What does the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism do?
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Validity of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Germany
What led up to the establishment of the Monitoring Mechanism for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?
How does the Monitoring Mechanism for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child perform this work?
Participation of children and adolescents
No advising on individual cases
Who works at the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism?
The National CRC Monitoring Mechanism’s mandate is to monitor, on an independent basis, Germany’s implementation of the convention.
The "Convention on the Rights of the Child", commonly abbreviated as CRC, was adopted by the UN on 20 November 1989. The CRC is the most ratified convention of the UN human rights treaties.
The UN CRC codifies children’s rights of protection, provision and participation. At the heart of the Convention is the recognition of children as legal subjects. The state must take into account the best interests of children, or of the particular child affected, in all of its actions. By ratifying the CRC in 1992, Germany committed itself to protecting and implementing children’s rights in accordance with that Convention.
The rights set down in the CRC have had legal effect in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1992; in the early years, restrictions (known as reservations according to article 51 CRC) did apply. All of the restrictions were withdrawn in 2010, and the convention has therefore been law in binding force in Germany since then, law that can be invoked by "every human being in Germany below the age of eighteen years" (Article 1 of the CRC). The same applies to the three optional protocols to the CRC:
The Federal Republic of Germany therefore has an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the children’s rights chartered in the CRC and in its optional protocols (currently three in number). Children can invoke these rights.
The Monitoring Mechanism helps promote awareness of children’s rights. When necessary, it reminds individuals and institutions that work with children to comply with the terms of the Convention.
The Monitoring Mechanism provides advice on inter - preting the CRC and its child-oriented implemen - tation to policy-makers at the federal, Länder and local level, as well as the courts, the legal profession and civil society. The Monitoring Mechanism is also an advocate for children’s rights-based research.
The United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about the absence of a central body in Germany to monitor CRC implementation on several occasions since 1992; its most recent recommendation for the creation of such a body was issued in February 2014.
Complying with this recommendation, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth charged the German Institute for Human Rights, which is Germany’s independent national human rights institution, to conduct this monitoring. The National CRC Monitoring Mechanism took up this work at the GIHR in August 2015. The initial schedule foresees a two-year development phase, to end in June 2017.
The National CRC Monitoring Mechanism does not have the authority to investigate complaints or provide legal advice in individual cases – it does not act in an complain mechanism capacity. However, it does do its best to provide information about appropriate advising services.
A total of six people work at the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism. Judith Feige and Stephan Gerbig serve as policy advisors at the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism. Kerstin Krell and Freda Wagner (as parental leave representation for Christine Weingarten) are its public relations officers and Claudia Kittel is the head of the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism.