The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a body of 18 independent experts who monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of its optional protocols, by its member States.
The CRC usually holds three sessions a year, each one lasting three weeks.
The CRC relies on three main tools to carry out its mission:
- A periodic report by each State on its implementation of children’s rights,
- The publication of general observations on these rights,
- The organization of days of general discussion.
Periodic report from each state on the rights of the child
Since 1998, all member States have been obliged to present a five-yearly report on the implementation of children’s rights in their country. The Committee examines the reports and notes its observations and recommendations to each State, in the form of “concluding observations”. These concluding observations generally contain the following:
- An introduction,
- The positive aspects (including any progress made),
- Difficulties and hindrances to the implementation of children’s rights,
- Main concerns,
- Suggestions and recommendations.
The concerns expressed by the Committee in its concluding observations must be taken into detailed account by each member State in its following report.
General comments on the rights of the child
The general comments provide an authoritative interpretation of rights set out in article or provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They are based on the experience of the CRC in the follow-up of periodic reviews by party States. The main objective of a general comment is to promote the implementation of the Convention, and to help the States fulfill their obligations in compiling their reports.
Download the most recent general comments
- General comment #14: the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration
- General comment #15: the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health
- General comment #16: State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights
- General comment #17: the right of the child to rest, leisure, play, recreational activities, cultural life and the arts
Days of General Discussion
The days of General Discussion are organized once every two years. They are devoted to a theme or an article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and are aimed at promoting a better understanding of these issues.
During the public debate, government representatives, UN human rights bodies, NGOs, and human rights organizations all take part.
In 2014, the Day of General Discussion focused on the rights of the child and social networks. BICE presented its “Stop Cyberbullying” campaign. In 2016, the chosen subject will be access to justice for children.