Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children urges Canada to ratify new
treaty so more children can access international justice for rights
TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Children whose human rights have been
violated will finally be able to bring their cases to the United
Nations after a new international treaty enacted on January 14, 2014.
Until this recent UN action and despite its near universal ratification
(all countries have ratified except Somalia, South Sudan and the United
States), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was the only international human rights treaty that had no mechanism for
victims to seek justice internationally when they could not get redress
for violations of their rights nationally.
The new treaty, known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure (OP3 CRC) was adopted
by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. The treaty
will become active in three months' time after Costa Rica ratified it
on January 14. Albania, Bolivia, Gabon, Germany, Montenegro, Portugal,
Slovakia, Spain and Thailand previously ratified.
A State is not bound by the treaty until it ratifies it. Campaigners
are urging governments around the world, including Canada, to ratify
the new treaty so more children can access justice at the UN. Ratify OP3 CRC, an international coalition of children's rights NGOs, says the UN will
now be better equipped to address future violations of children's
rights, and more pressure will be put on countries to ensure children's
rights are respected.
Cheryl Milne, Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
says, "This is an important step in ensuring that children's rights are
taken seriously. Canada should show its commitment to the rights of
children by ratifying this protocol."
Cases brought under this new communications procedure will be heard by
the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN body of 18 independent
experts responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child. From 14 April 2014, victims of all new or
ongoing violations in States who have ratified the treaty can start
bringing cases to the Committee if no solution is found nationally. The
treaty does not cover past violations.
"This new international treaty enacted by the UN is a major human rights
victory and milestone for children across the world, especially those
who are routinely affected and threatened by violence, sexual abuse,
trafficking, and discrimination," said Rosemary McCarney, President and
CEO of Plan Canada. "When Canada and more states move to ratify this
protocol, more children around the world will finally have access to
the means and channels they deserve to have their rights respected and
to call on their governments to take action to protect them."
About the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC)
The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) is a network of
Canadian organizations and individuals who promote respect for the
rights of children. Its purpose is to: exchange information; provide
public education materials about the Convention on the Rights of the
Child; monitor implementation of the Convention in Canada; and engage
in dialogue with government officials on child rights issues. The
Convention on the Rights of the Child is the guiding framework for all
activities of the coalition. Visit http://rightsofchildren.ca for more information.
About Plan Canada
Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world's oldest and largest
international development agencies, working in partnership with
millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for
profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has
only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls'
rights and lift millions of girls - and everyone around them - out of
poverty. Visit www.plancanada.ca and www.becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.
SOURCE: Plan Canada
For further information:
Cheryl Milne, Chair, Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
firstname.lastname@example.org / 416-978-0092
Abigail Brown, Plan Canada