“OPIC encourages States to improve their national justice systems and thus contributes to the most essential when it comes to children’s rights – implementation” (Kirsten Sandberg, former CRC Chairperson)
Child Rights Connect was instrumental in the creation of the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure (OPIC) and in the ratification campaign that led to its entry into force in April 2014. Through this new treaty, the international community has put children’s rights on an equal footing with other human rights and allowed for more accountability of States. The recognition that children have the right to appeal to an international mechanism specific to them, if violations cannot be addressed effectively at national level, is also the ultimate example of putting children’s right to be heard and participate into practice.
For this treaty to have an impact on the realization of children’s rights at national level, it is essential that children’s rights defenders, including children, understand its relevance and functioning. One of the strategic priorities of Child Rights Connect is to ensure that OPIC is used by children’s rights defenders, including children, to seek redress for children’s rights violations and to influence the development of the legal and policy frameworks.
For this purpose, we advocate for more States to ratify OPIC, so that more children can access the mechanism, and we work closely with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to ensure that the Protocol and its rules of procedure are effectively operationalized through high quality working methods, including accessible, transparent and child-sensitive processes.