04 Dec The Initiative for the Ratification of Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights and the Child’s Rights Center submitted the Initiative for the ratification of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Communication Procedures and signing and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the Office for Human and Minority Rights.
The Initiative was recommended in line with Article 4 of the Law on the Conclusion and Execution of International Treaties as signing and ratifying these documents contributed to the improvement of the human rights protection system. This would give individuals or groups of citizens, who have had their guaranteed rights enshrined in the treaties which these protocols accompany violated, the opportunity to address the independent Treaty Bodies in order to protect their rights.
The submitters of the Initiative are of the view that additional state guarantees are necessary so that citizens, in instances when they were not able to defend their rights through national mechanisms, could have the opportunity to address United Nations treaty bodies. However, during the last cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in front of the Human Rights Council Serbia rejected the recommendations to ratify these documents, and missed an opportunity to commit to further improve human rights in this area.
In light of the submission of the Initiative, the Child’s Rights Center Director Ines Cerović states that by ratifying the Optional Protocol “Serbia would fulfill the 2017 Childs’s Rights Committee recommendation as well as the 2018 Universal Period Review of the Human Rights Council recommendations, and would thereby enable children and their representatives to address the international body with complaints in instances where they were the victims of violations of rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” She further adds that “this would ensure adequate protection for the child whose right had been violated.”
The Programme Director of the A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights, Danilo Ćurčić, adds that by signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Republic of Serbia would join the company of countries who guarantee the protection of these rights at the highest level, and that this is necessary because of the ever rising number of reports that record a rise in the number of citizens’ complaints in the area of economic and social rights.
The submitters of the Initiative expect that the competent Office for Human and Minority Rights will deem the Initiative justifiable and issue a recommendation to the government to conclude and ratify these international treaties.