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Initiative for ratification of Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

A11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights and Child Rights Centre submitted an Initiative to the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for ratification of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure and signing and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The Initiative was recommended in line with article 4 of the Law on the Conclusion and Execution of International Treaties as signing and ratification of these documents contribute to the improvement of human rights protection system. This would allow individuals or groups of citizens who claim that their rights guaranteed by these treaties have been violated, an opportunity to address independent UN human rights treaty bodies in order to protect their rights. The ratification of these treaties was also one of the recommendations to Serbia in the recent Third Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council.

Director of the Child Rights Centre Ines Cerović stated that by ratifying the Third Optional Protocol “Serbia would fulfill the recommendations given by 2017 Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the 2018 Universal Period Review of the UN Human Rights Council, and would thereby enable children and their representatives to address an international body in instances where they were victims of violations of rights enshrined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” She further added that “this would ensure adequate protection for the child whose right had been violated.”

Programme Director of the A11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights Danilo Ćurčić added that by signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Republic of Serbia would join those countries who guarantee the protection of these rights at the highest level which is necessary particularly due to an increased number of reports recording a rise in the number of citizens’ complaints in the area of economic and social rights.

The submitters of the Initiative expect that the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia will consider the Initiative justifiable and will further issue a recommendation to the Government to ratify these important international treaties.