Overview of the 77th Session and 79th Pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
(15 January – 09 February 2018)
1. List of States reviewed (Reviewed Reports, Concluding Observations, Child Rights Connect Session Reports)
2. Children’s participation Monitoring and Analysis
At its 77th session
(15 January – 02 February) the Committee reviewed the reports and issued Concluding Observations
for eight States:
3. Status of ratifications (as of April 2018)
- 196 States parties to the CRC
- 167 States parties to the OPAC
- 174 States parties to the OPSC – State of Palestine acceded to OPSC, bringing the number of States parties to 174, one more since the last session (11 September – 29 September 2017).
- 37 States parties to the OPIC – Brazil and Turkey ratified the OPIC, bringing the number of States parties to 37, two more since the last session (11 September – 29 September 2017).
4. Status of work on General Comments (as of April 2018)
- On Friday 9 February, the CRC Committee decided to work on the development of a new General Comment focusing on children’s rights and digital media. The Committee will start working on this new General Comment only once the revision of General Comment No. 10 on Children’s rights in juvenile justice will be over.
5. Status of work on Day of General Discussion (as of April 2018)
- After accepting Child Rights Connect’s proposal to hold its 2018 Day of General Discussion on the topic “Protecting and empowering children human rights defenders”, the Committee has adopted the Concept Note, informed by the findings of children’s consultations across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
- The DGD is a long-term project aimed to create a global movement for children human rights defenders around the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
- The Child Rights Connect Secretariat has set up a Taskforce of members, as well as an expert advisory group which include the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders.
- Child Rights connect has set up Child’s Advisory Team composed of 20 Child Advisors. In March 2018, we have concluded our 3-day workshop with Child Advisors of the DGD Children’s Advisory Team here in Geneva and many of the other Child Advisors participated by offering their inputs online, including developing the DGD programme, the children’s consultation methodology, a child-friendly DGD concept note and the UN Committee’s DGD child participation Working Methods.
- Child Rights Connect will be supporting a global round of DGD children’s consultations to be taken forward by the Children’s Advisory Team, by our members and partners, including by adults and children themselves, between March and June 2018.
- A call for submissions from adults and children is available on the Committee’s webpage (deadline 1st July 2018). Child Rights Connect will continue to engage with children to gather their views and recommendations before, during and after the DGD.
- At the opening of the session, Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore praised CRC Committee for choosing Children Human Rights Defenders as the topic of the next DGD and said that the creativity of Children Human Rights Defenders are crucial for the youth quake.
6. Status of individual communications under the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure
- On 2 February 2018, the Committee on the Rights of the Child released decisions on two cases against France and Denmark under the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure (OPIC). The first was considered inadmissible and the latter is the first case to be found as a violation under the best interest of the child principle, discrimination and violence against children as included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The case against France concerned the eviction of a family with children from a Roma camp, with the authors arguing for violations of human rights on the basis of the best interest of the child principle, right to housing, right to health, right to education, discrimination based on ethnicity and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The case was considered inadmissible on the basis of ratione temporis and, as such, the Committee will engage in no further action regarding it.
The case against Denmark claimed that the deportation of a girl to Somalia, where she could face the risk of being forcefully subjected to female genital mutilation, would violate the best interest of the child principle, prohibition of discrimination and protection against all forms of violence or ill treatment. The Committee found the claims made by the authors on behalf of the alleged victim to be in violation of the CRC and OPIC.
Read the full decisions here http://bit.ly/2DWgAtn and http://bit.ly/2DUjVco
- At the closing session, the current Chairperson Ms. Renate Winter informed that the Committee was reviewing 39 registered communications, out of which 31 had been registered in 2017, which was a sharp increase in the number of cases coming in, mainly related to migration. Some 125 cases had been received but not yet registered.
- Thus far, in addition to the new case against France, three cases have been declared inadmissible ( J.A.B.S. v. Costa Rica, A.A.A. v. Spain and A.H.A. v. Spain), and one case has been discontinued (case No. 9). Find the Committee’s jurisprudence here.
- See the table of pending cases before the Committee here.
7. Status of Simplified Reporting Procedure (SRP)
The Committee is taking a progressive approach and is inviting more States at the end of every session:
- Due between 1 September and 31 December 2019: Russia, Luxembourg, Croatia (opted-in), Indonesia, Hungary (opted-in), Kyrgyzstan and Congo.
- Due between 1 January and 30 April 2020: Poland (opted-in), Tanzania, Dominican Republic, and Timor Leste
- Due between 30 April 2020 and 31 August 2020: Ethiopia, Iraq, Venezuela, India, Morocco, Saint Lucia, and the United Arab Emirates
- Due between 31 August 2020 and 31 December 2020: Ghana, Eritrea, Netherlands (opted-in), Honduras, Fiji, Switzerland (opted-in), Turkmenistan, and Mexico
- Countries invited in February 2018, due between 1 January and 30 April 2021: Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Chile, France, Gabon, Gambia, Haiti, Mauritius, Peru, Senegal, Suriname, Sweden, Zambia, Zimbabwe
8. Relevant activities of the Committee during the session
- On the 1st February 2018, the Committee on the Rights of the Child held its tenth informal meeting with States, during which it discussed, inter alia, the launch of the two joint General Comments with the Committee on Migrant Workers, the day of general discussion on children as human rights defenders, the global study on the situation of children deprived of liberty, the simplified reporting procedure, budgetary allocations for children’s issues, the new structure of the concluding observations, and the revision of General Comment No. 10 on children’s rights in juvenile justice.
- The meeting started with an intervention from the Chairperson, Ms Renate Winter, who highlighted the cooperation with Child Rights Connect and children themselves. Acknowledging the difficulties for States to fulfil their reporting obligations, the Committee appealed more States to join the simplified reporting procedure, with the current number standing at four.
- In regards to the OPIC, the Committee noted that 39 cases were registered in 2017, a sharp increase from 2016, and underlined that most of the cases were related to migration issues. The Committee also announced that one decision on the merits of a case had been taken during this session but was not yet publicly available.
- On the Day of General Discussion, the Committee recognised the importance and difficulty of the topic of children human rights defenders and appealed States to organise side events for it.
- As for the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Committee asked for State engagement and said it has been cooperating with the Special Rapporteur on this matter, conducting consultations and organising a workshop in March.
- On the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Committee said it would be organising monthly events with different stakeholders.
9. Relevant activities of Child Rights Connect during the session (as of April 2018)
- Child Rights Connect met several times with the Committee during the session and pre-session to discuss matters related to child participation and the organisation of this year’s Day of General Discussion.
- The intersessional event co-sponsored by Child Rights Connect, the Permanent Mission of the European Union, the Permanent Mission of Uruguay, UNICEF and ICVA on the topic of the rights of the child in humanitarian situations took place on 9th February 2018. CRC Committee member Benyam Mezmur chaired the event.
10. Committee and OHCHR issues and priorities
- Emphasis on the importance of promoting the voices of children in their activities, with Kate Gilmore (UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights) complementing the choice to have the next Day of General Discussion be on children human rights defenders;
- Need to improve access to healthcare and education to children, especially girls;
- Need to fight age-based inequality and the unequal distribution of wealth, which greatly affects children;
- Treaty body strengthening.
11. 79th pre-session
The Committee held the pre-session meetings and issued List of Issues
for the following six States
- Benin (OPSC, OPAC)
- El Salvador (CRC)
- Japan (CRC)
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic (CRC)
- Mauritania (CRC)
- Niger (CRC, OPSC)
- Saudi Arabia (OPSC, OPAC)
Deadlines for additional information from children’s rights defenders here.
12. Closing session
The Committee continued its work towards the enhancing of its working methods, namely through the simplified reporting procedure.