Complaint Mechanism - UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

last updated 6 June 2013 – Information is subject to change. Please check the Committee website for updates.
Type of Mechanism
Complaint Procedure under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Scope of the Procedure
The rights enumerated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Who Can Submit a Complaint[1]
Individuals or groups of individuals, under the jurisdiction of a State party to the Optional Protocol, claiming to be victims of violations of any rights contained in the Covenant; or NGOs acting on the behalf of a victim or group of victims. The Committee may decline to examine a communication that it considers not to be in the best interest of the child.
Role of Advocates[2]
NGOs can submit communications on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of violations of the Covenant. NGOs submitting complaints on behalf of individuals must show proof of consent to the submission of the complaint or justification for not obtaining consent. Because the Committee meetings in which the communication is considered are closed, advocates are not able to participate in the examination process. However, once the Committee adopts its “views,” NGOs may submit follow-up information on State implementation.
Available Remedies[3]
The Committee may at any time request that the State issue interim measures to protect the victim(s) and shall make its offices available to parties wishing to reach a friendly settlement. Once a determination of the merits has been reached, the Committee may issue its “views” on behalf of the victim(s). The Committee’s views are transmitted to the State party and the victim. The State party is obliged to provide written response to the Committee, including information on action taken, within six months. If the Committee receives reliable information indicating grave or systematic violation of the Convention or Optional Protocols, the Committee may, on its own accord, initiate an inquiry. The findings are communicated to the State party, which is obliged to reply within six months. With consent of the State party, the Committee may transmit its views and recommendations to UN specialized agencies, funds, or competent bodies for assistance.     
What the Complaint should Include
The subject of the complaint must indicate a violation of the provisions of Covenant, must be substantiated (including relevant facts and any supporting documentation where available), must not be incompatible with the treaty, must not be anonymous, and must not have occurred prior to the entry into force of the Protocol for the State party. The complaint must include information showing that the victim has exhausted domestic remedies and generally that the complaint has been submitted within one year of that date. The complaint should also indicate whether the matter is or has been a subject of international investigation or settlement.
Complaints which have been previously examined by the Committee or are the subject of any other international investigation will not be considered. The UN provides model complaint forms for individuals wishing to make complaints. Additional information is available from the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.
Where to Send Communications
The complaint must be submitted in writing in one of the six official UN languages to:
Petitions Team
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

[1] UN, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure (2011).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.