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The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols

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The CRC, in force in all regions and in countries with different political, economic and social contexts, has an implementation history of more than fifteen years. During this period a very high number of reports have been submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (herein referred to as the CRC Committee). The Convention is at least partially responsible for a broad process of social change - for children and with children - that is important to document.

Anchored on the CRC, two optional protocols have been approved: one on the involvement of children in armed conflict; and the second on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. There has been widespread ratification of both of these, and their implementation is gaining momentum.

Against this background, the IRC began a study of the implementation of the general measures of the CRC implementation. These are measures that have been given due recognition by the CRC Committee, including through its General Comment no. 5.
Moreover, they have been reflected in A World Fit for Children approved by the UN Special Session on Children (paragraph 31).
The general measures include: law reform, mechanisms to coordinate actions for children, the development and implementation of national plans of action, the provision of adequate financial and human resources, monitoring of progress, education and awareness raising, and the involvement of civil society, including children, all designed to promote the implementation of the CRC.

62 countries are under review in the IRC study. They were chosen to represent all regions of the world, and to capture the rich experience of both the north and the south. All these countries have reported twice to the Committee.


The CRC, in force in all regions and in countries with different political, economic and social contexts, has an implementation history of more than fifteen years. During this period a very high number of reports have been submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (herein referred to as the CRC Committee). The Convention is at least partially responsible for a broad process of social change - for children and with children - that is important to document.

Anchored on the CRC, two optional protocols have been approved: one on the involvement of children in armed conflict; and the second on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. There has been widespread ratification of both of these, and their implementation is gaining momentum.

Against this background, the IRC began a study of the implementation of the general measures of the CRC implementation. These are measures that have been given due recognition by the CRC Committee, including through its General Comment no. 5.
Moreover, they have been reflected in A World Fit for Children approved by the UN Special Session on Children (paragraph 31).
The general measures include: law reform, mechanisms to coordinate actions for children, the development and implementation of national plans of action, the provision of adequate financial and human resources, monitoring of progress, education and awareness raising, and the involvement of civil society, including children, all designed to promote the implementation of the CRC.

62 countries are under review in the IRC study. They were chosen to represent all regions of the world, and to capture the rich experience of both the north and the south. All these countries have reported twice to the Committee.

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

The Handbook aims to promote understanding and effective implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The publication describes the genesis, scope and content of the Protocol, and provides examples of measures taken by States Parties to fulfil their obligations under this instrument. This essential guide is addressed principally to public officials, UN organizations, child rights advocates and others who work with and for children, and whose duties and activities can enhance the protection of children from exploitation, whether on the national or local level.

The study reviews the legislation concerning the rights of children adopted by 52 States parties since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With the goal of providing an overview of the scope and content of new legislation adopted since 1989, the report covers 18 of the general principles and rights contained in the Convention. Three subjects that deserve further investigation are identified: the process of law reform, its place as part of a broad child rights strategy, and the actual impact of legislation of this kind on children.

This publication documents a rare attempt to assess all the steps involved in legal reform for the realization of child rights and makes a detailed estimate of the costs at each step. The case study addresses two costing projects in connection with these reforms: one for development of a child justice system, another for a comprehensive children’s act. Both of these were extensive pieces of legislation requiring substantial systemic adjustment.

Since its adoption in November 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has been ratified by states across regions and today it is in force in all but two. The CRC is the first binding international human rights instrument incorporating in the same text social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights. The present publication contains the seven General Comments issued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the CD Rom accompanying this text includes all the Concluding Observations adopted by the Committee in relation to State Parties reports presented by European Countries and the Asian Republics between 1993 and 2005.

In 2003 the Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted an important statement: its General Comment n°5 on General Measures of Implementation. That same year, the Innocenti Research Centre began a study of the general measures of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The study reviews 62 countries, representing all regions of the world, that have submitted two reports to the Committee on implementation of the CRC. This analytical review is based primarily on the reports of States Parties to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and other documents generated as part of the reporting process.

Desde su adopción en Noviembre de 1989, la Convención ha sido ratificada por Estados a través de todas las regiones y en la actualidad es aplicable en todos los países, a excepción de dos. La CDN es el primer instrumento internacional que crea obligaciones y responsabilidades para los Estados y que incorpora en un mismo texto derechos sociales, culturales, económicos, civiles y políticos. La CDN ha establecido un órgano internacional formado por expertos, el Comité de los Derechos del Niño, que tiene como finalidad vigilar y analizar el progreso que se ha alcanzado en la realización de los derechos de la infancia, así como también sensiblizar y proveer conocimiento sobre los principios y provisiones de la CDN.

The CRC Implementation Report addresses areas where the potential of the treaty can be maximized, to advance the cause of children's rights and support UNICEF's agenda. The study focuses on the general measures of implementation of the CRC in 62 countries, with a particular emphasis on legal and institutional reforms at the national level aimed at ensuring the effective application and enforcement of the provisions of the CRC.

This title focuses on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as it relates to children's basic economic and social rights in developing countries in terms of the obligations placed by the Convention on both States and the international community.

AUTHOR(S)

James R. Himes
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been variously hailed as ‘the cornerstone of a new moral ethos’ and a ‘milestone in the history of mankind’. But laws and treaties are as nothing without adequate practical follow-up.

AUTHOR(S)

James R. Himes
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