On 27 September 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child wrapped up its 82nd session. This week it published all of its adopted decisions under the OPIC – here’s what you need to know.
During the 82nd session (9-27 September 2019), the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) considered reports from six State parties, and seven individual complaints under the third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure (OPIC). In two of the individual complaints, the Committee adopted Views finding Spain had violated children’s rights. These two complaints concerned unaccompanied minors and the lack of recognition as a child in order to be afforded protection as well as the lack of access to asylum proceedings. The Committee found violations to articles 3, 8, 12, 20 (1), and -for the first time ever- to article 22 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, concerning refugee children and children seeking refugee status. Concrete recommendations were made to prevent similar violations in the future. Other decisions adopted by the Committee during its 82th session were either inadmissible or discontinued and concerned Denmark (4) and Spain (1).
The Committee also published its first Follow-up progress report on individual communications, which tracks State’s implementation of the Committee’s adopted Views. Two weeks ago, the Committee commended Belgium for swiftly and fully implementing its Views, in a complaint concerning the denial of a humanitarian visa to a child who was taken in under kafalah (guardianship under Islamic law).
At the end of the 82nd session, the Committee issued its concluding observations, calling on Australia, Mozambique and the Republic of Korea to further strengthen the fulfilment of children’s rights by ratifying the OPIC. The Committee further called on the State parties to ensure complaint mechanisms are available to children and that they are child-friendly. The Committee also welcomed the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in ratifying the OPIC in 2018, and by Georgia in acceding to the OPIC in 2016.
Since the 81st session (13-31 May 2019), there has been further State commitment to the OPIC, including Armenia (signature on 26 September 2019), Benin (ratification on 19 August 2019) and Maldives (ratification on 27 September 2019). The Committee’s recently published note on Recent developments in the individual communications received under the OPIC highlights key trends in ratification status, the individual communications received and child rights jurisprudence.
To view the Committee’s concluding observations of States reviewed in the 82nd session, as well as adopted decisions of individual communications under the OPIC, click here
Fundación Raices, the organisation supporting two of the children’s communications against Spain has issued a press release concerning the Committe’s adopted Views.