Committee against Torture
Summary record (partial)* of the 2221st meeting **
Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Friday, 2 June 2017, at 3 p.m.
Closure of the session
The discussion covered in the summary record began at 5.05 p.m.
Closure of the session
The Chair said that, as of 2 June 2017, there were 196 States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 166 of which had ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 173 the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and 34 the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.
During the session, the Committee had considered 11 reports from eight countries: seven under the Convention (Antigua and Barbuda, Bhutan, Cameroon, Lebanon, Mongolia, Romania and Qatar); two under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (Bhutan and the United States of America); and two under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (Bhutan and the United States of America). She took it that the Committee wished to adopt the concluding observations that had been drawn up for those States parties.
It was so decided.
The Committee had reviewed the information it had received under the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure. In that context, it had decided to discontinue its consideration of communication No. 9/2017. Against the backdrop of the treaty-body strengthening process, the Committee had continued its consideration of its working methods, including the simplified reporting procedure. It had also continued its work on a general comment on the human rights of children in the context of international migration, which was being drafted jointly with the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The topic for the next day of general discussion would be chosen during the seventy-sixth session, which would take place from 11 to 29 September 2017. The programme of work for the session would be posted on the website of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the coming weeks.
Mr. Gastaud (Rapporteur) said that Committee members had taken part in a number of events since the closure of the previous session. The Chair, for instance, had participated in a round table in Luxembourg on the management of treaty bodies, contributed to the training of judges in the Bulgarian juvenile justice system and given a presentation on the Optional Protocols to the Convention in Tashkent. In Belgium, she had led a seminar on the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.
Ms. Aho Assouma had represented the Committee at a high-level meeting of the World Health Organization on women’s and children’s health. In Togo, she had participated in the inauguration of the Child Health Days, a campaign to increase the enrolment of girls in school and the launch of efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
On 8 March 2017, International Women’s Day, Ms. Aldoseri had given a presentation on the Convention at the University of Bahrain. She had also appeared on a Bahraini television programme, where she had stressed the role of the Government in protecting children’s rights. Ms. Ayoubi Idrissi had helped organize a seminar on the Sustainable Development Goals in Rabat, while, in Paris, she had met with the French Children’s Ombudsman to discuss the follow-up to the recommendations put forward by the Committee to France and taken part in a discussion with adolescents on the topic of personal commitment.
Mr. Cardona Llorens had given a talk on the rights of child asylum seekers and refugees at an international conference in Madrid. In March, he had represented the Committee at a seminar on the participation of national human rights institutions in the implementation of the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure. Together with Ms. Sandberg, he had taken part in a seminar on the involvement of children in the work of the Committee, and, in April, in Mexico, he had attended a conference organized by the Organization of American States. He had also spoken at an event organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In March, Ms. Khazova, representing the Committee, had given a talk at a conference in Cape Town. As a member of the group of experts working with the International Social Service, she had contributed to the process of drafting a set of principles for better protection of children’s rights in cross-border arrangements involving assisted reproductive technologies, in particular surrogacy.
Mr. Kotrane had given a talk on child migrants and the Convention at a conference in Madrid, while, in Tunis, at another conference, he had spoken on protecting children’s privacy. Mr. Madi had represented the Committee at a symposium organized by OHCHR, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
On 6 March, at a meeting of the Human Rights Council, Mr. Mezmur had taken part in a panel discussion and given a talk on children’s rights and how they related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On the same day, he had participated in a panel discussion on the launch of the revised European Union Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child. Along with the secretary of the Committee, he had also met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to discuss ways of better integrating children’s rights into the work of OHCHR. On 13 March, in Johannesburg, he had given a speech on the right to health of children deprived of their liberty. He had also taken part in events in Brussels and Bangkok. The Bangkok event, in which he had participated by videoconference, had involved consultations on the draft joint general comment on the human rights of children in the context of international migration.
Ms. Otani, speaking by video link, had reminded participants in the Bonn Climate Change Conference of May 2017 of the main conclusions reached during the Committee’s recent day of general discussion on children’s rights and the environment. Ms. Sandberg had participated in a discussion in Geneva on climate change and children’s rights. In addition to her participation alongside Mr. Cardona Llorens in a seminar on the involvement of children in the work of the Committee, she had taken part in a round table on approaches to accountability with a view to developing appropriate indicators.
As a whole, Committee members had discussed a full range of issues with experts in a number of fields related to children’s rights, including child marriage, the participation of children in the reporting process, the effects of toxic waste on children’s health, cooperation between the Committee and national human rights institutions, the situation of children whose parents were imprisoned, poverty and the rights of the child, and the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption.
The composition of the Committee’s working groups had changed. A new working group had been set up to review the Committee’s rules of procedure. During the session, the working group on the rights of children in the context of international migration, coordinated by Mr. Mezmur, had met three times to review the initial draft of the relevant joint general comment. The working group on the simplified reporting procedure, coordinated by Ms. Sandberg, had met twice to discuss a number of issues relating to the reporting procedure, while the working group on the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, coordinated by Ms. Winter, had met four times to review requests transmitted under the communications and inquiries procedures. The working group tasked with formulating proposals for the participation of children in the Committee’s work, coordinated by Ms. Sandberg, had met to consider the next steps to be taken with respect to the information collected to date.
In the coming week, members of the Committee would hold pre-session meetings with representatives of United Nations entities, the United Nations Children’s Fund, national human rights institutions and other partners to collect information about the States parties that were scheduled to appear before the Committee during its seventy-seventh session. Meetings with groups of children from the relevant States parties were also planned.
The Chair said she took it that Committee members wished to adopt the report on the Committee’s seventy-fifth session.
It was so decided.
The Chair declared closed the seventy-fifth session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The meeting rose at 5.30 p.m.