The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most ratified international treaty ever and represents a worldwide recognition of children as full-fledged citizens and as subjects of rights. It also establishes State Parties accountability to respect and ensure the fulfillment of children’s rights. Since its adoption in November 1989, the Convention has been ratified by states across regions and today it is in force in all but two. The CRC has been complemented in 2000 by two Optional Protocols, an “Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict” and an “Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Prostitution and Child Pornography”, each of them ratified by more than 100 countries. The CRC is the first binding international human rights instrument incorporating in the same text social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights. To monitor progress achieved in the realization of children’s rights, the CRC has established an international expert body, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which also provides awareness and understanding of the principles and provisions of this treaty. The interpretation by the Committee of the CRC provisions and principles is framed by the Committee’s monitoring experience and captured in General Comments.
There are several General Comments under the CRC, and in September 2016, the Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted its General Comment 20 on the rights of the child in adolescence. Adolescence is a life stage characterized by growing opportunities, capacities, aspirations, energy and creativity, but also significant vulnerability. Adolescents are agents of change and a key asset and resource with the potential to contribute positively to their families, communities and countries.
To make the General Comment 20 tighter and robust, in July 2016 Global March was invited to share its inputs and suggestions, and we are happy to announce that many of our inputs and recommendations have found mention in the same.
With the adoption of the General Comment 20 and its formal launch on 7 February 2017, States will now have access to detailed guidance on the measures necessary to ensure the realization of the rights of children during adolescence, cognizant also of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The General Comment highlights the importance of a human rights-based approach that includes recognition and respect for the dignity and agency of adolescents; their empowerment, citizenship and active participation in their own lives; the promotion of optimum health, well-being and development; and a commitment to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of their human rights, without discrimination.
The event on 7 February 2017 in Geneva, will launch this ground-breaking General Comment on the margins of the 74th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. For more information on the event, click here
Read Global March’s recommendations here.