The Committee on the Rights of the Child (here now “Committee”) monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties.
Since 2014, children can complain about their country directly to the Committee, if certain criteria are met.
Questions children (everyone under the age of 18 years) shall ask themselves, before starting a “communication procedure” at the Committee:
1) Did my country adopt the protocol and thus allows me/us to complain?
Has my home country ratified, meaning accepted the Child Rights Convention and its 3rd Optional Protocol or not? If we are uncertain, we check with local organizations or ask Humanium friends that wish to help. Countries that allow children to complain we can find here: countries that have adopted the protocol
2) A structure to support my claim?
Is there a court, an NGO or an authority in my country that could hear and support my complaint? And, if there is and I have filed in my country, waited for the time set forth in their response, if any, I am done and can file to the Committee. Good, let me check and also in terms of NGO, if there is one, e.g. Humanium, who could support my concerns!?
3) Collective complaint?
Hey, hmm, I could even complain together with a bunch of friends that support my concern(s). Yes, I will meet them, check with them, hear their voices and opinions and do it together, or not, let me check in first.
4) What exactly are our concerns?
I have learnt a lot about children’s rights on this, Humanium’s website and now it is time for me/ us to sit together and formulate my/our concern(s) concretely. Maybe I’ll ask one of my adult friends, to re-read with me my concerns, well best to pick one of those adult friends who write a lot and seem to know their stuff.
5) Writing down our concerns
Now, the written stuff: We must write our concerns down. They say that it must not be a complaint, I think they call it “communication” that has already, previously, been introduced. Well, I’ll have them check that themselves, maybe ask Humanium or another local Child Rights NGO / group for help to get us up & running with the maximum input.”
Written by: Arndt Soret