UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (SopS 59-60/1991) in the signatory states. The committee consists of eighteen experts, selected by the signatory states from amongst their citizens every four years. Each signatory state can appoint one of their citizens as a candidate. The current Chair of the Board is Mikiko Otani.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child guides the interpretation and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by publishing general comments. A general comment may apply to a certain article of the Convention or a specific topic.
The Committee also guides the interpretation of the Convention through periodic reports. The signatory states report to the Committee on the status of children’s rights and wellbeing in their own country. Authorities and non-governmental organisations focusing on issues related to children participate in drawing up the periodic report. In Finland. the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for the Government report; in addition, the Ombudsman for Children, the Parliamentary Ombudsman as well as non-governmental organisations will submit their own reports. In response, the Committee issues conclusions and recommendations to the signatory states in order to promote the rights of children in the state in question. The latest regular report submitted by Finland as well as the conclusions and recommendations issued by the Committee based on the report can be found on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or in the database of the UN Human Rights Committee. The processing of the latest regular report has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Committee also processes complaints filed by individual children and groups of children. A child or a group of children can file a complaint, if they believe that the state has violated the rights recognised by the Convention or its optional protocols. The Committee will issue a statement and, if necessary, recommendations on the basis of the complaints that it accepts for investigation.