seventy-third session and briefly summarized the programme of work of the seventy-third session.   The Committee had adopted its twelfth decision on an individual complaint, under the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.

Ms. Sandberg, Committee Rapporteur, stated that the Committee had held an intensive session, as usual. She presented an overview of the Day of general discussion on children’s rights and the environment, held on 23 September.  During the session, one meeting was dedicated to individual communications.  Methods of work were also discussed, during which the length of concluding observations was addressed, among other issues.  Since the previous session, Ms. Sandberg reported, progress had been made on the draft General Comment on on the rights of the child in the context of migration, on which the Committee was working together with the Committee on Migrant Workers.  Ms. Sandberg also informed about a number of public activities by Committee Members in the intersessional period.
The Committee then proceeded to adopt the report of the session.   

Meeting summaries of all public meetings held during the seventy-third session can be foundhere.

The Committee will hold its seventy-fourth session at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 16 January to 3 February 2017, during which it will review reports on the Convention or its Optional Protocols from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Georgia, Malawi, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Serbia.


For use of the information media; not an official record