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The Potential and Promise of Communications Procedures under the Third Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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The Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (OP3-CRC) presents new opportunities for States and non-state actors/interest groups to advance the cause of children’s rights in the global context. Since international legal apparatus for protecting human rights is generally weak, and depends largely on cooperation and support of States, the best approach would be to explore how to integrate available mechanisms to maximise their impact. OP3-CRC provides the Committee on the Rights of the Child with individual and inter-state complaint mechanisms, and an inquiry procedure regarding ‘grave and systematic violations,’ which may in appropriate cases be applied to contest state policies and practices. We argue that the potential and promise of this new communications/complaints regime can be harnessed through strategic phased implementation, establishing the office of a Special Representative on CRC Communications Procedures and rebranding the Committee in anticipation of its enhanced mandates.

Affiliations: 1: a)Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and Head of Research, De Montfort University Law School, Leicester, UK,; 2: b)Senior lecturer, Moi University Law School, Eldoret, Kenya,


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