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09.01.2006 Regional News

Rights committee to review situation in several countries

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Accra, Jan. 9, GNA - The Committee on the Rights of the Child is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from January 9 to January 27 to review the promotion and protection of children's rights in several countries. The countries are Switzerland, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Peru, Ghana, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Trinidad and Tobago, Hungary, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, according to a statement issued on Monday by the UN Information Centre in Accra. Ghana would present its report on January 13. The initial report of Ghana was taken up on May 22 and May 23 1997.

The statement said the Committee was formed in 1991 to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gave a comprehensive collection of children's rights the force of international law.

It said countries scheduled to come before the Committee at this session were among the 192 to have ratified or acceded to the Convention.

The treaty is the most widely accepted international human rights instrument. Only Somalia and the United States have not ratified it. The statement said countries to the Convention were expected to send representatives to the Committee to present periodic reports on national efforts to give effect to children's rights. The Committee's 18 Experts would start the session by approving their agenda and programme of work.

"For the first time, they will be working in two concurrent chambers to help the Committee overcome its backlog in consideration of reports."

Ghana, Liechtenstein, Trinidad and Tobago, Hungary, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia and Thailand are presenting second periodic reports.

"During the session, the Committee will pursue its discussion of ways and areas in which existing cooperation with various relevant bodies could be further strengthened to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.

"The Committee will also pursue its discussion concerning the organization of its future work, as well as the procedure to be followed in the consideration of reports by State parties and their follow-up, including where necessary areas identified for technical assistance." The Committee would also pursue the elaboration of general comments based on the various principles and provisions of the Convention. The Committee will also consider and adopt its biennial report to the General Assembly. The General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child unanimously on 20 November 1989, 30 years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child. The Convention makes States, which accept it, legally accountable for their actions towards children. Work on drafting the Convention began in 1979 - the International Year of the Child - at the Commission on Human Rights. 09 Jan. 06

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