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CHILD Protection & Child Rights » VII. International Mechanisms » United Nations » United Nations » Optional Protocols


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The optional protocols are provisions in two areas that were of the up most importance and where states needed the most assistance and guidance to uphold child rights. In 2000 the General Assembly the United Nations General adopted the two Optional Protocols (OPs) to the Convention to increase the protection of children from involvement in armed conflicts and from sexual exploitation.

1. Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict

After being ratified by the necessary ten countries the protocol has become a legally binding document in 2002. The OP calls for states to set a minimum age requirement of recruitment of persons into the armed forces. The state shall take measure to ensure that no child below the age of 18 shall be directly involved in hostilities, are not subjected to compulsory recruitment into armed forces, and if voluntary recruitment of persons under 18 does take place than certain requirements must be met. The state shall take all possible measures to ensure that children are not recruited for any purpose into non-state armed groups, and demobilise, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of armed conflict. Each state is required to submit a report two years after having ratified this OP.

India signed the OP on 15 Nov 2004 and ratified it on the 30 Nov 2005. India has yet to submit a report.

Read about Children's Issues: Child in Armed Conflict

2. Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

After being ratified by the necessary ten countries the protocol has become a legally binding document in 2002. The OP calls for the state to take measures to ensure the prohibition and prevention of sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. States are required to alter the penal code, or create new acts to make sure their legal system covers a minimal number of provisions such as taking a child for the sale if his/her organs, for the purpose of employment, for the purpose of prostituting the child, etc. Because many of these offences take place across borders it is necessary for each state to set out its jurisdiction with others. To do this state should have extraditing treaties among countries to ensure the violators are brought to justice. States shall do everything in their power to ensure the rights of victims of trafficking are upheld by providing them with all necessary information, and legal council, allowing them participation in all proceedings, and working towards the child rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Each state is required to submit a report two years after having ratified this OP.

India signed the OP on 15 Nov 2004 and ratified it on the 16 Aug 2005. India has yet to submit a report

Read about Children's Issues: Child Trafficking

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