Convention on the
Rights of the Child
25 April 2005
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD PROVISIONAL RULES OF PROCEDURE*
* Adopted by the Committee at its 22nd meeting (first session) and revised by the Committee at its thirty-third session.
PART ONE. GENERAL RULES I. SESSIONS
Meetings of the Committee
The Committee on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) shall hold meetings as may be required for the effective performance of its functions in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”).
1. The Committee shall normally hold two regular sessions annually.
2. Regular sessions of the Committee shall be convened at dates decided by the Committee in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (hereinafter referred to as “the Secretary-General”), taking into account the calendar of conferences as approved by the General Assembly.
1. Special sessions of the Committee shall be convened by decision of the Committee. When the Committee is not in session, the Chairperson may convene special sessions of the Committee in consultation with the other officers of the Committee. The Chairperson of the Committee shall also convene special sessions:
(a) At the request of a majority of the members of the Committee;
(b) At the request of a State party to the Convention.
2. Special sessions shall be convened as soon as possible at a date fixed by the Chairperson, in consultation with the Secretary-General and with the other officers of the Committee, taking into account the calendar of conferences as approved by the General Assembly.
Place of sessions
Sessions of the Committee shall normally be held at the Headquarters of the United Nations. Another place for a session may be designated by the Committee in consultation with the Secretary-General, taking into account the relevant rules of the
United Nations on the subject.
Notification of opening date of sessions
The Secretary-General shall notify the members of the Committee of the date and place of the first meeting of each session. Such notification shall be sent, in the case of regular sessions, at least six weeks in advance, and in the case of a special session, at least three weeks in advance of the first meeting.
Provisional agenda for regular sessions
The provisional agenda for each regular session shall be prepared by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Chairperson of the Committee, in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Convention, and shall include:
(a) Any item decided upon by the Committee at a previous session;
(b) Any item proposed by the Chairperson of the Committee;
(c) Any item proposed by a member of the Committee;
(d) Any item proposed by a State party to the Convention;
(e) Any item proposed by the Secretary-General relating to his functions under the Convention or these rules.
Provisional agenda for special sessions
The provisional agenda for a special session of the Committee shall consist only of those items which were proposed for its consideration at the special session.
Adoption of the agenda
The first item on the provisional agenda for any session shall be the adoption of the agenda, except for the election of the officers when required under rule 16 of these rules.
Revision of the agenda
During a regular session, the Committee may revise the agenda and may, as appropriate, add, defer or delete items. Only urgent or important items may be added to the agenda.
Transmission of the provisional agenda and basic documents
The provisional agenda and basic documents relating to items appearing thereon shall be transmitted to the members of the Committee by the Secretary-General as early as possible, and whenever possible simultaneously with the notification of the opening of a session under rule 5.
III. MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
Members of the Committee shall be the 18 independent experts elected in accordance with article 43 of the Convention.
Term of office
The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated.
Beginning of term of office
The members of the Committee elected at the first election shall begin their term of office on 1 March 1991. In the case of members elected at subsequent elections, their term of office shall begin on the day following the date of expiry of the term of office of the members whom they replace.
Filling of casual vacancies
1. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any other cause he or she can no longer perform his or her Committee duties, the Chairperson of the Committee shall notify the Secretary-General who shall then declare the seat of that member to be vacant.
2. If, in the unanimous opinion of the other members, a member of the Committee has ceased to carry out his or her functions for any cause other than absence of a temporary nature, the Chairperson of the Committee shall notify the Secretary-General, who shall then declare the seat of that member to be vacant.
3. Pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 of this rule, the Secretary-General shall request the State party which had nominated that member to appoint another expert from among its nationals within two months to serve for the remainder of his or her predecessor’s term.
4. The name and the curriculum vitae of the expert so appointed shall be transmitted by the Secretary-General to the Committee for approval by secret ballot. Upon approval of the expert by the Committee, the Secretary-General shall notify the States parties to the Convention of the name of the member of the Committee filling a casual vacancy.
5. Except in the case of a vacancy arising from a member’s death or proven disability, the Secretary-General and the Committee shall act in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of this rule only after receiving from the member concerned written notification of his or her decision to cease to function as a member of the Committee.
Upon assuming his or her duties, each member of the Committee shall make the following solemn declaration in open Committee:
“I solemnly declare that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as a member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously.”
The Committee shall elect from among its members a Chairperson, three Vice-Chairpersons and a Rapporteur.
Term of office
The officers of the Committee shall be elected for a term of two years. They shall be eligible for re-election. None of them, however, may hold office if he or she ceases to be a member of the Committee.
Position of the Chairperson in relation to the Committee
The Chairperson shall perform the functions conferred upon him or her by the Convention and by these rules of procedure. In exercising his or her functions, the Chairperson shall remain under the authority of the Committee.
If the Chairperson is unable to be present at a meeting or any part thereof, he or she shall designate one of the Vice-Chairpersons to act in his or her place. In the absence of such a designation, one of the Vice-Chairpersons will act as Chairperson in his or her place.
Powers and duties of the Acting Chairperson
A Vice-Chairperson acting as Chairperson shall have the same powers and duties as the Chairperson.
Replacement of officers
If any of the officers of the Committee ceases, or declares his or her inability, to continue serving as an officer of the Committee, a new officer shall be elected for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor.
Duties of the Secretary-General
1. The secretariat of the Committee and of such subsidiary bodies as may be established by the Committee under rule 63 shall be provided by the Secretary-General.
2. The Secretary-General shall provide the Committee with the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of its functions under the Convention.
The Secretary-General or his representative shall be present at all sessions of the Committee. Subject to rule 39, the Secretary-General or his representative may make oral or written statements at meetings of the Committee or its subsidiary bodies.
Servicing of meetings
The Secretary-General shall be responsible for all the necessary arrangements for meetings of the Committee and its subsidiary bodies.
Keeping the members informed
The Secretary-General shall be responsible for keeping the members of the Committee informed of any questions which may be brought before it for consideration or of any other developments that may be of relevance to the Committee.
Financial implications of proposals
Before any proposal which involves expenditures is approved by the Committee or by its subsidiary bodies, the Secretary-General shall prepare and circulate to its members, as early as possible, an estimate of the cost involved in the proposal. It shall be the duty of the Chairperson to draw the attention of the members to this estimate and to invite discussion on it when the proposal is considered by the Committee or by a subsidiary body.
Official and working languages
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish shall be the official languages and English, French and Spanish the working languages of the Committee.
Interpretation from an official language
Statements made in any of the official languages shall be interpreted into the other official languages.
Interpretation from an unofficial language
Any person addressing the Committee and using a language other than one of the official languages shall provide for interpretation into and from one of the working languages. Interpretation into the other official languages by interpreters of the secretariat shall be based upon the interpretation given in the first working language.
Languages of records
Summary records of the meetings of the Committee shall be drawn up in the working languages and any of them may be issued in the other official languages upon decision of the Committee.
Languages of decisions and official documents
All decisions of the Committee shall be made available in the official languages. All official documents of the Committee shall be issued in the working languages and any of them may be issued in the other official languages upon decision of the Committee.
VII. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MEETINGS
Public and private meetings
The meetings of the Committee and its subsidiary bodies shall be held in public, unless
the Committee decides otherwise.
Issue of communiqués concerning private meetings
At the close of each private meeting, the Committee or its subsidiary bodies may issue a communiqué, through the Secretary-General, for the use of the information media and the general public.
Participation in meetings
1. In conformity with article 45, subparagraph (a), of the Convention, representatives of the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other United Nations organs shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. Representatives of the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other United Nations organs may participate in private meetings of the Committee or its subsidiary bodies, when invited by the Committee to do so.
2. Representatives of other competent bodies concerned, which are not included among those in paragraph 1 of this rule, may participate in public or private meetings of the Committee or its subsidiary bodies, when invited by the Committee to do so.
Correction of summary records
Summary records of the public and private meetings of the Committee shall be prepared by the secretariat. They shall be distributed as soon as possible to the members of the Committee and to any other participants in the meetings. All such participants may, within three working days of the receipt of such records, submit corrections to the secretariat in the
languages in which the records have been issued. Corrections to the records of the meetings shall be consolidated in a single corrigendum to be issued at the end of the session concerned. Any disagreement concerning such corrections shall be decided upon by the Chairperson of the Committee or, in the case of continued disagreement, by decision of the Committee.
Distribution of summary records
1. The summary records of public meetings shall be documents for general distribution.
2. The summary records of private meetings shall be distributed to the members of the Committee and to other participants in the meetings. They may be made available to others upon decision of the Committee at such time and under such conditions as the Committee may decide.
IX. DISTRIBUTION OF REPORTS AND OTHER OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS OF THE COMMITTEE
Distribution of official documents
1. Without prejudice to the provisions of rule 36 and subject to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this rule, reports, decisions and all other official documents of the Committee and its subsidiary bodies shall be documents for general distribution, unless the Committee decides otherwise.
2. Reports and information furnished to the Committee by the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund, or other United Nations organs and competent bodies pursuant to article 45, subparagraph (a), of the Convention and to rule 70 shall be distributed by the secretariat to all members of the Committee and, if so decided by the Committee, to members of its subsidiary bodies, States parties concerned and other participants at the meetings. Such reports and information shall normally be made available to the Committee in the language in which they have been submitted, unless otherwise decided by the Committee or the Chairperson.
3. Reports and additional information submitted by States parties pursuant to article 44 of the Convention and to rules 66 and 69 shall be documents for general distribution.
X. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
Six members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
Powers of the Chairperson
l. In addition to exercising the powers conferred upon the Chairperson by the Convention and elsewhere by these rules, the Chairperson shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the Committee, direct the discussion, ensure observance of these rules, accord the right to speak, put questions to the vote and announce decisions.
2. The Chairperson, subject to these rules, shall have control of the proceedings of the Committee and over the maintenance of order at its meetings.
3. In the course of the discussion of an item, the Chairperson may propose to the Committee a limitation on the time to be allowed to speakers and on the number of times each person may speak on any question, and the closure of the list of speakers.
4. The Chairperson shall rule on points of order.
5. The Chairperson may also propose adjournment or closure of the debate or adjournment or suspension of a meeting. Debate shall be confined to the question before the Committee, and the Chairperson may call a speaker to order if his or her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion.
Points of order
During the discussion of any matter, a member may, at any time, raise a point of order, and such point of order shall immediately be decided upon by the Chairperson in accordance with these rules of procedure. Any appeal against the ruling of the Chairperson shall immediately be put to the vote, and the ruling of the Chairperson shall stand unless overruled by
a majority of the members present. A member raising a point of order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.
The Committee may limit the time allowed to each speaker on any question. When debate is limited and a speaker exceeds his or her allotted time, the Chairperson shall call him or her to order without delay.
List of speakers
During the course of a debate, the Chairperson may announce the list of speakers and, with the consent of the Committee, declare the list closed. The Chairperson may, however, accord the right of reply to any speaker if a speech delivered after he or she has declared the list closed makes this desirable. When the debate on an item is concluded because there are no
other speakers, the Chairperson shall declare the debate closed. Such closure shall have the same effect as closure by consent of the Committee.
Suspension or adjournment of meetings
During the discussion of any matter, a member may move for the suspension or adjournment of the meeting. No discussion on such motions shall be permitted, and they shall immediately be put to the vote.
Adjournment of debate
During the discussion of any matter, a member may move for the adjournment of the debate on the item under discussion. In addition to the person who proposed the motion, one member may speak in favour and one against the motion, after which the motion shall immediately be put to the vote.
Closure of debate
A member may, at any time, move for the closure of the debate on the item under discussion, whether or not any other member or representative had signified his or her wish to speak. Permission to speak on the closure of the debate shall be accorded only to two members opposing the closure, after which the motion shall immediately be put to the vote.
Order of motions
Subject to rule 40, the following motions shall have precedence in the following order over all other proposals or motions before the meeting:
(a) To suspend the meeting;
(b) To adjourn the meeting;
(c) To adjourn the debate on the item under discussion;
(d) To close the debate on the item under discussion.
Submission of proposals
Unless otherwise decided by the Committee, substantive proposals, amendments and motions submitted by the members shall be introduced in writing and handed to the secretariat and their consideration shall, if so requested by any member, be deferred until the next meeting on a following day.
Decisions on competence
Subject to rule 46, any motion by a member calling for a decision on the competence of the Committee to adopt a proposal submitted to it shall immediately be put to the vote before a vote is taken on the proposal in question.
Withdrawal of motions
A motion may be withdrawn by the member who proposed it at any time before voting upon it has commenced, provided that the motion has not been amended. A motion thus withdrawn may be reintroduced by any member.
Reconsideration of proposals
When a proposal has been adopted or rejected, it may not be reconsidered at the same session unless the Committee, by a two-thirds majority of its members present, so decides. Permission to speak on a motion to reconsider shall be accorded only to two members in favour of and two members in opposition to the motion, after which it shall immediately be put to the
Each member of the Committee shall have one vote.
Adoption of decisions
Except as otherwise provided in the Convention and elsewhere in these rules, decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority of the members present.
Equally divided votes
If a vote is equally divided on matters other than elections, the proposal shall be regarded as rejected.
Method of voting
Unless otherwise decided by the Committee, and subject to rules 14 and 60, the Committee shall vote by a show of hands. Any member may request a roll-call, which shall be taken in the English alphabetical order of the names of the members of the Committee, beginning with the member whose name is drawn by lot by the Chairperson.
The vote of each member participating in any roll-call shall be inserted in the record.
Conduct during voting and explanation of votes
After the voting has commenced, there shall be no interruption of the voting except on a point of order by a member in connection with the actual conduct of the voting. Brief statements by members consisting solely of explanations of their votes may be permitted by the Chairperson before the voting has commenced or after the voting has been completed.
Division of proposals
Parts of a proposal shall be voted upon separately if a member requests that the proposal be divided. Those parts of the proposal which have been approved shall then be put to the vote as a whole. If all of the operative parts of the proposal have been rejected, the proposal shall be considered to have been rejected as a whole.
Order of voting on amendments
1. When an amendment to a proposal is moved, the amendment shall be voted upon first. When two or more amendments to a proposal are moved, the Committee shall first vote on the amendment furthest removed in substance from the original proposal and then on the amendment next furthest removed therefrom and so on, until all amendments have been put to
the vote. If one or more amendments are adopted, the amended proposal shall then be voted upon.
2. A motion is considered an amendment to a proposal if it merely adds to, deletes from or revises part of that proposal.
Order of voting on proposals
1. If two or more proposals relate to the same question, the Committee shall, unless it decides otherwise, vote upon the proposals in the order in which they have been submitted.
2. The Committee may, after each vote on a proposal, decide whether to vote upon the next proposal.
3. Any motions requiring that no decision be taken on the substance of such proposals shall, however, be considered as previous questions and shall be put to the vote before those proposals.
Method of elections
Elections shall be held by secret ballot, unless the Committee decides otherwise in the case of elections to fill a place for which there is only one candidate.
Conduct of elections when only one elective place is to be filled
1. When only one person or member is to be elected and no candidate in the first ballot obtains the majority required, a second ballot shall be taken, which shall be restricted to the two candidates who obtained the greatest number of votes.
2. If the second ballot is inconclusive and a majority vote of members is required, a third ballot shall be taken in which votes may be cast for any eligible candidate. If the third ballot is inconclusive, the next ballot shall be restricted to the two candidates who obtained the greatest number of votes in the third ballot and so on, with unrestricted and restricted ballots alternating until a person or member is elected.
3. If the second ballot is inconclusive and a two-thirds majority is required, the balloting shall be continued until one candidate secures the necessary two-thirds majority. In the next three ballots, votes may be cast for any eligible candidates. If three such unrestricted ballots are inconclusive, the next three ballots shall be restricted to the two candidates who obtained the greatest number of votes in the third such unrestricted ballot. The following three ballots shall be unrestricted, and so on, until a person or member is elected.
Conduct of elections when two or more elective places are to be filled
When two or more elective places are to be filled at one time under the same conditions, those candidates obtaining the majority required in the first ballot shall be elected. If the number of candidates obtaining such majority is less than the number of persons or members to be elected, there shall be additional ballots to fill the remaining places. The voting then shall be restricted to the candidates obtaining the greatest number of votes in the previous ballot and to a number not more than twice the places remaining to be filled, provided that, after the third inconclusive ballot, votes may be cast for any eligible candidates. If three such unrestricted ballots are inconclusive, the next three ballots shall be restricted to the candidates who obtain the greatest number of votes in the third of the unrestricted ballots and to a number not more than twice the places remaining to be filled. The following three ballots shall be unrestricted, and so on, until all the places have been filled.
XIII. SUBSIDIARY BODIES
Establishment of subsidiary bodies
1. The Committee may, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention and subject to the provisions of rule 26 whenever applicable, set up such subcommittees and other ad hoc subsidiary bodies as it deems necessary and define their composition and mandates.
2. Each subsidiary body shall elect its own officers and may adopt its own rules of procedure. Failing the adoption of such rules, the present rules of procedure shall apply mutatis mutandis.
XIV. REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE
Reports to the General Assembly
The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, every two years reports on its activities under the Convention and may submit such other reports as it considers appropriate.
The Committee, or its subsidiary bodies, may issue for general distribution other reports on its activities. The Committee may also issue reports for general distribution in order to highlight specific problems in the field of the rights of the child.
PART TWO. FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
XV. REPORTS AND INFORMATION UNDER ARTICLES 44
AND 45 OF THE CONVENTION
Submission of reports by States parties
1. States parties shall submit reports, through the Secretary-General, pursuant to article 44
of the Convention.
2. States parties shall submit such reports within two years after the entry into force of the Convention for the State party concerned and thereafter they shall submit subsequent reports every five years and such additional reports or information in the intervening period as the Committee may request.
3. The Committee, through the Secretary-General, shall indicate to the States parties the form and contents of reports or information to be supplied to the Committee, in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of this rule.
Non-submission of reports
1. At each session, the Secretary-General shall notify the Committee of all cases of non-submission of reports or additional information under article 44 of the Convention and rule 66 of these rules. In such cases, the Committee shall transmit to the State party concerned, through the Secretary-General, a reminder concerning the submission of such report or additional
information and undertake any other efforts in a spirit of dialogue between the State concerned and the Committee.
2. If, even after the reminder and other efforts referred to in paragraph 1 of this rule, the State party does not submit the required report or additional information, the Committee shall consider the situation as it deems necessary and shall include a reference to this effect in its report to the General Assembly.
Attendance by States parties at the examination of reports
The Committee, through the Secretary-General, shall notify the States parties, as early as possible, of the opening date, duration and place of the session at which their respective reports will be examined. Representatives of the States parties shall be invited to attend the meetings of the Committee when their reports are examined. The Committee may also inform a State party from which it decides to seek additional information that the State party may authorize its representative to be present at a specified meeting; such representative should be able to answer questions which may be put to him or her by the Committee and make statements on reports already submitted by his or her State, and may also submit further information from his or her State.
Request for additional reports or information
If, in the opinion of the Committee, a report submitted by a State party pursuant to article 44 of the Convention does not contain sufficient information, the Committee may request that State to furnish an additional report or additional information, indicating the time limit within which such additional report or information should be supplied.
Request for other reports or advice
1. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other United Nations organs, pursuant to article 45, subparagraph (a), of the Convention, to submit to it reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities.
2. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other competent bodies, as it may consider appropriate, to provide it with expert advice, pursuant to article 45, subparagraph (a), of the Convention, on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within their respective mandates.
3. The Committee may indicate, as appropriate, the time limit within which such reports or advice should be supplied to the Committee.
Suggestions and general recommendations on a State party’s report
1. After its consideration of each report of a State party, together with such reports, information or advice, if any, received pursuant to article 44 and article 45, subparagraph (a), of the Convention, the Committee may make such suggestions and general recommendations on the implementation on of the Convention by the reporting State as it may consider appropriate.
2. The Committee shall transmit, through the Secretary-General, suggestions and general recommendations it has decided upon to the State party concerned for its comments. The Committee may, where necessary, indicate the time limit within which such comments from States parties are to be received.
3. The Committee shall include in its reports to the General Assembly suggestions and general recommendations together with comments, if any, received from States parties.
Other general recommendations
1. The Committee may make other general recommendations based on information received pursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the Convention.
2. The Committee shall include such other general recommendations in its reports to the General Assembly together with comments, if any, received from States parties.
General comments on the Convention
1. The Committee may prepare general comments based on the articles and provisions of the Convention with a view to promoting its further implementation and assisting States parties in fulfilling their reporting obligations.
2. The Committee shall include such general comments in its reports to the General Assembly.
Transmission of States parties’ reports that contain a request or indicate a need for technical advice or assistance
1. The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other competent bodies reports and information received from States parties that contain a request or indicate a need for technical advice or assistance.
2. The reports and information received from States parties in accordance with paragraph 1 of this rule shall be transmitted along with observations and suggestions, if any, of the Committee on these requests or indications.
3. The Committee may request, when it considers it appropriate to do so, information on the technical advice or assistance provided and the progress achieved.
XVI. GENERAL DISCUSSION
In order to enhance a deeper understanding of the content and implications of the Convention, the Committee may devote one or more meetings of its regular sessions to a general discussion on one specific article of the Convention or related subject.
XVII. REQUESTS FOR STUDIES
1. As provided in article 45, subparagraph (c), of the Convention, the Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights of the child.
2. The Committee may also invite the submission of studies from other bodies on topics of relevance to the Committee.
PART THREE. INTERPRETATION AND AMENDMENTS XVIII. INTERPRETATION AND AMENDMENTS
For the purpose of the interpretation of these rules, the headings, which were inserted for reference purposes only, shall be disregarded.
These rules of procedure may be amended by a decision of the Committee, without prejudice to the relevant provisions of the Convention.
1 The members of the Committee expressed the view that its method of work should normally allow for attempts to reach decisions by consensus before voting, provided that the Convention and the rules of procedure were observed.