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The Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? – Challenges Arising Transforming the Rhetoric into Reality

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image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

A third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child completes the raft of international mechanisms for ensuring children’s rights. However, it also raises unique problems particular to children as rights’ holders and putative rights’ enforcers. For example, children may not know of their rights, they may lack the necessary capacity to initiate enforcement actions and they may encounter problems should they perceive their rights as being contrary to parental wishes. Overcoming such problems is fraught with challenges but not impossible. Strong national mechanisms present a partial solution. Long advocated, they offer possibilities for awareness-raising, neutral representation of the child’s interest before courts, committees and tribunals and ensuring a balance is sought, even achieved, between the rights of the child and those of the parents and State.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of International Human Rights, University of Northumbria, UK,


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