Geneva, 28 February 2012 – On behalf of the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Foreign Minister, Karl Erjavec, signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Communications Procedure. Following several years of negotiations with the wider professional public, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Optional Protocol on 19 December 2011.
The communications procedure in cases of violations of the Convention’s provisions has thus acquired the final basic instrument in the field of human rights. Slovenia played a leading role in the process, along with Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Chile, the Maldives, Thailand and Uruguay.
As soon as nationals of the signatories to the Optional Protocol have exhausted local legal remedies in cases of violations of the Convention’s provisions, they can lodge an appeal with the Geneva-based UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Whenever it is suspected that there have been or are serious and systematic violations, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child can initiate an investigation.
The Protocol, which was opened for signatures during a ceremony in Geneva, was signed by twenty countries: Slovenia, Slovakia, Portugal, Serbia, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Morocco, Montenegro, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mali, Spain, Peru, Costa Rica, and the Maldives.
It will enter into force three months after the deposition of the tenth instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary-General.
Photo by UN PHOTO