The OPs

About the Optional Protocols to the CRC

The CRC has 3 Optional Protocols, which expand upon the obligations set out in the CRC or the competences of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child:

  • The Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC).
  • The Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC).
  • The Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure (OPIC).

Each of these Optional Protocols are separate legal instruments which must be ratified independently of the CRC and are only applicable to States that have ratified them.

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The Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC) further clarifies the scope and meaning of articles 34 and 35 of the CRC and how States should deal with these crimes and support the victims.

It requires States Parties to submit a specific comprehensive report (also called “initial report”) to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on their implementation of OPAC provisions two years after their ratification of OPAC. Once this initial report is reviewed by the Committee, information about the implementation of OPAC provisions should be integrated into any report the State submits to the Committee under the CRC “integrated report”.

[pl_button type=”info” link=”http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/OPSCCRC.aspx/” target=”_blank”] Read the text of the OPSC → [/pl_button]

[pl_button type=”info” link=”https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11-c&chapter=4&lang=en” target=”_blank”] Check if your State has ratified OPSC → [/pl_button]

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The Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflicts (OPAC) strengthens article 38 of the CRC by raising the minimum age of direct participation of children in hostilities from 15 to 18 years old and forbidding the compulsory recruitment of children into State armed forces.

It requires State Parties to submit a specific comprehensive report (also called “initial report”) to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on their implementation of OPAC provisions two years after their ratification of OPAC. Once this initial report is reviewed by the Committee, information about the implementation of OPAC provisions should be integrated into all reports the State submits to the Committee under the CRC as an “integrated report”.

[pl_button type=”info” link=”http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/OPACCRC.aspx” target=”_blank”] Read the text of the OPAC → [/pl_button]

[pl_button type=”info” link=”https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11-b&chapter=4&lang=en” target=”_blank”] Check if your State has ratified OPAC → [/pl_button]

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The Optional Protocol on a communications procedure provides new competencies to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, such as the possibility to receive and examine individual complaints alleging violation of rights covered by the CRC and/or the OPSC and/or the OPAC, or inquire about grave or systematic violations of children’s rights.

It does not create additional reporting obligations for the State party.

[pl_button type=”info” link=”http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=A/RES/66/138&Lang=en” target=”_blank”] Read the text of the OPIC → [/pl_button]

[pl_button type=”info” link=”https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11-d&chapter=4&lang=en” target=”_blank”] Check if your State has ratified OPIC → [/pl_button]

[pl_button type=”info” link=”http://opic.childrightsconnect.org/” target=”_blank”] Learn more about OPIC → [/pl_button]

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