Countries must sign new UN child rights protocol, says the IRCT27-02-2012
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) – the global umbrella body for 150 rehabilitation centres in 74 countries today called for States to sign the new Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (OPCRC) at the official signing ceremony due to take place tomorrow, 28th of February 2012. The measure, the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is a last resort for children when their country’s legal system has failed to remedy a violation of their rights.
“Children will now be able to join the ranks of other rights-holders who are empowered to bring their complaints about human rights violations before an international body”, said UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in December 2011 when the UN General Assembly adopted the new protocol.
“Children are all too often victims of torture in countries spanning the globe,” said IRCT Secretary-General Brita Sydhoff.
“Yet, until now the lack of an international complaints mechanism for children has been a major obstacle for the reporting on cases of child torture. Where national complaints mechanisms for children are ineffective or non-existent, children who have been tortured have been left unable to seek redress for the violations committed against them,” added Sydhoff.
The OPCRC will enable children or their representatives claiming that their rights have been violated to bring a complaint to a committee of international experts, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, if they have not been able to get remedies for these violations before the domestic courts.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), while currently the most widely ratified international human rights instrument is the last of the core human rights instruments to gain such a complaints procedure.
“By ratifying this new treaty, states will provide a crucial contribution to complement measures for respecting and protecting the rights of the child worldwide,” concluded Sydhoff.
Miriam Reventlow, IRCT
Tel: +45 36 93 87 24
About the IRCT
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims is an independent non-profit global organisation
with a membership of 146 rehabilitation centres in 73 countries and with over 25 years' experience. The work of the IRCT is threefold:
- Rehabilitation of torture victims and their families
- Ensuring victims' access to justice
- Eradication of torture