UN Committee on Rights of the Child

Committee on the Rights of the Child

The Committee on the Rights of the Child supervises the application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by ratifying member states.  It also monitors the implementation of two optional protocols to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Committee is made up of 18 experts.  Members are nominated and elected by states party to the Convention.  Officially, they work in a personal capacity and do not represent any country or organization.  The current Committee members can be found here.

The Committee convenes 3 times per year, normally for 4 weeks at a time, during which it examines periodic reports by ratifying states on “the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized” under the Convention.  Government representatives appear before the Committee, and it puts questions to them about their reports.  It then makes recommendations to the governments.  It issues a public report after each session, which includes a summary of the Committee’s discussions with government representatives about their periodic reports.  The Committee’s mandate does not permit it to consider individual complaints but it issues General Comments and organises days of general discussion to aid the interpretation of obligations under the Convention.  The Committee primarily considers governmental action on children’s rights issues, but in some instances also refers to impacts of the private sector and other actors. 

The Committee is currently drafting a General Comment on business & children’s rights.  Existing Committee reports and other statements relating to the private sector include:

- General Comment 5: General measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child - see section D, “Privatization”, paragraphs 42-44

- The Private Sector as Service Provider and its Role in Implementing Child Rights, excerpted from Report on the thirty-first Session of Committee on the Rights of the Child, Nov 2002

- The Child and the Media

- The economic exploitation of children, excerpted from Report on the fourth session of Committee on the Rights of the Child, Oct 1993

In July 2007, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights prepared for UN Special Representative on business & human rights John Ruggie a “Report on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols”.  This report “outlines the nature of States Parties’ obligations vis-à-vis corporate activities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as well as its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC), as elaborated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child...”

For further information about the Committee on the Rights of the Child, see:

- Official UN site for Committee on the Rights of the Child

- Convention on Rights of the Child: Status of ratification, reservations and declarations

- Committee on Rights of the Child: Children’s Rights Portal

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