Complaints Mechanism: Updated Advocacy Toolkit

Summary: This is toolkit is for activities leading up to the UN meeting in December 2010 to discuss the draft Optional Protocol. This toolkit also contains a commentary on the draft and an explanation about collective complaints.

Download the NGO Position on the Chair's Draft in English / Español Français

Latest developments

Since the HRC resolution giving the mandate to the OEWG to draft the new OP in March 2010, the Chairperson of the OEWG has been holding informal information talks and consultations with governments, representatives of civil society and key experts to collect inputs for his initial draft. In August 2010, he circulated his proposal for a draft which will serve as a basis for the negotiations.

The next meeting of the OEWG is scheduled to take place from 6 to 10 December 2010 in Geneva. During this meeting, States will discuss the Chair's draft. If they reach consensus on the draft, it will go to the HRC for adoption, if not, they will hold another five day meeting during the second half of February 2011. 

Chair's draft and next session of the OEWG

The Chair's proposal for a draft was circulated in English to all UN missions in August 2010. On the basis of this draft, States are now considering their positions on each of the provisions for the upcoming negotiations in December 2010.

The next session is scheduled to take place from 6 to 10 December 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. All States will be invited. One representative of the Committee on the Rights of the Child is expected to be invited as a resource person and other relevant stakeholders, such as UN experts, representatives from UN agencies, Children's Ombudspersons and NGOs may also attend, provided that they have the appropriate accreditation.

Similarly, those interested (who hold the appropriate accreditation) can make written contributions in advance of the meeting.

The NGO Group for the CRC and partner organisations have prepared a joint submission in response to the Chair's draft. If your organisation would like to support our submission, please contact Anita Goh, Advocacy Officer of the NGO Group at

The Committee on the Rights of the Child also prepared Comments on the Chair’s proposal for a draft which concur with the main positions defended in the NGO joint submission.

Mr Peter Newell, one of the experts invited at the first session of the OEWG in December 2009, submitted a new brief in preparation of the second session of the OEWG on Collective communications.

Our objectives

Although we want a speedy process, the most important thing for us is that the new OP contains the key provisions that will ensure its effectiveness and utility for victims of violations of their rights under the CRC and its two existing OPs.

Our aim is that States make full use of the ten days that have been allocated for negotiations in December 2010 and February 2011 and that a draft OP which allows for collective as well as individual communications is presented before the HRC in June 2011.

What is collective communications

Collective communications are communications that can be submitted without identifying an individual victim. They describe potential or actual violations of rights that have resulted or that will likely result in victimization if they are not addressed.

In the context of children’s rights violations, collective communications would be instrumental to:

  • ensure that situations that would be difficult, if not impossible, to address through individual communications (e.g. victims of child pornography, children in illegal situations, etc.) can be brought to the Committee’s attention, and
  • avoid involving children victims in the process when there are concerns over confidentiality, re-victimization and protection of these children




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