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Child rights in the Pacific: UN committee to meet in Samoa

The UN Child Rights Committee is due to hold an extraordinary session in Samoa from 2 to 6 March to focus on the situation of children’s rights in the Pacific region.

It will be the first time any of the UN human rights treaty bodies, as the Committees are officially known, will hold a session outside Geneva and New York.

During the meetings, the Committee will review three countries - Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Tuvalu. It will also hold a preparatory session for a future review of Kiribati.

The countries are among the 196 States parties to the Child Rights Convention. States are required to undergo regular reviews by the Committee of 18 independent international experts on how they are implementing the Convention, its Optional Protocols, as well as the Committee’s previous recommendations.

The session in Samoa will allow Committee members to hear directly from government delegations, NGOs and other stakeholders, including children themselves.

“We chose to hold our outreach session in the Pacific because the region has pressing issues affecting children’s rights, including the climate crisis and access to health care and education,” said CRC Chair Luis Ernesto Pedernera Reyna. “By being in Samoa we will be able to hear first-hand from a wide cross-section of people, including many children directly, regarding children’s rights.”

He added: “The Committee will be able to learn much more about the situation of children’s rights in the Pacific, an often neglected region, and, we hope, people will learn more about our work and how they can engage with the Committee.”

The Committee will hold an introductory news conference with the Prime Minister of Samoa on 2 March at 11 a.m. Samoa time (10 p.m. on Sunday 1 March, Geneva time) in Taumeasina Hotel, Apia, Samoa.

A full schedule of the Committee’s meetings, which will also be held in the Taumeasina hotel from 2 to 6 March, is available here. The public sessions will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/unsamoa and the recordings of the public session will subsequently be available at http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events.

The recommended hashtag for the meeting is #ChildRightsPacific.

The Committee is scheduled to publish its findings on the respective States, known as concluding observations, here on 10 March 2020. The Committee will hold a press conference to present the findings on the same day at 10 a.m. Samoa time (9 p.m. on 9 March, Geneva time) in One UN House, SIDS Street, Apia, Samoa.

Journalists wishing to attend the public sessions and/or press conference are requested to seek media accreditation here.

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