The State has to respond to the Committee’s list of issues in writing at least a couple of months before the session (the exact deadline can be found in the list of issues). The document prepared by the government in response to the Committee’s list of issues is called “Written Replies” (WRs). The government has 30 pages to respond to the first section of the list of issues, 3 pages for the second and an unlimited amount of pages for the third one. These written replies are published on the Committee’s website when they are received by the Committee.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Written Replies of the State before the Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
1. When and where can I find the State’s Written Replies?
The Written Replies are a public document that is published on the Committee’s website as soon as they are received by OHCHR. The government has to send them by the date indicated in the list of issues, which is usually about 2 months before the session.
2. In which language are they available?
The government has to draft the written replies in English, French or Spanish. The Written Replies are not translated in any other language.
3. Can I prepare the Written Replies?
Children’s rights defenders should not draft the State’s written replies. It is a State’s reporting obligation. However, you can support your government if such assistance is needed.
4. What can I do with the written replies?
There are a number of actions that children’s rights defenders can do when the written replies are out:
- Translate them into the local languages or into a language more accessible to children and the general public;
- Publicise them as much as possible through media and social media;
- Use them for awareness raising, capacity building and training activities;
- Discuss them with the government and use them as an advocacy tool;
- Discuss them with children who participated in the reporting process;
- Prepare your comments on the content of the written replies and send them to the Committee.