Communications Procedure under the Draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Critical Assessment

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Among the core international human rights treaties adopted at the UN level, the CRC is unique for excl usively dealing with the rights of children. The insh·ument, however, is devoid of an international Complaints Mechanism. Consequently, children are not entitled to present claims alleging violations of their rights at an international level and get remedy. Analyzing the detrimental impact that absence of international Complaints Mechanism under the CRC may pose on children, the HRC of the UN made a landmark decision in June 2009 through adopting a Resolution (A/HRC/RES/11/1) which established an inter-governmental OEWG having the mandate of exploring the possibilities of establishing Communications Procedure for the CRC In March 2010, the HRC made another Resolution (A/ HRC/RES/13/3) and empowered the OEWG to prepare a draft Optional Protocol that provides Communications Procedure for the CRC Pursuant to this Resolution, the OEWG prepared a draft Optional Protocol and presented it to the HRC Scrutinizing its contents, the HRC adopted the draft on 17 June 2011.The instrument will be presented for signature, ratification and accession if it gets final approval by the General Assembly of the UN in December 2011 . Admittedly, children are vulnerable groups of the society. Accordingly, an international Complaints System devised for children is expected to take in to account the special nature of children. This research will assess the draft Optional Protocol of the CRC adopted by the HRC and examine whether the key Procedures introduced in to the draft (i.e., Individual Communications. Inter-State Communication and Inquiry Procedure) incorporate provisions that take in to account the special status and vulnerabilities of children. The research will also scrutinize other provisions of the draft