The third Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child on
a Communications Procedure
Anita Goh
Advocacy Officer
[email protected]
Creation of OP3 CRC
28 February 2012: the Protocol was open to signature and ratification by UN
Member States
On 14 January 2014, Costa Rica was the 10th State to ratify OP3 CRC.
OP3 CRC entered into force on 14 April 2014 for those States.
The ten States parties are: Thailand, Gabon, Germany, Bolivia, Albania,
Spain, Portugal, Montenegro, Slovakia and Costa Rica.
As of today, 45 signatories, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus,
Finland, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
OP3 CRC is only applicable in the 10 States that have ratified it and will
enter into force in new States parties 3 months after their ratification.
How will OP3 CRC work?
Child victims (individuals or groups) or
their representatives
Submit a complaint after exhaustion of
effective domestic remedies
= Alleging the violation of rights guaranteed
under the CRC, OPSC and/or OPAC by a
State party to that treaty and to OP3 CRC
WHERE = To the Committee on the Rights of the Child
How will OP3 CRC work?
It is a quasi-judicial mechanism= the procedure is similar
to court proceedings but decisions are not legally binding
Only available to those living in a country that accepted
the communications procedure (through the ratification or
accession of OP3 CRC)
Only for violations of rights that can relate to an
action/inaction of the State concerned
Mechanism complementary to national level= all the
domestic remedies must be exhausted (except if they are
uneffective or unduly prolonged)
Key provisions of OP3 CRC
Articles 2 & 3 – General principles to be followed by the
 The Committee shall interpret the provisions of the OP in
a way that it ensures the best interests and the right to be
heard of the child.
 Its new 'Rules of Procedure' must guarantee childsensitive Procedures.
 The Committee has the power to decline to examine any
communication that would be contrary to the child's best
Key provisions of OP3 CRC
Article 5 – Individual communications
If the communication is submitted by a representative
of a victim(s), the representative must:
 show the consent of the victim(s), or
 justify that it was not possible to get consent
Key provisions of OP3 CRC
Article 7 – Admissibility requirements
A communication is admissible if it is:
Not anonymous
Violation did not occur before the entry into force
of the OP, except if continuous violation
Domestic remedies have been exhausted, except
if ineffective or unduly prolonged
Submitted within one year of final decision, except
if impossible
Key provisions of OP3 CRC
Article 13 – Inquiry procedure for grave or
systematic violations
 Additional, optional mechanism (opt-out)
 Open to any actor (not only to victims)
 Reliable information indicating grave or systematic
 Confidential but information is transmitted to the State
 Possibility of country visit, with the consent of the State
The International Coalition
The International Coalition
The International Coalition
Contact and useful links
International Coalition: [email protected]
European focal point: Eurochild
Useful links:

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