In Record Time! Children will be able to make complaints to the UN within 3 months

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD, signed and ratified the Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in New York on 24th September 2014.

The Children’s Rights Alliance and its members have campaigned for Ireland to sign and ratify this important procedure since 2012.

This is a tremendous achievement for Minister Reilly, Minister Flanagan and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs who have worked tirelessly to get this protocol ratified in record time. Now children’s rights will be protected at the highest level.

Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to ratify the Third Optional Protocol.  States that have already ratified this Protocol include: Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Gabon, Germany, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Thailand. Ireland’s decision to ratify quickly will encourage other countries to follow.

This new procedure enables children and their representatives to complain to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child when their rights have been breached. However, there is an obligation to exhaust domestic remedies meaning that complainants will have to rely upon the many different complaints mechanisms/bodies nationally before making a complaint to the UN Committee. Complainants will be able to lodge complaints with the UN Committee within three months.

The Children’s Rights Alliance will be hosting an information event on how to use the Protocol in October 2014. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the Protocol, you can read our briefing here.

The Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members (among them ATD) working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child.