UNICEF submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child Day of General Discussion
The Committee on the Rights of the Child will hold a Day of General Discussion on ? The Right of the Child to be Heard? in Geneva on 15 September 2006.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the body of independent experts responsible for reviewing progress made by States parties in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, decided during its fortieth session, to devote its annual Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the 15 of September 2006 to the subject ?Speak, Participate and Decide- The Child?s Right to be Heard?.
The purpose of the Days of General Discussion is to foster a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the Convention as they relate to specific articles or topics. After the discussion the Committee adopts recommendations, taking into account the issues raised. Representatives of Governments, United Nations human rights mechanisms, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions as well as individual children and experts are welcome to take part.
In its consideration of the reports of States parties on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Committee has systematically stressed the importance of children?s right to express their views in all matters affecting them, with those views being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. The Committee has identified this right as one of the four general principles of Convention. This means that the implementation of article 12 is an integral part of the implementation of the other articles of the Convention, as well as a free standing right of the child .
The purpose of the Day of General Discussion, therefore, is to;
- explore the meaning of article 12; its linkages to the other articles (in particular articles 3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 30 and 31); and the implications of the article for child participation - both as individuals and a collective constituency ? in all aspects of society;
- focus on identifying the gaps, certain good practices, and priority issues that need to be addressed in order to further the enjoyment of the right of the child to be heard and to have those views taken into account, in a manner consistent with the Convention;
- promote child participation and opportunities at all levels in the home, school, community and wider society, as well in emergencies, conflict and post conflict situations.
Elizabeth Gibbons, Chief, Global Policy Section
UNICEF Division of Policy and Planning
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