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Introduction to the Committee

Committee on the Rights of the Child

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 the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC) and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC). On 19 December 2011, the UN General Assembly approved a third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure (OPIC), which allows individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights under the Convention and its first two optional protocols. This Protocol entered into force in April 2014.

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on the implementation of the Convention. 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”.

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 is also able to consider individual complaints alleging violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its first two optional protocols (OPAC and OPSC) by States parties to the OPIC, as well as to carry out inquiries into allegations of grave or systematic violations of rights under the Convention and its two optional protocols.

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.

The work of the Committee

In addition to its monitoring work, 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, read the CRC Fact Sheet.