Overview of the 75th Session and 77th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
(15 May – 9 June 2017)

 

1. Election of the new Chairperson

As per its rules of procedures, the Chairperson’s term is two-years not renewable. On the first day of the session, the Committee members elected a new Chairperson, Ms. Renate WINTER from Austria, who replaced the member from Ethiopia, Benyam Dawit Mezmur.
A new bureau was also elected: Ms. Suzanne AHO ASSOUM (Vice Chairperson), Ms. Olga a. KHAZOVA (Vice Chairperson), Mr. Clarence NELSON (Vice Chairperson), Mr. José Angel RODRÍGUEZ REYES (Vice Chairperson) and Mr. Bernard GASTAUD (Rapporteur).

2. New CRC members started

3. List of States reviewed (Reviewed Reports, Concluding Observations, Child Rights Connect Session Reports)

At its 75th session (15 May – 9 June 2017) the Committee reviewed the reports and issued Concluding Observations for eight States:

For the first time in the Treaty Bodies system, the webcast of Cameroon, Lebanon, Mongolia and Qatar was done in English and the national language, even if not a UN language as in the case of Mongolia.

4. Children participation monitor

5. Status of ratifications (as of June 2017)

  • 196 States parties to the CRC
  • 166 States parties to the OPAC
  • 173 States parties to the OPSC
  • 34 States parties to the OPIC – Since last session in January 2017, five more States have ratified OPIC: Croatia, Liechtenstein, Paraguay, Panama and Switzerland

6. Status of work on General Comments (as of June 2017)

The Committee continued to work on the joint General Comment on children in the context of international migration and held regional consultations in Madrid, Bangkok, and Mexico; and Global consultation in Geneva and Berlin to gather comments on a zero draft.

Child Rights Connect attended the consultation in Geneva on 2nd May and raised the need to ensure child participation throughout the process.

7. Status of implementation of OPIC

As of June 2017, 3 cases have been declared inadmissible (J.A.B.S. v. Costa Rica, A.A.A. v. Spain and A.H.A. v. Spain), 1 case has been discontinued (case No. 9) and 14 cases are under consideration by the Committee. The Committee published a table with the pending cases on OPIC to encourage third party interventions (amicus curiae), following the good practice of CESCR.

The current Working Group of Committee members in charge of OPIC is:

  • Renate Winter (Chairperson and Rapporteur on OPIC)
  • Kirsten Sandberg
  • Amal Salman Aldoseri
  • Gehad Madi
  • Jorge Cardona
  • Jose Angel Rodriguez Reyes
  • Nelson Clarence
  • Hynd Ayoubi Idrissi
  • Bernard Gastaud

The first four members will rotate in January 2018 to leave the place to other members to join.

8. Relevant activities of the Committee during the session

  • The Committee published the report of the Day of General Discussion on Children’s Rights and the Environment that took place in 2016.
  • The Committee’s Working Group on the Simplified Reporting Procedure (SRP) met several times during the session to take decisions on how children’s rights defenders, including children, can engage.
  • The Committee’s Working Group on child participation was reconstituted and met to discuss the follow-up to the March 2017 retreat on child participation, which was organised by Child Rights Connect. The Working Group is currently composed of the members below:
    – Kirsten Sandberg (coordinator)
    – Amal Salaman Aldoseri
    – Suzanne Aho Assouma
    – Jorge Cardona
    – Bernard Gastaud
    – Clarence Nelson
    – Luis Pedernera

9. Committee and OHCHR priority issues

  • Strengthening the Treaty Body system by harmonizing working methods and simplifying procedures, as provided by the General Assembly Resolution 68/268.
  • Promote a rights-based approach to health trough the recent established OHCHR-WHO High Level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents.
  • Call for funds and support for the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
  • Preparation for next year’s Annual Day of the Rights of the Child topic around children in the context of humanitarian emergencies.
  • Continue advocacy efforts to ensure that the rights of children on the move are fully reflected, implemented and operationalized on the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration and on the Global compact on Refugees.
  • Strengthen children’s participation and include SDGs related issues in the Committee’s working methods.

For more information, check out the speeches from Ibrahim Salama, Chief, Human Rights Treaties Branch, and the former Chairperson, Benyam Mezmur’s at the opening session, as well as the current Chairperson Renate Winter’s closing speech at the closing session.

10. 77th pre-session

Committee hold pre-sessional working group meetings and issued List of Issues for:

  • Guatemala (CRC)
  • Palau (CRC)
  • Panama (CRC)
  • Marshall Islands (CRC)
  • Seychelles (CRC)
  • Spain (CRC)
  • Solomon Islands (CRC)
  • Sri Lanka (CRC)

Deadlines for additional info from children’s rights defenders here.

11. Committee and OHCHR priority issues

  • On 12 May, Child Rights Connect and UNICEF met with the new CRC members during their induction day organised by OHCHR to present who we are and what we do.
  • Child Rights Connect’s Task Force on Simplified Reporting Procedure (SRP) held meetings with the Committee’s Working group on SRP to give inputs and ensure civil society participation in this new reporting process. As part of the Task Force work, Child Rights Connect developed an FAQs document on SRP to be disseminated at the national level.

Child Rights Connect’s Working group on children of incarcerated parents held a private meeting with the Committee to brief, discuss and recommend the Committee about the rights of children of incarcerated parents.