What are the optional protocols of the UNCRC?

Like many other human rights treaties, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is accompanied by Optional Protocols. These are additional treaties that can:

  • further address something in the original treaty, or
  • address something the original treaty doesn’t mention, such as an issue that didn’t exist when it was first adopted.

Optional Protocols give more detail about the area they discuss, and expand a state’s obligations beyond those given in the original treaty.

Optional Protocols of the UNCRC

The UNCRC has three Optional Protocols:

A state that signs up to the UNCRC isn’t required to sign up to its Optional Protocols. Currently, the UK is signed up to two Optional Protocols, but not to the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.

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