29 January 2016
The Committee on the Rights of the Child this afternoon concluded its seventy-first session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Benin, Brunei Darussalam, France, Haiti, Iran, Ireland, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Oman, Peru, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chairperson of the Committee, and Kirsten Sandberg, Rapporteur, summarized the activities of the Committee during the session.
The Committee met in dual chambers at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 11 to 29 January 2016. The Committee considered 18 reports in total during the session. The concluding observations and recommendations on the reports will be made available on the Committee’s webpage from noon on Thursday, 4 February 2016.
Mr. Mezmur said that during the session, the Committee, in addition to considering the reports of States parties, discussed the organization of its future work and methods of work, including those concerning the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, and continued its discussion on the follow-up to the treaty body strengthening process, especially on referring the simplified reporting procedure to States parties in 2016. The Committee continued its work on four General Comments on public spending to realize children’s rights; adolescents; children in street situations; and children in the context of international migration, which was a joint General Comment with the Committee on the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families. Finally, the Committee held an informal consultation with States as well as its biennial meeting with the United Nations Children’s Fund, and continued its preparation of the next Day of General Discussion, which would be held on Friday, 23 September 2016, on the theme “The right of the child to a healthy environment”.
The Committee is a body of independent experts formed in 1991 to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its States parties. The Convention gives a comprehensive collection of children's rights the force of international law. The Committee also monitors the implementation of two Optional Protocols to the Convention: on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. A third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2011 and entered into force on 14 April 2014. It allows individual children to submit complaints about specific violations of their human rights under the Convention and its first two Optional Protocols.
Mr. Mezmur said that as at 29 January 2016, the closing date of the seventy-first session of the Committee, there were 196 States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict had been ratified or acceded to by 162 States parties. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography had been ratified or acceded to by 171 States parties. The third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure had been ratified by 24 States.
Ms. Sandberg, in addition to talking about the work carried out during the session, noted that the Committee held an informal meeting with States, which discussed issues related to the simplified reporting procedure, reporting under the Optional Protocols on children and armed conflict, and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, General Comments and other issues. Seventy States had been present and an interesting discussion had been held.
Meeting summaries, in English and French, of all the States parties reviewed during this session can be found here.
The Committee will hold its seventy-second session in Palais Wilson in Geneva from 17 May to 3 June 2016, during which it will review reports on the Convention or its Optional Protocols from the following States: Bulgaria, Gabon, Luxembourg, Nepal, Pakistan, Samoa, Slovakia, Suriname and United Kingdom.
For use of the information media; not an official record