Thailand is first Asian country to ratify UN treaty giving children access to justice at the international levelPublished on 26 Sep 2012 in News, Slides by author
26 September 2012
Thailand is the first Asian country to ratify the new international treaty on children’s rights allowing children and their representatives to report rights violations to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Gabon, a country in Central Africa, is another country that recently ratified the said treaty.
“Before this new treaty, it was almost impossible to challenge violations of children’s rights at the international level,” said Anita Goh, Co-Chair of Ratify OP3CRC – International Coalition for the OPCRC on a Communications Procedure, an alliance of children’s rights NGOs and institutions.
The treaty, a third Optional Protocol (OP) to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), establishes a channel of complaint for children whose rights have been violated, for example through violence, sexual exploitation, or lack of access to education. If violations cannot be addressed effectively by national courts, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will be able to examine them.
“We applaud Thailand’s and Gabon’s lead, and urge every country to ratify the OP to recognize children as full rights holders” said Ryan Silverio, representing Child Rights Coalition Asia, a member organisation of the International Coalition. “Ratifying this treaty is an important step towards ensuring that children have equal access to justice at the international level,” added Silverio.
“The International Coalition especially looks for leadership of States that supported the creation of the Protocol and all those that have signed it. We call for its entry into force by February 28, 2013, the first anniversary of its signing,” said Goh.
Thailand and Gabon ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the UN annual treaty event on 25 September 2012, in New York. The Protocol enters into force once ten States ratify it. It can then be used by children and their representatives in every state where it is ratified.