In February 2013, the terms of nine members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child will expire. These are: Ms. Hadeel Al-Asmar (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Peter Gurán (Slovakia), Mr. Sanphasit Koompraphant (Thailand), Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea), Ms. Marta Mauras Perez (Chile), Ms. Pilar Nores de Garcia (Peru), Mr. Awich Pollar (Uganda), Ms. Kamla Devi Varmah (Mauritius) and Mr. Jean Zermatten (Switzerland). Elections of new members will be held during a meeting of States parties in December 2012 at the United Nations in New York.
Some current members may go for re-election and others may decide not to run again, but we have no official confirmations at the moment. New candidates from Georgia, Italy, Austria, Brazil, Honduras, Togo and the Russian Federation are likely to be nominated by their States. All the nominations will be posted on the Committee’s website in due course.
At the end of June 2012, the States parties to the CRC will receive a letter from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting nominations for members of the Committee.
Nominations are usually due to be submitted by States parties to the Office of the High Commissioner by the end of August 2012 (the exact date will be posted on the Committee’s website).
The nine members will be elected during the States parties meeting on 18 December 2012.
The role of NGOs in the process
In the past, NGOs have been successful in influending the nomination of candidates at national level.
The aim is to get a few candidates (no more than two or three per region) who fulfil the criteria. It is important to avoid having too many nominees from the same region so that they do not split the votes during the first round of elections. In order to organise the process regionally, it would be good to have one organisation (or a small group of organisations) taking on this regional coordination role. If your organisation is well placed to assist with coordination at regional level, please let the NGO Group for the CRC know by 14 May.
Here are some steps which you can take:
- Identify qualified candidates and approach them for their availability (please remember that there can only be one member/nominee per State party). If your country already has a member on the Committee whose term is expiring and who you support, you can also advocate for their re-election.
- Coordinate at regional level to get a few good nominations. While the voting regions for the elections are as follows: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/citizenambassadors/lang/en/home/thecampaign/contest2010/regional_groups, it is important to look at representation within these regions. For instance, at present East and South-East Asia, Southern Africa, Francophone Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are under-represented.
- Lobby your State party to nominate a good candidate who meets the criteria below.
Criteria for nominees
Article 43(2) of the CRC states that the Committee shall consist of “eighteen experts of high moral standing and recognised competence in the field covered by the Convention”; that members of the Committee shall serve in their personal capacity; and that consideration shall be given to equitable geographical distribution and the principal legal systems. In order to get the most suitably qualified experts, we have developed the following criteria for candidates:
- A demonstrated expertise in the field of human rights and particular commitment to respect for children’s rights
- A variety of complementary professional backgrounds
- Independence and impartiality
- The ability to devote sufficient time to the work of the Committee
- Experience working with a broad range of stakeholders including NGOs and children
- An awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences.
- Fluent in at least one of the three working languages of the Committee (English, French and Spanish)
- Experience dealing with communications/complaints from children or their representatives, either as a child victim’s representative or as part of the body or institution examining the complaints.
To understand the nomination and election procedure and the role that NGOs can play in these processes in more detail, please refer to the attached fact-sheet about the election process. I am also attaching a copy of the letter which we sent to the missions of your States to the United Nations in Geneva, so that they also receive the same call for strong candidates.
Please circulate this information broadly and coordinate regionally to get the best candidates!
For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact Lisa Myers at the NGO Group at: email@example.com.
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- 19/12/2011: UN Adopts Complaints Mechanism for Children (Arabic)
- 30/09/2011: DAY OF GENERAL DISCUSSION 2011: Children of Incarcerated Parents
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Last updated 26/04/2012 14:03:52