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FMSI at the signing ceremony of the UN Optional Protocol to the CRC

13/03/2012: Switzerland

FMSI attended the official signing ceremony for the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a complaints mechanism for violation of children’s rights. The event was held on the 28th of February in Geneva, Switzerland, at the “Palais des Nations” and was organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. For FMSI were present: Br. Jim Jolley, Director of Advocacy and Training, Br. Vicente Falqueto, Advocacy Officer fro Child Rights, and Ms. Robyn Young, who is currently participating in the volunteer internship programme of FMSI in Geneva.

The Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a complaints mechanism for violation of children’s rights was adopted on the 19th of December 2011 by the UN General Assembly. During the official signing ceremony held last week it was signed by twenty States from around the world. The new Optional Protocol will enable children and their representatives to bring complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, if they have not been able to get remedies for these violations in their own countries. The creation of this new instrument illustrates the recognition that children, just like adults, should have equal access to international human rights bodies and the international system of accountability for rights violations.

During the signing ceremony Lisa Myers, Director of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), addressed the participants a speech. The NGO coalition actively campaigned for the new Optional Protocol and greeted its adoption and signature as a historic step forward in the protection of children’s rights. As Lisa Myers highlighted, States are required to implement children’s right at domestic level but for rights to have meaning, they must be supported by effective remedies when violations occur. It is crucial, therefore, that some method of international redress is available, when these national remedies fail.

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Download the full text of the statement of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
http://www.fmsi-onlus.org/

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