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© UNESCO/Justin Mott

Italy ratifies the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

On November 4th 2015 the Italian Parliament approved the ratification of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Protocol, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with Resolution 66/138 on December 19th 2011, opened to signature on February 28th 2012. Italy was one of the first signatory States.

The Protocol introduces the possibility for children, both individually or in group, to file a complaint on violations of the rights enshrined in the Convention.

Three main complaint mechanisms are introduced by the Protocol:

  • Individual complaint procedure, which allows minors (individually or in group) to file a complaint directly to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, after the exhaustion of domestic remedies. Third parties can also file a complaint on behalf of the victims.
  • Inter-state communication procedure by which a State has the possibility to file a claim to the Committee against another State which is accused of violating the rights of the Convention
  • Inquiry procedure which empower the Committee to start an investigation on alleged violations committed by a Member State.

The National Ombudsperson for children and adolescents, Vincenzo Spadafora, welcomed the ratification of the Protocol, as well as many civil society organizations among which Save the Children.

To date, the Protocol has been signed by 50 States and ratified by 20, and has entered into force on April 14th 2014.