Reporting Mechanism - Committee on the Rights of the Child
last updated 12 June 2013 – Information is subject to change. Please check the Committee website for updates.
Type of Mechanism
Reporting and Monitoring
Scope of the Procedure
The rights enumerated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child
How the Reporting Procedure Works[1]
After ratifying the Convention, State parties are required to submit an initial report on compliance within two years of the Convention’s entry into force in that State and, thereafter, periodic reports every five years.  
The Committee currently meets three times a year to consider State reports (January, May, and September). A pre-session working group is established for each reporting state, which generally convenes (in closed meetings) two sessions prior to the country examination session. The working group is responsible for developing a list of issues of principal concern, which comprise the basis of constructive dialogue between the Committee and the State party. The working group transmits the list of issues to the State party in advance of the State examination session and requests written response.
At the examination session, the State party has the opportunity to present its report and responses to the list of issues to the full Committee. Discussion should focus on “progress achieved,” “factors and difficulties encountered in implementation of the Convention,” and “implementation priorities and future goals.” The examination sessions are open to the public. Toward the end of the session, the Committee holds closed meetings to discuss and adopt concluding observations and recommendations, which are made public on the last day of the session.
Role of Advocates[2]
Provide country-specific information to the Committee and working group which draws their attention to issues of concern, advocate for concluding observations and recommendations that address those issues, place pressure on State parties to take action consistent with the Committee’s recommendations, and inform the Committee where a State party has failed to take action. There are many opportunities for advocates to participate in the reporting and monitoring process. NGOs are encouraged to submit "shadow" or alternative reports to the Committee as a whole or to the pre-session working group to provide an alternate view of the state’s fulfillment of its obligations under the Covenant or to bring attention to human rights violations not reflected in the State’s report. NGOs are strongly encouraged submit information in advance of working group meeting to inform the development of the list of issues and questions, which states are asked to respond to in advance of the session. Such issues tend to be the focus of constructive dialogue in the session, thus it is advantageous to provide information early in the proceedings.
Advocates also have an opportunity participate in the sessions as observers and to lobby Committee members outside of session proceedings. Although the meetings of the pre-session working group are closed, NGOs which have submitted reports and are able to provide expert advice may be invited to attend. NGOs wishing to attend the pre-session working group meetings should clearly indicate their interest in the cover letter accompanying their report.
NGOs are not provided an opportunity to intervene during the formal (plenary) session, however, they may participate as observers and organize informal meetings with Committee members outside of the session proceedings.
After the Committee has adopted its concluding observations, NGOs are encouraged to monitor and provide reports on any steps taken or not taken by the Government in response to the Committee’s recommendations. The Committee also encourages NGOs to raise awareness—locally and nationally—of the Committee’s concluding observations.
Additional information on NGO participation, including guides for child reporting, is available from Child Rights Connect (formerly the NGO Group for the CRC).
Articles of the Covenant Concerning Violence Against Girls[3]
NGOs may call attention to several articles in the Convention in reporting a State party’s failure to prevent violence against girls, including trafficking and sexual exploitation, among other forms of violence, in violation of their obligations. Article 19 protects children from all forms of abuse; Article 34 protects children from sexual exploitation and abuse; and Article 39 requires State parties to assist in the recovery and reintegration of child victims of all forms of harm and abuse.
The Committee has also adopted General Comments regarding violence against girls, including General Comments 13 (2011), concerning the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, 15 (2013), concerning the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest standard of health, and 17 (2013), concerning the right of the child to rest, leisure, place, recreation, and cultural life.  
Submitting a Report[4]
There is no single format for shadow reports. They may be comprehensive, covering each obligation of the Convention, or thematic, addressing only a particular issue. Where comprehensive in scope, NGO reports should be divided according to the thematic structure developed by the Committee for State party reporting (as opposed to the article-by-article format often considered by other treaty bodies).  Where relevant, NGO reports should assess the consideration given by the State party to the Committee’s previous concluding observations, how the status of children has changed, and the measures needed to improve the situation. NGO reports may also highlight new areas of concern. Additional information on writing and using shadow reports strategically, as well as a sample of NGO reports, can be found in the Human Rights Investigation and Documentation section of this website.
NGOs are strongly encouraged to collaborate with other NGOs and consolidate reports whenever possible to show broad consensus amongst numerous groups. Reports may be submitted to the pre-session working group for consideration in development of the list of issues or to all Committee members in advance of the formal session. Reports should be sent within six months after the government report has been submitted in order to be considered by the pre-session working group. NGOs should submit both electronic and paper copies (25) in one of the working languages of the Committee (English, French, Spanish).
Where to Send Communications[5]
Committee on the Rights of the Child
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: + 41 22 917 91 41
Fax: +41 22 917 90 08
Periodic State reporting has put pressure on national governments to amend legislation and bring policies into compliance with the Convention. The success of this process depends heavily on the level of NGO participation and information NGOs are able to provide. But, the opportunities to present information to the Committee are limited and require significant initiative by the NGOs, which may preclude participation by organizations which do not have the capacity or experience necessary. For this reason, it is particularly important for larger NGOs to partner with smaller, local groups, and for multiple participating NGOs to coordinate efforts.

[1] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Overview of the reporting procedures, UN Doc. CRC/C/33, Oct. 24, 1994.
[2] NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, A Guide for Non-Governmental Organizations Reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child,” (2006).
[3] Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted for signature, ratification, and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25, 20 Nov. 1989, entered into force 2 Sept. 1990; Center for Reproductive Rights, Bringing Rights to Bear Anew: Freedom from Violence is a Human Right(2008).
[4] NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, A Guide for Non-Governmental Organizations Reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child,” (2006).
[5] OHCHR, CRC – Secretariat Contact Details,