UNICEF statement on the entry into force of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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NEW YORK, 20 December 2013 - UNICEF joins Member States, the United Nations system, Civil Society Organizations, children and adolescents around the world to celebrate the entry into force of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communication Procedure.

The entry into force comes three months after the 10th ratification of the Protocol, by the Government of Costa Rica.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entered into force in 1989, is the most widely ratified human rights treaty, reflecting consensus among the governments of the world that there are certain minimum standards that every child should enjoy.  

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has asserted that: “For rights to have meaning, effective remedies must be available to redress violations.” The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communication Procedure aims to do just that.

The Optional Protocol will form part of a continuum of accountability mechanisms, and UNICEF believes it will also serve to identify gaps in judicial systems for children at the national level, and complement the strengthening of national independent human rights institutions for children.

UNICEF reiterates that these mechanisms must be available and accessible for all children, especially those normally excluded and marginalised such as children with disabilities, indigenous and minority children.

UNICEF takes this opportunity to encourage States which have not done so to ratify both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its three Optional Protocols.

The 25th anniversary of the Convention, coming up in 2014, is a fitting occasion for States to reflect and determine how best to fulfil their collective promise of a truly equitable, safe and loving world for all children.

UNICEF looks forward to working with Member States, Civil Society, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and with children and adolescents themselves, to make this a reality.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For further information, please contact:

Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York, Tel: +1 212 326 7586, Mobile: +1 917 213 4034 rwallace@unicef.org

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