What is OP3 CRC?
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure (OP3 CRC) is an international human rights treaty that allows the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) to hear complaints alleging that a child’s rights have been violated. Children will only be able to approach the UN if the national legal system has not been able to provide a remedy for the violation.
Who can make a complaint?
The Committee is able to hear complaints from children, groups of children or their representatives against any State that has ratified OP3 CRC. The Committee is also able to launch investigations into grave or systematic violations of children’s rights and States are able to bring complaints against each other, if they accepted this procedure.
What kinds of violations can be raised in a complaint?
OP3 CRC allows the Committee to hear a complaint about a violation of any right guaranteed under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC), or the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), if the relevant State has also ratified those treaties.
When can OP3 CRC be used?
OP3 CRC came into force on 14 April 2014, three months after the 10th State ratified the Protocol. A complaint against one of the ten first States parties can be brought in relation to a violation of a child’s rights that took place after this date.
For any State that ratifies OP3 CRC from that date, the Protocol will be enforceable three months after the date of ratification.
You can check ratification dates through the UN Treaty Database.
Which states can I bring a complaint against?
A complaint can be brought against any State that has ratified OP3 CRC. As of 25 September 2014, 13 States had ratified OP3 CRC: Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Thailand.
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