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to individuals blacklisted for violating an arms embargo, violating human rights, and supporting armed combatants. Such targeted sanctions are typically enacted against high profile members of conflicts and severely restrict the individual’s freedom. The initial blacklist, which includes ex- Séléka, anti-balaka, and François Bozizé, under- went assessment by the United States, France, and Britain before a formal submission before the UN Security Council. Legally, individualized sanc- tions have become increasingly difficult to pass because of successful challenges against UN des- ignations in European courts, in cases involving formal government refusal to “supply confidential intelligence material to justify the blacklistings.” Despite these challenges, UN Security Council diplomats suggest that there is enough evidence to implicate Bozizé in cooperation with anti-balaka force to in an effort to exploit the chaos created by the conflict.

* Submitted by Steven Wu

UN Body Empowered to Hear Children’s Rights Complaints

In September 2013, UN officials urged member states to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its three optional protocols. The CRC guarantees certain rights to children, in- cluding the right to a name, a nationality, an edu- cation, the highest possible standards of health, protection from abuse and exploitation, and to have their views heard. The First Optional Proto- col restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the Second Optional Protocol pro- hibits the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. The Third Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure is a legal instru- ment granting children access to international hu- man rights protections by allowing them to com- municate their complaints. The Protocol will gain legal force on April 14, 2014. The aforementioned Protocol required ratification by ten states in or-

der to go into effect. On January 13, 2014, Costa Rica became the tenth ratifying state, therefore fulfilling that requirement.

The Protocol is a step forward for human rights because it gives children the same legal rights as adults with respect to human rights treaty instru- ments. The Protocol permits children or their rep- resentatives to submit formal complaints against states to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRD). The CRD, which is composed of 18 independent human rights experts, must then re- view the complaint and determine whether there are proper grounds for action. If proper grounds are found, the CRD will recommend that the state undertake specific and mandatory procedures to remedy the violations. The CRD may also seek in- terim measures to protect children or prevent re- prisals from the state. There are also safeguards in place to ensure that children are not being ma- nipulated or used to make the complaint.

Marta Santos Pais, the UN special representative on violence against children, said the move to ratify the Protocol places “the rights and aspira- tions of children at the centre [sic] of the human rights agenda.” This move is “historic” because for the first time it gives children the right to seek redress for abuses of their rights.

This Protocol is an important step, as children’s rights continue to be an issue in many countries around the world, including Jordan, Lebanon, Be- nin, and Sweden. In Syria, more than 1.1 million refugee children have fled the Syrian Civil War and many are suffering trauma, according to a UN Human Rights Council report issued in Novem- ber 2013. Syrian refugee children who are flee- ing into Jordan and Lebanon are growing up in broken families and are lacking in terms of proper education. More than half of the school-aged Syr- ian children in Jordan and about 200,000 refugee children in Lebanon are not in school. Syrian refu- gee children are serving as their household’s pri- mary source of income and working long hours

ILSA Quarterly » volume 22 » issue 4 » May 2014 17

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