OP3CRC Anniversary: Making a quantum leap on the path to justice for children

The Third Optional Protocol to the CRC on a Communications Procedure entered into force on 14 April 2014

On the occasion of the 1st anniversary of the entry into force of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure (OP3CRC), the International Coalition Ratify OP3CRC has called on all States to ensure children’s access to justice and ratify the protocol without delay.

The OP3 allows children or their representatives to report rights violations directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which will then investigate their complaints, and can ask governments to take action. Children can only submit a complaint if their national legal system has been unable to provide an effective solution.

“This tool completes the international framework for the protection of children’s rights. It encourages States to improve their national justice systems and thus contributes to the most essential when it comes to children’s rights –implementation”, explains Kirsten Sandberg, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

According to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, “the Protocol reminds States of their obligation to ensure access to justice and to child sensitive procedures”.

With Argentina’s ratification on the occasion of the first anniversary of the entry into force (14 April), 17 countries have ratified the Third Optional Protocol: Albania, Andorra, Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand and Uruguay. Another 34 countries have signed it, signaling their intention to ratify.

Read RatifyOP3CRC statement here.

More information available at www.ratifyop3crc.org