Children's rights: Switzerland needs to set an exampleThis Monday, 14th April 2014, the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (https://treaties.un.org/doc/source/signature/2012/a-res-66-138-english.pdf) becomes effective. It is an important step in the recognition of a child as a fully-fledged actor for his rights (http://www.tdh.ch/en/news/children-as-actors-of-their-rights). And yet, Switzerland (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/switzerland has still neither signed nor ratified the present Protocol. Terre des hommes (Tdh) now appeals to the Federal Council to remedy this situation.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, had no communication procedures to permit a child to lodge an individual complaint for any breach of his rights. A significant loophole in international law has thus been closed, marking the acknowledgement of a child who may now fully exercise his rights.
The commitment of the States in child protection
10 States have ratified the present protocol, which allows its entry into force. 45 States have signed it as a promise for ratification in the near future. As to Switzerland, it has neither ratified not signed this protocol. “Children should be able to assert their rights in the courts and to turn to the United Nations in the event of violation”, states Vito Angelillo, Director General of the Terre des hommes Foundation in Lausanne.
As ambassadors for child rights, Terre des hommes appeals to the Federal Council to move forward with signing and ratifying this Protocol. The Convention of the Rights of the Child is the last major treaty not to benefit from a mechanism of individual complaint. “This injustice has finally been corrected, in part due to Switzerland’s backing during negotiations. It is now essential that the text be ratified, clearly signalling this country’s support of the defence of child rights throughout the world.”The Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in brief (available in French or German) (http://www.csdh.ch/cms/upload/pdf/140313_Factsheet_OPIC_f_def_II.pdf;
Terre des hommes helps to bring about a change for the better in the daily life of more than two million children and their families every year. Learn more about our projects in the domain of child protection (http://www.tdh.ch/en/topics/protection/child-protection-systems).