WHAT IS THE OPIC?

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure (OPIC), also known as the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is an international human rights treaty that allows the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) to hear complaints alleging that a child’s rights have been violated. Children will only be able to approach the United Nations if the national legal system has not been able to provide a remedy for the violation.

The Committee is also able to launch inquiries into grave or systematic violations of children’s rights in States-parties to the OPIC.

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Did you know?

It’s been only 5 years since children can lodge a complaint with the UN about violations of their rights, if violations cannot be addressed effectively at national level. Indeed, the OPIC entered into force on 14 April 2014.

The Mechanisms

Under the OPIC, violations to the rights of the child can be brought to the attention of the Committee through two procedures: the Communications Procedure and the Inquiry Procedure. Learn more about them here. 

How to Submit an Individual Communication

Learn what is necessary for a communication to be considered by the Committee. 

Follow-up

It is vital that State parties to the OPIC fully implement the Committee’s Views and recommendations to ensure the realization of children’s rights. The OPIC provides for follow-up procedures, but it is important to advocate for the implementation of the OPIC through other means. 

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the OPIC.