Here’s a bit on how the Committee works, how one can submit a report, what one is to do if they are not ready to write their own report, but still want to promote the topic.
How the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child works and how it helps to protect the rights of children domestically
The Committee on the Rights of the Child is the body established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child to monitor compliance by states parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child will consider the report of Belarus on the observance of children's rights at the session, which is to be held from January 13 to January 31, 2020.
Based on the results of the consideration of the state’s report, as well as the responses of the official delegation of the state, the Committee on the Rights of the Child makes recommendations on how the state can improve the situation in the field of respect for the children’s rights. These recommendations are then often included in thematic government programs and plans. Thus, the Committee on the Rights of the Child is another good way to influence public policies.
How to submit a report
NGOs can send their report on the state’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child both generally and in accordance with separate articles. For example, on the implementation of the Decree No. 18 “On the Protection of Children in Dysfunctional Families”, which relates to article 9 of the Convention.
There are certain technical requirements imposed on such NGO reports, in particular:
- the text volume must not exceed 15 pages after 2 intervals (the font is not specified);
- the report must be sent to the secretariat of the Committee until December 15, 2019. All reports must also be submitted electronically via the Child Rights Connect website. The next report of Belarus will be considered by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at the session, which is to be held from January 13 to January 31, 2020;
- if an NGO does not want its report to be published, it is necessary to specifically indicate this in a cover letter to the Committee secretariat. The information provided will be used by the Committee in any case;
- the secretariat can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It will also be useful to promote your report by contacting Child Rights Connect, an international network of children's rights NGOs. It can help an NGO engage with the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
What to do if you do not have a registered organization
The Committee accepts reports submitted by organizations only. Therefore, in event of the absence of an organization, you can contact the Committee indirectly through an appropriate non-governmental organization, for example, through the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, and provide relevant information.
How can the Belarusian Helsinki Committee help
We are ready to advise on the most effective use of the international mechanisms of the UN system, how to make and submit reports.
If you do not want to prepare your own report, but you find it important to voice a certain topic, we can consider including your topic in a coalition report.
In order to get our help, please contact us at email@example.com with a note in the subject line of the letter “Children's Rights” until December 1, inclusive.
You can find a more comprehensive algorithm on how to cooperate with the Committee on the Rights of the Child here.