What is the treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN about the violation of their rights?
Last Updated: Nov 28, 2016
The agreement is called the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It allows children or their representatives to submit complaints to the Committee on the Rights of Child about specific violations of their rights under the following convention and optional protocols:
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in Armed Conflict
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Children or the representatives can submit a complaint only if:
- if they have exhausted all the legal mechanisms in their own country
- their country has ratified the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure
The Protocol came into force on April 14th, 2014, three months following the ratification of 10 countries to the Protocol in accordance with article 19(1). The current status of the protocol, including the number of state parties, can be found on the Status of Treaties tool available from the UN Treaties website.
The procedures for submitting a complaint can be found on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Website on the page related to Human Rights Treaty Bodies - Individual Communications and in the fact sheet about the procedure from OHCHR.
For more information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Optional Protocols, see the entry for the convention in the Audiovisual Library of International Law. Here you can research the procedural history and view selected preparatory documents (travaux préparatoires) that lead to the agreement.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.