Statement Concerning Signing of the Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
On December 19, 2011 (New York time), the United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved, by consensus, a draft optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), (hereinafter called the “Third Optional Protocol”), which contains a statement ensuring the establishment of five procedures which will guarantee the viability of CRC; namely the setting up of a Communications Procedure, and the like, to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The establishment of a variety of important systems, such as the Communications Procedure and the Inquiry Procedure, which guarantee the viability of the CRC, are contained in the “Third Optional Protocol.” The Communications Procedure enables children under the age of 18 (as of the time of violation), or their representatives, to bring a complaint to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in the event that their rights have been violated and if no effective remedies are available for such violations in their country. Further, in the Inquiry Procedure, which is designed for grave or systematic violations, it is stated in the Protocol that if the Committee receives reliable and trustworthy information indicative of grave or systematic violations of the rights set forth in the CRC and/or in the Optional Protocols thereto, the Committee is able to consider and examine such violations.
Together with such procedures described above, it is expected that various related measures and policies will also develop smoothly in Japan, in accordance with the CRC which recognizes the child as a subject of rights. In addition, it is expected that the rights of children in Japan will be assured, in line with international human rights standards.
The “Third Optional Protocol” was first adopted at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on June 17th, 2011, and was then unanimously adopted at the UN General Assembly on December 19th, 2011, as mentioned above, and throughout such processes, Japan retained its position as one of the co-sponsor states. The new Optional Protocol is scheduled to be officially open for signature on February 28th, 2012 and to subsequently be signed by the member states of the UN General Assembly.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) welcomes Japan’s move to become a co-sponsor state for the Third Optional Protocol to the CRC, and requests the Japanese government to sign the Protocol on the first available day for signing in order for the government to clearly express their positive stance toward ratifying the Protocol as one of the co-sponsor states.
February 24, 2012
Japan Federation of Bar Associations