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CRC/C/GC/12 page 23


Children working at younger ages than permitted by laws and International

Labour Organization Conventions Nos. 138 (1973) and 182 (1999) have to be heard in child-sensitive settings in order to understand their views of the situation and their best

interests. They should be included in the search for a solution, which respects the economic and socio-structural constraints as well as the cultural context under which these children work. Children should also be heard when policies are developed to eliminate the root causes of child labour, in particular regarding education.


Working children have a right to be protected by law against exploitation and

should be heard when worksites and conditions of work are examined by inspectors investigating the implementation of labour laws. Children and, if existing, representatives of working children’s associations should also be heard when labour laws are drafted or when the enforcement of laws is considered and evaluated.

7. In situations of violence


The Convention establishes the right of the child to be protected from all forms

of violence and the responsibility of States parties to ensure this right for every child without any discrimination. The Committee encourages States parties to consult with children in the development and implementation of legislative, policy, educational and other measures to address all forms of violence. Particular attention needs to be paid to

ensuring that marginalized and disadvantaged children, such as exploited children, street children or refugee children, are not excluded from consultative processes designed to elicit views on relevant legislation and policy processes.


In this regard, the Committee welcomes the findings of the Secretary-

General’s Study on Violence against Children, and urges States Parties to implement fully its recommendations, including the recommendation to provide the space for children to freely express their views and give these views due weight in all aspects of

prevention, reporting and monitoring violence against them.



Much of the violence perpetrated against children goes unchallenged both

because certain forms of abusive behaviour are understood by children as accepted

practices, and due to the lack of child-friendly reporting mechanisms. For example, they have no one to whom they can report in confidence and safety about experienced maltreatment, such as corporal punishment, genital mutilation or early marriage, and no channel to communicate their general observations to those accountable for implementation of their rights. Thus, effective inclusion of children in protective measures requires that children be informed about their right to be heard and to grow up free from all forms of physical and psychological violence. States parties should oblige all children’s institutions to establish easy access to individuals or organizations to which they can report in confidence and safety, including through telephone helplines,

and to provide places where children can contribute their experience and views on combating violence against children.


The Committee also draws the attention of States parties to the

recommendation in the Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children to

Report of the independent expert for the United Nations Study on Violence against Children (A/61/299).

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