The ratification of a new United Nations treaty allows children to lodge complaints directly with the Committee on the Rights of the Child when facing a violation of rights.
This “Optional Protocol on a communications procedure,,” which came into effect after being ratified by 10 countries (the United States has not yet ratified this protocol or the Convention on the Rights of the Child) recognizes a child’s capacity to defend their rights by submitting complaints directly to the Committee about potential violence and exploitation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as under the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography.
In order for children to submit a complaint, they must be in a country that has ratified the Optional Protocol on Communications Procedure and exhaust all existing legal options in their country. There is an ongoing effort for universal ratification to bring the issue of children’s rights violation to attention and push States to focus more attention on children who are vulnerable and marginalized. Because of its global availability, a smartphone app is sure to follow to ensure connectedness and progress of children’s rights.