OP3 CRC will provide children, or their representatives, with the possibility to submit complaints (communications) to the Committee on the Rights of the Child to seek remedies for violations of their rights committed by the government when national remedies are not effective or do not exist.
On 25 September 2012, during the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the government of Thailand ratified the OP3 CRC. The Government of Thailand and the Government of Gabon were the two first governments to ratify the OP3 CRC. ECPAT International welcomes this major achievement from the Thai government, and acknowledges its leadership, together with the government of Gabon, in the ratification process of the OP3 CRC. This ratification shows the government of Thailand’s commitment to provide children living in Thailand, or their representatives, with the possibility to use an international complaint procedure in cases where national courts and other domestic remedies are not able to redress violations of their rights.
From February to July 2012, ECPAT International, The ECPAT Foundation and ECPAT Youth Partnership Programme (YPP) youth motivators have actively been involved in the lobbying process towards the ratification of the OP3 CRC. The ECPAT Foundation was appointed by the Prime Minister of Thailand, who is Chairperson of the National Commission for Child and Youth, as a member of the National Ad-hoc Sub-committee on Consideration of Recommendations to Ratify the OP3 CRC, chaired by Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, former UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The ECPAT Foundation and ECPAT International coordinated with key local NGOs and, with support from the NGO Group for the CRC, lobbied high level government representatives, participated in discussions on the ratification of the OP3 CRC and consulted with the National Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups.
ECPAT International recommends that the examples of Thailand and Gabon be quickly followed, especially by the governments of the 33 countries that have already signed the OP3 CRC, to ensure that this major international children’s right standard enters into force as soon as possible.