Role of United Nations Human Rights System

Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council – an intergovernmental body composed of 47 countries – is a critical partner of the Special Representative in the application and enforcement of international norms to protect children’s rights and to end impunity of violating parties.

Every year, the Special Representative presents her report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva to inform the body of the progress made and remaining challenges in addressing violations committed against war-affected children, on the basis of which the Council can take action through resolutions and country-specific recommendations.

The Human Rights Council session also represents an opportunity for the Special Representative to highlight thematic and new research areas such as the rights and guarantees of internally displaced children in 2010 and children and justice in 2011.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human rights monitors to peacekeeping operations and country missions have an important role to play in monitoring and reporting on violations against children. The Office of the High Commissioner also promotes the mainstreaming of child protection in the work of human rights mechanisms.

Committee on the Rights of the Child

All States parties to the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on how they implement the treaty. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party.

Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures

The Universal Periodic Review is a process of reviewing the Human Rights records of all United Nations members every four years. The Office for Children and Armed Conflict regularly submits inputs regarding the situation of children for this review in various countries.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts have been tasked by the Human Rights Council to monitor and report on human rights situations in specific countries or on thematic issues. These experts often highlight concerns about children and armed conflict in their reports and advocate for the protection of children’s rights.