Law Approving The Optional Protocol To The Convention On The Rights Of The Child Laying Down A Procedure For The Submission Of Communications, Adopted At New York On 19 December 2011 (1) (2)

Original Language Title: Loi portant assentiment au Protocole facultatif à la Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant établissant une procédure de présentation de communications, adopté à New York le 19 décembre 2011 (1) (2)

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21 FEBRUARY 2014. - An Act to approve the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure, adopted in New York on 19 December 2011 (1) (2)



PHILIPPE, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 77 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure, adopted in New York on 19 December 2011, will take out its full and full effect.
Art. 3. The competence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child for, under article 12 of this Optional Protocol, to receive communications from a State party that another State does not meet its obligations, is recognized.
Promulgate this Act, order that it be put on the State Seal and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels on 21 February 2014.
PHILIPPE
By the King:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
D. REYNDERS
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
Seal of the State Seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
____
Notes
(1) Senate (www.senate.be):
Documents: 5-2263
Annales du Sénat : 07/11/2013
House of Representatives (www.lachambre.be):
Documents: 53-3124
Full report : 19/12/2013
(2) See the decree of the Flemish Community/Flemish Region of 14 December 2012 (Belgian capital of 25 January 2013 - Ed. 2 and 31 January 2013), the decree of the French Community of 6 June 2013 (Belgian capital of 2 July 2013), the decree of the German-speaking Community of 31 March 2014 (Belgian moniteur of 30 April 2014), the decree of the Walloon Region of 30 May 2013 (Moniteur

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure
States Parties to this Protocol,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, the recognition of the inherent dignity of all members of the human family and their equal and inalienable rights constitutes the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Noting that States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention") recognize the rights set forth in the Convention to any child within their jurisdiction, without distinction as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, status of property, disability, birth or other status,
Reaffirming that all human rights and fundamental freedoms are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated,
Reaffirming also the status of the child as a subject of rights and as a human being whose dignity must be recognized and whose capacities evolve,
Recognizing that, given their special status and condition of dependency, children may have great difficulties in resorting to remedies available in the event of violations of their rights,
Recognizing that the present Protocol will strengthen and complement national and regional mechanisms enabling children to submit complaints of violations of their rights,
Acknowledging that, in the exercise of remedies for violations of the rights of the child, the best interests of the child should prevail and that procedures at all levels under these remedies should be appropriate to children,
Encouraging States parties to develop appropriate national mechanisms to enable a child whose rights have been violated to have access to effective domestic remedies,
Recalling the important role that national human rights institutions and other relevant specialized agencies to promote and protect the rights of children can play in this regard,
Considering that, in order to strengthen and complement these national mechanisms and further improve the implementation of the Convention and, where appropriate, the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and the involvement of children in armed conflict, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") should be empowered to carry out the functions to be carried out by the Committee,
The following agreed:
PART I
General provisions
Article 1er
Competence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
1. Any State Party to this Protocol shall recognize the competence of the Committee under this Protocol.
2. The Committee shall not exercise its jurisdiction over a State Party to this Protocol for matters relating to the violation of rights set out in an instrument to which the State in question is not a party.
3. The Committee shall not receive any communication involving a State that is not a party to this Protocol.
Article 2
General principles guiding the function of the Committee
In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by this Protocol, the Committee shall be guided by the principle of the best interests of the child. It also takes into account the rights and opinions of the child, giving the child the weight required according to the age and maturity of the child.
Article 3
Rules of procedure
1. The Committee shall adopt rules of procedure relating to the exercise of the functions conferred on it by this Protocol. In doing so, it takes particular account of Article 2 of this Protocol in order to ensure that procedures are child-friendly.
2. The Committee shall include in its rules of procedure guarantees to prevent the child from being manipulated by those who act on his or her behalf and may refuse to consider a communication if he or she considers that it does not serve the best interests of the child.
Article 4
Protection measures
1. The State party shall take all necessary measures to ensure that persons under its jurisdiction are not subject to any violation of human rights and are not subjected to any form of ill-treatment or intimidation as they communicate or cooperate with the Committee under this Protocol.
2. The identity of the person or group of persons concerned is not publicly disclosed without the express consent of the persons concerned.
PART II
Communications procedure
Article 5
Individual communications
1. Communications may be submitted by individuals or groups of individuals or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals under the jurisdiction of a State Party who claim to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of the rights set out in any of the following instruments to which that State is a party:
(a) the Convention;
(b) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
(c) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
2. A communication may only be submitted on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals with their consent, unless the author can justify acting on their behalf without such consent.
Article 6
Provisional measures
1. Upon receipt of a communication, and before making a decision on the merits, the Committee may at any time submit to the State party concerned a request that it take the necessary interim measures in exceptional circumstances to avoid irreparable harm to the victim or victims of the alleged violations.
2. The exercise by the Faculty Committee under paragraph 1er of this article shall not prejudge its decision on the admissibility or merits of the communication.
Article 7
Acceptability
The Committee declares inadmissible a communication where:
(a) the communication is anonymous;
(b) the communication is not submitted in writing;
(c) the communication constitutes an abuse of the right to submit such communications or is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention or the Optional Protocols thereto;
(d) the same matter has already been examined by the Committee or has been or is being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;
(e) all available domestic remedies have not been exhausted. This rule does not apply if the appeal procedure exceeds reasonable time limits or if it is unlikely that it will permit effective redress;
(f) communication is manifestly ill-founded or insufficiently motivated;
(g) the facts that are the subject of the communication are prior to the date of entry into force of this Protocol with respect to the State Party concerned, unless these facts persist after that date;
(h) the communication is not filed within twelve months of exhaustion of domestic remedies, except in cases where the author may demonstrate that it was not possible to submit the communication within that time limit.
Article 8
Communications transmission
1. The Committee shall, as soon as possible, bring to the attention of the State party concerned any communication addressed to it under this Protocol, unless it considers it inadmissible.
2. The State party submits in writing to the Committee explanations or statements providing details of the case and indicating, where appropriate, the corrective measures it has taken. The State party submits its response as soon as possible, within six months.
Artillery 9
Amicable rules
1. The Committee shall make its good offices available to the parties to arrive at a friendly settlement of the matter based on compliance with the obligations set out in the Convention or the Optional Protocols thereto.
2. Any friendly settlement agreement concluded under the auspices of the Committee shall terminate the consideration of the communication under this Protocol.
Article 10
Consideration of communications
1. The Committee shall consider communications under this Protocol as expeditiously as possible, taking into account all the documentation submitted to it, on the understanding that such documentation shall be communicated to the parties concerned.
2. The Committee shall hold its closed sessions when examining communications addressed to it under this Protocol.
3. When the Committee requested interim measures, it shall proceed without delay to review the communication.
4. When examining communications of violations of economic, social or cultural rights, the Committee assesses the reasonableness of the measures taken by the State party in accordance with article 4 of the Convention. In doing so, he cautioned that the State party could adopt various policy measures to implement the economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in the Convention.
5. Upon consideration of a communication, the Committee shall promptly transmit to the parties concerned its Views on the communication, including its recommendations.
Article 11
Follow-up
1. The State party duly takes into account the Committee ' s Views and any recommendations and submits a written response containing information on any action taken or envisaged in the light of its Views and Recommendations. The State party submits its response as soon as possible, within six months.
2. The Committee may invite the State party to submit to it additional information on any action taken to implement its Views or recommendations or on the application of a possible friendly settlement agreement, including, if the Committee considers it appropriate, in the subsequent reports of the State party submitted under article 44 of the Convention, article 12 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention, concerning the sale of children, the prostitution of children and the child
Article 12
Interstate communications
1. Any State Party to this Protocol may declare at any time that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications in which a State Party affirms that another State Party shall not fulfil its obligations under any of the following instruments to which the State is a party:
(a) the Convention;
(b) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
(c) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
2. The Committee shall not receive any communication from a State Party that has not made such a declaration or from a State Party that has not made such a declaration.
3. The Committee shall make its good offices available to the States parties concerned with a view to reaching an amicable settlement of the matter based on compliance with the obligations set out in the Convention and the Optional Protocols thereto.
4. States Parties shall deposit the declaration they have made in accordance with paragraph 1er of this article to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States parties. A statement may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. This withdrawal is without prejudice to the consideration of any matter that is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this section; no other communication from a State Party shall be received under this article after the Secretary-General has received notification of the withdrawal of the declaration, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
PART III
Investigation procedure
Article 13
Investigation procedure for serious or systematic violations
1. If the Committee receives credible information indicating that a State party seriously or systematically violates the rights set out in the Convention, the Optional Protocol to the Convention, concerning the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, or the Optional Protocol to the Convention, concerning the involvement of children in armed conflict, it invites the State party to cooperate in the examination of such information and, to that end, to submit its observations.
2. In the light of any observations made by the State party concerned, as well as any other credible information available to it, the Committee may charge one or more of its members to conduct an investigation and to report to it on an urgent basis. The investigation may, when warranted and the State party agrees, include a visit to the territory of that State.
3. The investigation takes place in confidentiality, and the cooperation of the State party is sought at all stages of the proceedings.
4. After reviewing the results of the investigation, the Committee shall forthwith transmit them to the State party concerned, accompanied, where appropriate, by observations and recommendations.
5. As soon as possible, and no later than six months after receiving the results of the investigation and the observations and recommendations transmitted by the Committee, the State party concerned shall submit its observations to the Committee.
6. Upon completion of the investigation procedure under paragraph 2 of this article, the Committee may, after consultations with the State party concerned, decide to include a summary record of the results of the proceedings in its report under Article 16 of this Protocol.
7. Any State Party may, at the time it signs this Protocol, ratify or accede to it, declare that it does not recognize the competence of the Committee for the purposes of this Article with respect to the rights set out in any or all of the instruments listed in paragraph 1er.
8. Any State Party having made the declaration provided for in paragraph 7 of this article may, at any time, withdraw this declaration by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 14
Follow-up to the investigation procedure
1. The Committee may, if necessary, at the end of the six-month period referred to in paragraph 5 of Article 13, invite the State party concerned to inform it of the measures taken or envisaged following an investigation conducted under Article 13 of this Protocol.
2. The Committee may invite the State party to submit further information on any action taken pursuant to an investigation under article 13, including, if the Committee considers it appropriate, in the subsequent reports of the State party under article 44 of the Convention, article 12 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention, concerning the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, or article 8 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention,
PART IV
Final provisions
Article 15
International assistance and cooperation
1. The Committee may, with the consent of the State party concerned, transmit to the specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations and other competent bodies its findings or recommendations concerning communications and requests indicating a need for technical assistance or advice, together with, where appropriate, the State party's comments and suggestions on these findings or recommendations.
2. The Committee may also bring to the attention of these entities, with the consent of the State party concerned, any matter raised by the communications under this Protocol that may assist them in deciding, each in its own sphere of competence, on the appropriateness of international measures to assist the State party in advancing the implementation of the rights recognized in the Convention or the Optional Protocols thereto.
Article 16
Report to the General Assembly
The Committee shall include in its report to the General Assembly every two years pursuant to article 44, paragraph 5, of the Convention a summary of its activities under this Protocol.
Article 17
Dissemination and information on the Optional Protocol
Each State Party shall endeavour to make this Protocol widely known and disseminated, as well as to facilitate the access of adults and children, including children with disabilities, to information on the Committee's Views and Recommendations, in particular with regard to cases involving the State party, through active and appropriate means and in accessible form.
Article 18
Signature, ratification and accession
1. This Protocol shall be open for signature by all States that have signed, ratified or acceded to the Convention or one of the first two Optional Protocols thereto.
2. This Protocol shall be subject to ratification by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Convention or one of the first two Optional Protocols thereto. Instruments of ratification will be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. This Protocol shall be open to the accession of any State that has ratified or acceded to the Convention or one of the first two Optional Protocols thereto.
4. The accession is made by the deposit of an instrument of accession to the Secretary-General.
Article 19
Entry into force
1. This Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to this Protocol after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession, the Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit by that State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
Rule 20
Violations committed after the coming into force
1. The Committee is competent only in respect of violations by the State party of any of the rights set out in the Convention or one of the first two Optional Protocols thereto committed after the entry into force of this Protocol.
2. If a State becomes a party to this Protocol after the entry into force of this Protocol, its obligations to the Committee relate only to violations of the rights set forth in the Convention or one of the first two Optional Protocols thereto that are committed after the entry into force of this Protocol for the State concerned.
Article 21
Amendments
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment to this Protocol and submit it to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall communicate the amendment proposals to the States parties, asking them to let them know whether they are in favour of convening a meeting of the States parties with a view to examining these proposals and deciding on them. If, within four months after the date of this communication, at least one third of the States parties shall vote in favour of convening such a meeting, the Secretary-General shall convene the meeting under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties present and voting shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval by the Secretary-General and for acceptance by all States parties.
2. Any amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1er of this Article shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which the number of instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States Parties on the date of its adoption. Subsequently, the amendment comes into force for each State Party on the thirtieth day following the deposit by that State of its instrument of acceptance. The amendment only binds the States parties that have accepted it.
Article 22
Denunciation
1. Any State Party may denounce this Protocol at any time by sending a written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The denunciation takes effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. The provisions of this Protocol shall continue to apply to any communication submitted in accordance with Articles 5 or 12 or any proceedings initiated pursuant to Article 13 before the date on which the denunciation takes effect.
Article 23
Depositary and notification by the Secretary-General
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the depositary of this Protocol.
2. The Secretary-General shall inform all States:
(a) signatures, ratifications and accessions to this Protocol;
(b) the effective date of this Protocol and any amendment adopted under Article 21;
(c) any denunciation under Article 22 of this Protocol.
Article 24
Languages
1. This Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, will be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit a certified true copy of this Protocol to all States.

(4) List of States Pied

DECLARATION
"The Kingdom of Belgium recognizes the competence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to receive, under article 12 of the Optional Protocol, communications from a State party that another State does not meet its obligations. »