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CRC/C/GC/12 page 4

and to have those views duly taken into account, continues to be impeded by many long-standing practices and attitudes, as well as political and economic barriers. While difficulties are experienced by many children, the Committee particularly recognizes that certain groups of children, including younger boys and girls, as well as children belonging to marginalized and disadvantaged groups, face particular barriers in the realization of this right. The Committee also remains concerned about the quality of many of the practices that do exist. There is a need for a better understanding of what article 12 entails and how to fully implement it for every child.


In 2006, the Committee held a day of general discussion on the right of the

child to be heard in order to explore the meaning and significance of article 12, its

linkages to other articles, and the gaps, good practices and priority issues that need to be addressed in order to further the enjoyment of this right.2 The present general comment

arises from the exchange of information which took place on that day, including with children, the accumulated experience of the Committee in reviewing States parties’ reports, and the very significant expertise and experience of translating the right embodied in article 12 into practice by governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community organizations, development agencies, and children themselves.


The present general comment will first present a legal analysis of the two

paragraphs of article 12 and will then explain the requirements to fully realize this right, including in judicial and administrative proceedings in particular (sect. A). In section B, the connection of article 12 with the three other general principles of the Convention, as well as its relation to other articles, will be discussed. The requirements and the impact of the child’s right to be heard in different situations and settings are outlined in section C. Section D sets out the basic requirements for the implementation of this right, and the

conclusions are presented in section E.


The Committee recommends that States parties widely disseminate the present

general comment within government and administrative structures as well as to children and civil society. This will necessitate translating it into the relevant languages, making

child-friendly versions available, holding workshops and seminars to discuss its implications and how best to implement it, and incorporating it into the training of all professionals working for and with children.


Strengthen understanding of the meaning of article 12 and its implications for governments, stakeholders, NGOs and society at large;

Elaborate the scope of legislation, policy and practice necessary to achieve full implementation of article 12;

effective implementation of article 12. In so doing it seeks to:

Highlight the positive approaches in implementing article 12, benefitting from the


The overall objective of the general comment is to support States parties in the


See the recommendations of the day of general discussion in 2006 on the right of the child to be heard, available at: h t t p : / / w w w 2 . o h c h r . o r g / e n g l i s h / b o d i e s / c r c / d o c s / d i s c u s s i o n / F i n a l _ R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s _ a f t e r _ D G D . d o c

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