In March 2020, the Committee on the Rights of the Child will hold an in-country/region session for the very first time in the Treaty Bodies system. The extraordinary session will take place in Apia, Samoa from 2 to 6 March, and will include three country reviews (Micronesia, Cook Islands, Tuvalu), and one country pre-session (Kiribati) – check the programme of work here! The session will be an additional session to the three usual annual sessions that the Committee holds in Geneva and has confirmed for 2020. Representative of the Secretary-General Mr. Kyle Ward stated in the recent opening of the Committee’s 83rd session that the Samoa session “will represent a step forward in the common aspiration to get Treaty Bodies closer to their relevant rights holders,” and “will permit broader engagement of the State parties, civil society and national human rights institutions of the region, as well as UN agencies and other stakeholders, especially children.” 

Child Rights Connect will be present in Samoa and is currently in the process of organising capacity building activities for civil society including children. This will include training on CRC reporting for both children and adults and an event on the environment and climate change, among other initiatives to be confirmed. To do this, we are coordinating and collaborating with partners including OHCHR, UNICEF, Pacific Commonwealth Equality Project Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the UN Resident Coordinator in Samoa. Child Rights Connect is also providing specialised assistance on child participation in the planning of activities and selection of children. A variety of other side events, training and other activities are being organised around the margins of the Committee’s country reviews and we will be sharing more details on all this very soon, along with a communications briefing to support remote participation!

Our main goal is to strengthen civil society in the Pacific from the grassroots level in a long-term, sustainable way, by maximising this unique opportunity of the Committee’s presence and activities in the region!

Are you planning to attend the session? Would you like to know more? Are you in the region and looking for funding to participate? Do you know of organisations that may be interested to engage? Please get in touch with us at [email protected]!