Days of General Discussion

The Committee organises Days of General Discussion every two years in Geneva. They focus on a particular article of the Convention or related topics which help develop a deeper understanding of the content or implications of the treaty. NGOs can participate in various ways.

What is a Day of General Discussion?

The Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) holds a Day of General Discussion in Geneva every two years in September about a specific article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) or a related subject. These meetings are an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the CRC. The topic is selected by the Committee and announced at least one year in advance.

Are you an expert on a future topic?

Child Rights Connect supports the Committee in organising the Days of General Discussion. The topic for the 2016 day will be “Children’s rights and the environment”. More information will be published in the future about how NGOs can participate.   

How can you take part in a Day of General Discussion?

The Day of General Discussion is a public meeting. Representatives from governments, UN mechanisms, UN bodies and specialist agencies, NGOs, national human rights institutions and also individual children and experts can participate in a Day of General Discussion.
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The Committee has prepared guidelines about Days of General Discussion, including how to submit information and participate in the meeting.

Interested organisations or individuals may submit written contributions. This can include previously published materials but they will only be distributed to participants if they are made available in sufficient quantities. Contributions should:

  • Give examples of how relevant articles of the CRC are being implemented
  • Share information on best practice
  • Assess efforts being made
  • Identify gaps
  • Make recommendations for action which States parties should take.

To help NGOs understand how they can effectively contribute to, and participate in, Days of General Discussion, Child Rights Connect has produced a fact sheet in English, Français and Español .

2016 Day of General Discussion: Children’s Rights and the Environment

The Committee on the Rights of the Child will devote its 2016 general discussion day to the issue of children’s rights and the environment. It will take place during the 73th session of the Committee on Friday 23 September 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Room XIX, Palais des Nations (UNOG)

In this regard, the Committee encourages the submission of written contributions on issues related to: the impact of environmental harm on children’s rights; the role of children as agents of change in the environmental context; State obligations regarding the rights of the child in relation to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment; and the role of the business sector. For more information about these issues, please click here.

Contributions can be submitted in English, French and Spanish; are limited to seven pages (2500 words.) The deadline for submissions is the 31st July 2016, to be sent in electronic form to:

Authors are also encouraged to present a maximum of five recommendations (no more than 5 lines altogether) which should be attached to the submission as an annex, for actions the Committee can take in relation to the themes under discussion.

For more information on the objectives of the DGD 2016 and registration, please click here.

 Outcomes of Days of General Discussion

Following each Day of General Discussion, the Committee adopts a series of recommendations for States parties. Some of the earlier recommendations have had a big impact in advancing child rights, such as:

Although recommendations are made to States parties, they may help all stakeholders develop a better understanding of the CRC’s provisions.

Previous Days of General Discussion

Since 1992, the Committee has held 20 Days of General Discussion.

A full list of all previous Days of General Discussion is available on the OHCHR website.

Documents containing the outcomes of the discussions held since 2003 are also available to read online:

Submissions from NGOs, UN agencies, governments and individual experts are made available online.