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Finland commits to the communications procedure of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 13.11.2015 13.44
Press release 252/2015

The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on a communications procedure will enter into force for Finland 12 February 2016. Finland deposited the instrument of ratification concerning the Optional Protocol with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 12 November 2015. The CRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world, and this Optional Protocol marks a major step in the promotion of the implementation of the rights of the child in Finland and internationally.

The Protocol establishes an individual communications procedure, under which the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has the competence to consider communications, submitted by individuals, on alleged violations of the CRC and its two substantive Optional Protocols. The Committee gives its views and recommendations on the individual communications. The individual communications procedure strengthens the status of children submitting complaints as well as other children, and the rights of the child as legally binding human rights.

The Protocol also establishes an inter-State communications procedure and an inquiry procedure for grave or systematic violations at the Committee’s own initiative. The Optional Protocol was done in New York in December 2011 and it entered into force internationally in April 2014.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in the UN General Assembly in 1989, entered into force in Finland in 1991.  The Convention includes provision on civil and political as well as on economic, social and cultural rights. The general principles of the CRC are non-discrimination, the best interest of the child, right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of the child. The UN General Assembly adopted two substantive optional protocols to the CRC in 2000, that is, the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. These Optional Protocols entered into force in Finland in 2002 and 2012 respectively.

Inquiries: Satu Sistonen, Legal Officer, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 351 789.