SRSG welcomes the ratification by Gabon and Thailand of the new Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child allowing for a complaints procedure for children

New York, 26 September 2012 - "I strongly welcome the historic ratification by Gabon and Thailand of this important child rights treaty. These are the two first States to ratify the the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure.

The Protocol allows children to bring complaints to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on violations of their rights.

The ratification of the Optional Protocol by Gabon and Thailand is a very promising start in the process of effective safeguard of children's rights, including children's freedom from violence, which the new protocol aims to achieve.I am confident this will be a strong encouragement to move swiftly towards its universal ratification.

In support of this process, my office is issuing together with the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Pornography and Child Prostitution, an advocacy tool to contribute to the entry into force and effective implementation of this treaty.

Since the adoption of the Optional Protocol by the UN General Assembly, on 19 December 2011, the process has gathered significant momentum with 32 signatory States and a wide public support received from regional organizations, UN Agencies and civil society."