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The Committee is composed of 18 independent child rights experts whose primary task is to review reports submitted by States Parties to the Convention and the Optional Protocols. The Committee’s approach is non-confrontational and attempts to engage States parties in a constructive dialogue to accurately assess the situation of children in a country.
Committee members are elected in their personal capacity, to four-year terms. The need to ensure that all geographical areas and principal legal systems are represented is taken into consideration in their selection.
While, the Convention only requires that Committee members be of “high moral standing” and competent in the fields covered by the treaty, other possible criteria could include:
- demonstrated expertise in the field of human rights, particularly children’s rights;
- representation from a variety of complementary professional backgrounds;
- independence and partiality;
- the ability to devote sufficient time to the work of the Committee;
- experience working with a broad range of stakeholders such as UN agencies, NHRIs, NGOs and children
- awareness of, and sensitivity to cultural differences;
- fluency in one of the three working languages of the Committee: English, French or 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 complaints .
Child Rights Connect’s fact sheet , available in English, French and Spanish, provides information on the CRC elections and the potential role of NGOs in the nomination and election processes. Elections are held every other year during the month of December. The newly elected Committee members will officially start their term in March 2013.
2012 Committee Elections
On 18 December 2012, States parties voted at the General Assembly in New York to elect nine Committee members.
Interviews of the Candidates Election Process and Criteria
To mobilise national actors to propose the most qualified candidates from their country, as well as promote cooperation and information sharing, Child Rights Connect contacted States and NGOs to identify strong candidates from all regions.
While, Child Rights Connect did not support one particular candidate over another, we collected and shared feedback we received from national and international NGOs with interested States.
- Ms Hadeel Al-Asmar (Syrian Arab Republic) CV – running for re-election
- Mr Peter Gurán (Slovakia) CV – running for re-election
- Mr Sanphasit Koompraphant (Thailand) CV
- Ms Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) CV
- Ms Marta Mauras (Chile) CV
- Ms Pilar Nores (Peru) CV
- Mr Awich Pollar (Uganda) CV – running for re-election
- Ms Kamla Varmah (Mauritius) CV – running for re-election
- Mr Jean Zermatten (Switzerland) CV
Prior to the electoral process, Qatar withdrew its candidate, which resulted in 15 candidates eligible for election. Having obtained the required majority (i.e. 95 votes) as well as the highest number of votes, the following candidates were elected:
Mr. Wanderlino Nogueira Neto (Brazil) 161 votes
Ms. Renate Winter (Austria) 153 votes
Ms. Yasmeen Muhamad Shariff (Malaysia) 150 votes
Ms. Maria Rita Parsi (Italy) 146
Mr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur (Ethiopia) 136 votes
Ms. Olga A. Khazova (Russian Federation) 129 votes
Ms Sara de Jesus Oviedo Fierro (Ecuador) 125 votes
Mr. Peter Guran (Slovakia) 104 votes
Ms. Amal Aldoseri (Bahrain) 100 votes
They are all new members with the exception of Mr. Guran, who has already served one term on the Committee. The four-year term of the newly elected members will officially start on 1 March 2013. They will meet for the first time as a Committee during their session which starts on 27 May 2013.
With eight new members joining the Committee, this is one of the most significant changes since 2003, when the membership increased from 10 to 18 experts. The eight members who are finishing their terms at the end of February are: Ms. Al-Asmar (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Koompraphant (Thailand) Ms. Lee (Republic of Korea), Ms. Mauras Perez (Chile), Ms. Nores de Garcia (Peru), Mr. Pollar (Uganda), Ms. Varmah (Mauritius) and Mr. Zermatten (Switzerland).
To achieve a high level of expertise among the members of the Committee, Child Rights Connect contacted States and NGOs to encourage the nomination and election of the most suitably qualified experts, based on the following criteria: demonstrated expertise in the field of human rights, particularly child rights; independence and impartiality; the ability to devote sufficient time to the work of the Committee; a variety of complementary professional backgrounds and equitable gender and geographic distribution between the members of the Committee; experience working with a broad range of stakeholders (UN agencies, NHRIs, NGOs and children); 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 complaints; an awareness of, and sensitivity to, cultural differences and fluent in one of the three working languages (English, French, Spanish).
The nine Committee members who were not up for re-election and who will remain on the Committee until February 2015 are: Ms. Aidoo (Ghana) Ms. Al-Shehail (Saudi Arabia), Mr. Cardona Llorens (Spain), Mr. Gastaud (Monaco), Ms. Herczog (Hungary), Mr. Kotrane (Tunisia), Mr. Madi (Egypt), Ms. Sandberg (Norway) and Ms. Wijemanne (Sri Lanka).
For the second time in the CRC elections, Child Rights Connect and CRIN joined forces. CRIN interviewed the nominees for 2012 elections to provide them with the opportunity to talk about their experience in children's rights; what they think they can contribute to the work of the Committee; what they consider to be the key issues in child rights; and their vision for the Committee, including how the view the role of NGOs.
The candidates were interviewed on a voluntary basis and all the posted interviews have been checked and approved by the relevant candidates.
Interviews of 2012 election candidates are available here.