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Print this pageCRC COMMITTEE ELECTIONS: Election campaigns kick-off

Date:

20/07/2012

Organisation:

Child Rights International Network

Resource type:

News release


[16 July 2012] - As elections for new members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child draw near, it is time for NGOs to take action to make sure those elected measure up to the job.

The elections will take place on 18 December 2012 at the 14th meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in New York. The terms of the nine outgoing members will end on 28 February 2013. Some of the members whose terms are coming to an end will stand for re-election, but we have no official confirmation of this yet.

 

Sounding the alarm bell

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is the most powerful children's rights body in the world. It not only has the authority to influence governments' compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), but also to interpret and expand on the provisions set in the CRC. In the future, it will even be able to examine individual complaints relating to violations of children's rights.

As children's rights advocates, we seek to encourage the highest possible standards for children's rights and the strongest recommendations for their fulfilment. However, we are all too familiar with the bargaining that pervades UN election processes like these, with States trading votes to ensure they make it onto one body or another regardless of the calibre of those elected. We therefore have a collective responsibility to lobby governments to put forward and vote for the most committed candidates.

 

How it works

Elections to the Committee on the Rights of the Child take place every two years. Committee members are elected for a term of four years.

Article 43 of the Convention states that Committee members shall be "of high moral standing and of recognised competence in the field covered by this Convention", and continues: “The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.”

The deadline for nominations is 6 September 2012.

 

What can NGOs do?

The NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child published a factsheet on the election process which sets out opportunities for NGO participation. The NGO Group has also written to all your States' missions in Geneva (or New York in the absence of a Geneva mission) to encourage them to nominate and vote for qualified candidates. View the letter here.

While NGOs cannot nominate candidates, they can play a role in lobbying their State to nominate a candidate who they feel makes the grade.

The aim is to identify a few candidates (no more than two or three per region) who fulfil the criteria listed below. It is crucial to avoid supporting too many nominees from the same region as this can result in splitting the votes during the first round of elections. Ideally, one organisation (or a small group of organisations) will take on the role of coordinating this process regionally.

Below are some actions you can take, but if you have someone in mind you think fits the bill, please contact the NGO Group, which supports NGOs in this process. To find out more, email Lisa Myers at myers@childrightsnet.org

 

Take action

  • Identify qualified candidates and approach them for their availability (please remember that there can only be one member/nominee per State party). Find out if your country already has a member on the Committee here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/members.htm. If this is someone you support and their term is due to expire, you can also advocate for their re-election;
  • Coordinate at regional level to get a few strong nominations. Remember, the voting regions of the UN may be divided differently to the way you are used to, make sure you check the link below and review representation within these regions. For example, the following regions or sub-regions are currently underrepresented: East and Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, Francophone Africa, Latin America and Caribbean http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/citizenambassadors/lang/en/home/thecampaign/contest2010/regional_groups;
  • Lobby your State party to nominate a good candidate who meets the criteria below.



Criteria for nominees

  • A demonstrated expertise in the field of human rights and particular commitment to respect for children’s rights;
  • A variety of complementary professional backgrounds;
  • Independence and impartiality;
  • The ability to devote sufficient time to the work of the Committee;
  • Experience working with a broad range of stakeholders including NGOs and children;
  • An awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences;
  • Fluent in at least one of the three working languages of the Committee (English, French and Spanish);
  • Experience dealing with communications/complaints from children or their representatives, either as a child victim’s representative or as part of the body or institution examining the complaint.


To find out more about the elections and what you can do, read the factsheet in full here.

As information about the new candidates becomes available, it will be published on the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/elections14th.htm

Over the coming months, CRIN will be contacting Committee members seeking to run for re-election as well as other candidates to find out their views about children's rights issues.

These conversations will be published with each candidate's CV.

Read about CRIN's Transparency Campaign: The future of children's rights - In whose hands?

 

Previous News release items


Organisation Contact Details:

Child Rights International Network
East Studio
2 Pontypool Place
London
SE1 8QF
Tel: +44 (0)207 401 2257
Email: info@crin.org
Website: www.crin.org

Last updated 09/12/2013 10:02:27

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.

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