General Comment No. 13

GC13: The Right of the Child to Freedom from all Forms of Violence

In 2009, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) commissioned the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD and the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) to draft General Comment No. 13 (GC13). GC13 addresses Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention) to further guide States Parties in understanding their extensive obligations to prevent and respond to all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation of children, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. The Committee issued General Comment No. 13 in 2011.

General Comment No. 13 builds on the existing guidance provided by the Committee in its review of States Parties’ reports, two days of general discussion on violence against children held in 2000 and 2001, General Comment No. 8 (2006) on Corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, and references in other general comments to the topic of violence and to the process of implementation of the Convention. General Comment No. 13 reaffirms the recommendations of the 2006 report of the independent expert for the United Nations Study on Violence against Children and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children. It also draws on the expertise and experience of governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community organisations, development agencies, and children themselves in implementing Article 19 in practice.

At the global level, IICRD has founded the Global Reference Group on Accountability (GRGA) to assist in the development of common standards of child rights monitoring and accountability using GC13 as a foundation upon which to build standardised child rights monitoring processes. This work is particularly aimed at supporting the Committee in streamlining international child rights monitoring processes. The GRGA is comprised of CRC Committee members, UN agencies, leading child rights INGOs and experts on child rights monitoring and evaluation. The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) serves as the co-secretariat of the GRGA along with IICRD.