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COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD CONCLUDES SIXTY-FIRST SESSION
Adopts Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Reports of Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Namibia, Austria, Albania and Canada
5 October 2012

The Committee on the Rights of the Child this morning concluded its sixty-first session after adopting its concluding observations and recommendations on reports presented by Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Namibia, Austria, Albania and Canada under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two Optional Protocols.

Jean Zermatten, the Committee Chairperson, noted that the Committee had held dialogues with States parties on the reports of Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Namibia, and Austria under the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the reports of Albania under the Convention as well as the two Optional Protocols on children and armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and the reports of Canada under the Convention and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The Committee had adopted its concluding observations and recommendations on all the reports.

Mr. Zermatten said the current session was very intensive and there had been a lot of work. The Committee also worked on the elaboration of rules concerning the Optional Protocol on communications. He welcomed Gabon and Thailand which were the first two countries that had ratified it, and hoped that the Protocol could enter into force in 2013. He thanked the Secretariat, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and all others working with the Committee. Next week, the pre-sessional working group would meet to prepare for the sixty-second session of the Committee, which would be held from 14 January to 1 February 2013.

Agnes Akosua Aidoo, the Rapportuer of the Committee, said during the session, the Committee had also held a day of general discussion on children and international migration and had worked on five draft general comments. The Committee would undertake the final reading of the general comments on the best interest of the child, on the right to leisure, play and participation, and on child rights and the business sector and adopt them at its sixty-second session. On the draft general comment on the right to health, consultations had been held with partners to review the revised draft and then the working group would work on it. On the joint draft general comment on children and harmful practices, which the Committee was working on with the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women, two meetings were planned with CEDAW on 8 and 9 October to review the revised outline. The working group would then decide on the next step to be taken in 2013. Ms. Aido also outlined meetings which members of the Committee had attended on behalf of the Committee.

The concluding observations and recommendations will be made public next week on the Committee’s webpage.

During the session, the Committee held a Day of General Discussion on the “Rights of All Children in the Context of International Migration”. The overall objective of the Day of General Discussion was to promote, at the international and national levels, the rights of all children in the context of international migration.

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 State parties. The Convention gives a comprehensive collection of children's rights the force of international law. The Committee also monitors implementation of two Optional Protocols to the Convention: the first on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the second on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. A third Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2011. It will allow individual children to submit complaints about specific violations of their human rights under the Convention and its first two Optional Protocols. The Protocol opened for signature on 28 February 2012 and will enter into force upon ratification by 10 United Nations Member States.

To date 193 countries have ratified or acceded to the Convention, making it the most widely accepted international human rights instrument. Only Somalia and the United States have not ratified it. The United States, which is presenting reports at the next session, is party to both Optional Protocols.

The sixty-second session of the Committee will be held in Geneva from 14 January to 1 February 2013, during which it will review reports from Guinea, Guyana, Malta, and Niue Islands under the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Slovakia, Burkina Faso and the United States under the two Optional Protocols on children and armed conflict, and on the sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution; and the Philippines under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution.


For use of information media; not an official record

CRC12/038E