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Alternative Reports and other contributions to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

The effectiveness of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) depends on the quality and the objectivity of information it receives. Alternative reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child OMCT regularly submits alternative reports to the CRC that highlight the legislative gaps in the protection of children’s rights which States, for obvious reasons, do not mention in their own reports. Unlike reports prepared by national NGO coalitions and UNICEF that cover the comprehensive range of children’s rights and can therefore only give limited attention to issues of violence against children, OMCT reports focuses exclusively on issues of torture and other forms of violence against children. These reports show that the practice of torture and other ill treatment against children, often in police stations or detention centres, remains all too frequent. They denounce practices such as sexual abuse, blows to sensitive parts of the body, cigarette burns, keeping children standing in the hot sun, food and sleep deprivation, as well as placing them in solitary confinement. They also describe the deplorable detention conditions in which many children are held. The latter are often detained with adults and are kept in overcrowded establishments where sanitary conditions are often disastrous, access to basic care is limited or non-existence and education is rarely provided. Trafficking in children for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labour is also an extremely worrying phenomenon that OMCT has noted in several of its reports. Some countries are major sources or transit platforms for this inhuman trade. OMCT also denounced the attitude of authorities in certain destination countries which tend to treat these children as illegal immigrants rather than as the victims of serious abuse. In many countries, OMCT also condemns the arrest and arbitrary expulsion of street children, as well as the possibility of placing juvenile asylum seekers, whose request has been rejected, in administrative custody. Contribution to general debates of the Committee on the Rights of the Child In 2002, the Committee on the Rights of the Child devoted its debating day to the question of the influence of the privatisation of services on children’s rights. OMCT took part in this event by insisting on the dangers of the privatisation of prisons for juveniles and that of institutions responsible for public order. • Private sector as service provider CRC 2002 In 2001, the day of general discussion focused on violence against children within the family and in schools. OMCT argued that depending on the severity and the circumstances giving rise to State responsibility, violence perpetrated by private persons can constitute a form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The OMCT gave examples and analysed in particular issues of Physical and psychological violence in the home, sexual violence in the home including incest, wife battering, marital rape , exploitation including Prostitution and domestic work, traditional and customary practices affecting the physical and psychological integrity of girls. • Violence in the family CRC 2001 In 2000, the day of general discussion addressed the issue of state violence against children. OMCT made a series of comments and recommendations to the Committee, to State parties to the CRC and to the UN, including the recommendation to undertake an international study on violence, create a Special Rapporteur on violence against children, and to adopt an optional protocol to the CRC to enable the submission of individual complaints relative to serious attacks on the rights of children. •Special Day CRC 2000 Click here for more information on the day of general discussion Open letter on the practice of amputations, stoning and whipping Amputation, stoning and whipping are forms of corporal punishment that are still allowed by certain States. Faced with this question, the Committee on the Rights of the Child denounced these practices which it considers as cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. In an open letter published on 20 August 2002, OMCT requested that this organisation reinforce its condemnation by explicitly considering that amputation and stoning, as well as whipping in the most serious cases, should be regarded as torture in the full sense of the term. •OMCT position on Flogging Stoning Amputation
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