Annual OPIC trends 2020

As the year comes to an end, we have put together a summary of trends under the OPIC.

CRC Sessions and individual communications under OPIC

Last April, Child Rights Connect published a news piece on the work of the CRC in the 83th session (20 Jan 2020 – 07 Feb 2020), where nine decisions on individual communications were adopted, four of them on the merits. The COVID-19 pandemic had serious consequences all over the world, which led to the postponement of the session of the CRC scheduled in May. However, last September the CRC 85th limited online session (14 Sep 2020 – 01 Oct 2020) took place and 18 new decisions were adopted under the OPIC, reaching the merits in six cases. In spite of the COVID pandemic, 2020 has been the year with most decisions adopted under the OPIC.

Number of decisions adopted per region in 2020

In 2020, decisions adopted by the CRC on individual communications under the Optional Protocol to the UNCRC on a Communications Procedure (OPIC), continued to be mostly against European States (85%). This is unsurprising given that the latter compose more than half of the States parties to the OPIC. However, since 2019, there has been an increase of decisions adopted against States from Latin America (15% in 2020 vs. 0% in 2019). Latin America regroups the second largest group of States parties to the OPIC in the world. To see the status of OPIC ratifications click here.

Jurisprudential trends and pending cases to the CRC

In 2020 the Committee’s adopted decisions have continued to concern mainly migration cases including cases related to non-refoulement, age determination of unaccompanied migrant children and family reunification matters. However, new thematic are also emerging in the latest adopted decisions & discontinued cases, including in relation to the right to education, circumcision, and the international abduction of children, among others.

The diversity in the issues and countries against which communications are being presented is also reflected in the pending cases to the CRC, which amounted to 65 cases in the CRC’s last update of the Table of Pending Cases (October 2020).

Other developments

In January 2020, the CRC published its Guidelines on Third Party Interventions.

In October, the CRC also published its second Follow-up progress report on individual communications, helping track the implementation the Committee’s adopted Views by States.

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