New York (September 22, 2014) — The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child needs more clout to deliver on its promises. As world leaders gather in New York this week, child rights experts and advocates are calling on all governments to strengthen the Convention by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure – or OP3 for short. This treaty helps children seek justice through the UN when their national legal system cannot provide a remedy for violations of their rights.

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.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children and the International Coalition Ratify OP3CRC* welcome the recent ratifications of Ireland, Monaco and Andorra during the Treaty Event on the occasion of the UN General Assembly. They are calling upon more governments to solidly commit to children’s rights by ratifying the OP3 before the Convention’s 25th anniversary on November 20, 2014.

OP3 background

  • The OP3 entered into force in April 2014.
  • Children can only submit a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child if their national legal system has been unable to provide an effective solution.
  • The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will hear complaints against any country that has ratified the OP3.
  • To date, 14 countries have ratified the OP3: Albania, Andorra, Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Thailand.
  • An additional 35 countries have signed the OP3, signaling their support and intention to ratify.

*The International Coalition Ratify OP3CRC is a coalition of nearly 100 national, regional and international non-governmental organisations and networks, human rights institutions and other non-governmental bodies from around the world, committed to achieving universal ratification of the OP3.

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Download the full text of the Call to Action in pdf format.