Bhutan presented its 3rd to 5th Combined Periodic Report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the 75th session of the Committee on the Rights of Children and its initial reports on the two Optional Protocols to the CRC – on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which were held on 17th and 18th May 2017 at the UN in Geneva.
Bhutan’s delegation was led by the Hon’ble Minister for Works and Human Settlement & Chair of the National Commission for Women and Children – Lyonpo Dorji Choden. The delegation comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, Labour & Human Resources, and the Foreign Affairs & the Permanent Mission of Bhutan in Geneva; Office of the Attorney General; Secretariat of the National Commission for Women and Children; and the Youth Development Fund.
In Lyonpo Dorji Choden’s opening remarks, she underscored the importance placed on the Convention and the two Optional Protocols by Bhutan as a responsible member of the international community, and highlighted the progress made in their implementation.
The Committee on Child Rights, comprising of 18 independent experts, commended Bhutan for the value placed on children and the progress made in promoting and protecting the rights of the child despite its many challenges and constraints.
The experts were very candid and constructive in their comments and encouraged Bhutan to continue with its efforts to fulfil the objectives of the Convention and the Optional Protocols.
The Royal Government of Bhutan signed the CRC on 4th June 1990 and ratified it on 1st August 1990. Bhutan ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography on 26th October 2009; and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict on 9th December 2009. As a signatory to the Convention and its Optional Protocols, Bhutan is obligated to submit periodic reports to the Committee, and provide clarifications when required.