In the USA, the Children's Rights Movement was born in the 19th century with the orphan train. In the big cities, when a child's parents died or were extremely poor, the child frequently had to go to work to support himself and/or his family. Boys generally became factory or coal workers, and girls became prostitutes or saloon girls, or else went to work in asweat shop. All of these jobs paid only starvation wages.
The early 20th century, moves began to promote the idea of children's rights as distinct from those of adults and as requiring explicit recognition.
The first effective attempt to promote children's rights was the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, drafted by Eglantyne Jebb in 1923 and adopted by the League of Nations in 1924. This wasaccepted by the United Nations on its formation and updated in 1959, and replaced with a more extensive UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Human Rights Committee
Monitoring civil and political rightsThe Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties.AllStates parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every four years). The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations”. In additionto the reporting procedure, article 41 of the Covenant provides for the Committee to consider inter-state complaints. Furthermore, the First Optional Protocol to the Covenant gives the Committee competence to examine individual complaints with regard to alleged violations of the Covenant by States parties to the Protocol. The full competence of the Committee extends to the Second Optional Protocolto the Covenant on the abolition of the death penalty with regard to States who have accepted the Protocol. The Committee meets in Geneva or New York and normally holds three sessions per year.The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as general comments on thematic issues or its methods of work.For more information about the work of theHuman Rights Committee, read the Civil and Political Rights: The Human Rights Committee fact sheet. (PDF) |
Committee on the Rights of the Child
Monitoring children's rights
The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties
It also monitors implementation of twooptional protocols to the Convention, on involvement of children in armed conflict and on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. On 19 December 2011, the UN General Assembly approved a third optional protocol on a Communications Procedure, which will allow individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights under the Convention and its first twooptional protocols. The Protocol opens for signature in 2012 and will enter into force upon ratification by 10 UN Member States.
The Committee will soon be able to consider individual complaints by children. In the meantime, violations of child rights may be raised before other committees with competence to consider individual complaints.
The Committee meets in Geneva and normally holds threesessions per year consisting of a three-week plenary and a one-week pre-sessional working group. In 2010, the Committee considered reports in two parallel chambers of 9 members each, "as an exceptional and temporary measure", in order to clear the backlog of reports.
The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as general comments on thematic...