Upholding Children's Rights: Australia must ratify the Third Optional Protocol to the CRC

The Human Rights Law Centre strongly encourages Australia to sign and expeditiously ratify the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Third Optional Protocol opened for signature on 28 February 2012 and establishes a complaints procedure to allow individuals or groups to submit a complaint to the Committee of an alleged violation of any of the rights contained in the CRC.

In a submission to the Attorney-General's Department, the HRLC has highlighted that ratification of the Third Optional Protocol by Australia would:

  • complement and strengthen existing domestic mechanisms in Australia for protecting children's rights;
  • foster and promote systemic review and change;
  • give effect to Australia's international legal obligations to provide effective remedies for violations of human rights;
  • demonstrate international human rights leadership; and
  • involve minimal implementation obligations and costs.

Further information about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Children, including the Third Optional Protocol, is available at http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/index.htm.