The Child Protection Alliance (CPA) with funding from Save the Children International on Monday started a two-day training for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and government institutions on child rights and the optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and communication procedure.
The training, held at the National Nutrition Agency, brought together 30 participants from CSOs and government institutions. The forum was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge on the subject matter as well as build their capacities on how to prepare communications in instances of serious violation of the rights of the child.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sheikh Tijan Lewis, the board chairman of CPA, said this activity was to update participants with the current processes that are of interest to their work in their various organisations.
He expressed gratitude to Save the Children for its usual and consistent support to CPA.
Njundu Drammeh, the National Coordinator of CPA, elaborated that the activity was for them to discuss the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the three optional protocols to the UNCRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the optional protocol to the UNCRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the communication procedure in particular.
Drammeh maintained that the communication procedure was the focus of the training owing to the fact that UNCRC was the only international legal instrument at that time that did not have a communication procedure. This he explained, enables children to bring complaints about violations of their rights to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, when there is a gross violation of the rights of the child or a human being.
According to him, the optional protocol to the UNCRC on a communication procedure was adopted in December 2011, opened for signature in February 2012 and it came into force in April 2014, when about 10 states ratified it.
“When the state presented its 2nd and 3rd periodic reports on the UNCRC and also on the Universal Periodic Review, the state was requested to sign and ratify this very important legal instrument and the state indicated NOTED, which means they will consider it, but if we have an understanding about the legal instrument we will be able to put into motion our advocacy so that when rights of children are violated a complaint can be filed on behalf of that child to the UN committee on the Right of the Child which will work with the state to ensure that the rights of that child is respected, protected and fulfilled,” he further stated.
The CPA National Coordinator thus urged participants to fully take part in the deliberations so that they can in the future know how to file complaints to the treaty body.
by Fatou Sowe