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NGO Reporting Process
The Convention on the Rights of the Child expressly gives NGOs a role in monitoring its implementation (article 45(a)). The Committee also encourages international, regional, national and local NGOs to submit reports, documentation or other written information in order to provide it with a comprehensive picture of how the CRC and the Optional Protocols are being implemented in a particular country.
Guide for NGOs Reporting to the Committee
The Third Edition of the Guide for Non-Governmental Organizations Reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2006) provides up-to-date information on the procedures for the examination of reports submitted under the CRC and its Optional Protocols. The Guide details how NGOs can effectively interact with the Committee by submitting information and participating in the pre-sessional working group meeting. Suggestions for follow-up action by NGOs are also included.
The third edition of the Guide (2006) has been produced in:
The second edition (1998) has been translated into:
A fourth edition of the reporting guide is currently being developed and will be available soon (2012).
Reporting on OPSC and OPAC
A new Guide for Non-Governmental Organizations has been released in 2011 to promote the understanding of, and effective reporting on, the Optional Protocol on the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC) and the Optional Protocol on the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC). The guide reflects latest official guidelines on OP reporting, including on integrated periodic reporting on both the CRC and the OPs. It provides substantive analyses of the provisions under the two treaties, as well as information and advice to NGOs on how to participate effectively in this process.
Broad and Participatory Process
The Committee has emphasized that the process of preparing the State party report should be a broad and participatory one which offers an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of national legislation, administrative rules and procedures, and practices. Although the responsibility for reporting lies with the State party, NGOs may contribute to this process.
In some countries, NGOs have been involved or consulted in the preparation of the State party report and their contributions have been incorporated into the official State party report. The latter rightly reflects the point of view of the government, however, and NGOs may or may not agree with all the information provided or the way in which it is presented. Reporting to the Committee is an obligation of the State party and NGOs need to be cautious about maintaining their independence and perform an independent monitoring role.
Reporting to the Committee
Reporting to the Committee provides NGOs a unique opportunity to bring concerns about the status of children to the international legal body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention. Reporting can also empower national NGOs by offering a legitimate external source to which children’s issues can be raised and addressed. At national level, the preparation of an NGO report encourages and facilitates public scrutiny of governmental policies and provides NGOs with a way in which to influence the agenda of the country. It opens a debate on the status of children in the country and creates an opportunity to have a serious dialogue with senior government officials about the State’s efforts to comply with the Convention.
Complementing the State Party Report
The Committee seeks specific, reliable and objective information from NGOs in order to obtain a serious and independent assessment of the progress and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the Convention and the Optional Protocols. This is due to the fact that the reports submitted by States parties tend to present the legislative framework and often do not consider the implementation process. It can be difficult for the Committee to obtain a complete picture of the situation of children in the concerned State. NGO information is therefore an essential element in the monitoring process. The Committee seeks information that deals with all the different areas covered by the Convention in order to effectively monitor its implementation in a country. The Committee is also interested in receiving information on areas where the government report does not give sufficient information and on areas of concern not covered or, in the opinion of the NGOs, covered incorrectly or misleadingly.
The Guide to Reporting provides detailed information on every aspect of the reporting process.
NGO Written Submissions
Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee
Procedures for Follow-up Action