United Nations


Convention on theRights of the Child

Distr.: General

24 November 2011

Original: English

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Fifty-eighth session

Summary record (partial)* of the 1668th meeting**

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Friday, 7 October 2011, at 12 p.m.

Chairperson:Mr. Zermatten


Adoption of the report of the Committee on its fifty-eighth session

Closure of the session

The discussion covered in the summary record began at 12.10 p.m.


The Chairperson said that, at its fifty-eighth session, the Committee had considered periodic reports submitted by six countries (Iceland, Italy, Republic of Korea, Panama, Seychelles and Syrian Arab Republic) under article 44 of the Convention, as well as the initial report of Sweden submitted under article 12 of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Ms. Aidoo (Rapporteur) said that, aside from the Committee’s usual business, members had met with senior officials of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the status of the treaty body strengthening process. In addition, the Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child had launched an exhibition entitled “Collateral convicts: if my parents go to prison, what happens to me?” in connection with the Committee’s Day of General Discussion and had held meetings with the international commission of inquiry which the Human Rights Council had appointed to look into the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Ombudsman of Cyprus, the Chairperson of the European Network of Ombudspersons and the Ombudsperson of Ireland. The Chairperson and several other members of the Committee had met with representatives of the Body Shop and ECPAT International, who had presented the Chairperson with a petition containing over 7 million signatures gathered in the course of the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People Campaign which had subsequently been presented to the President of the Human Rights Council. Several Committee members had also participated in various expert meetings prior to or during the session.

The Committee and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had held its biennial meeting on 29 September 2011 to review how UNICEF had supported the Committee’s reporting process and the follow-up to its concluding observations and to develop future cooperation strategies. A further meeting had been held on 30 September to explore how the Committee and UNICEF might cooperate on research issues to facilitate the monitoring of the Convention.

The Committee’s 2011 well-attended Day of General Discussion, which had focused on the situation of children with incarcerated parents, had been held in partnership with associated NGOs and the Quaker United Nations Office. After plenary presentations by experts from Brazil, Pakistan and South Africa and by two children from the United Kingdom whose parents had been incarcerated, two working groups had deliberated on the issues of babies and children living with or visiting a parent in prison and children left “outside” when their parent was incarcerated. Those working groups had developed a number of pertinent recommendations.

The Committee had made progress in its discussions on a future general comment on children’s rights and the business sector, a review of the working draft of its planned general comment on article 3 of the Convention on the best interests of the child, the preparation of a general comment on article 24 on the right to health, and a review of a draft outline of a general comment on article 31 on the right of the child to rest, leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities and participate in cultural life and the arts. Furthermore, the working group composed of representatives of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child would be examining a detailed annotated outline of the draft general comment on harmful traditional practices.

The Committee would shortly meet with United Nations partners and representatives of national human rights institutions and NGOs to receive briefings and discuss the situation of children in nine States parties. Those discussions would provide invaluable input for the work of the Committee in evaluating State party reports.

The Chairperson said that the Committee’s upcoming pre-sessional working group on the fifty-ninth session would be co-chaired by Ms. Varmah and Mr. Kotrane in his absence, as he was going to New York to present the report of the Committee to the United Nations 2011 General Assembly. He would also be supporting the Committee’s request for authorization to hold parallel meetings in two chambers as of 2013 on a permanent basis, at least for one session per year. He would also urge the General Assembly to adopt the third optional protocol, which would enable children to lodge individual complaints with the Committee, thereby strengthening the protection of children’s rights. He would, in addition, have the opportunity to forge closer links with UNICEF and other organizations and to meet the special procedures mandate holders, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children.

The fifty-ninth session of the Committee would take place from 16 January to 3 February 2012. In addition to examining State party reports, the Committee would discuss cooperation with partners, its working methods, plans for the September 2012 General Day of Discussion, which would deal with migrant children, and future general comments.

He said that, in the absence of any objections, he would take it that the Committee wished to adopt the draft concluding observations on all the reports that it had considered, along with the report on its fifty-eighth session (CRC/C/58/3).

It was so decided.

Closure of the session

The Chairperson declared closed the fifty-eighth session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The meeting rose at 12.40 p.m.