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The Treaty Bodies Youth Steps

What steps have the Treaty Bodies taken on youth?

As part of their work, treaty bodies issue recommendations to States parties, i.e. States that have ratified a given treaty.

In some cases, recommendations may specifically address the human rights concerns of youth.

Treaty bodies also issue General Comments or Recommendations that elaborate on their interpretation of the treaty provisions, thematic issues or their methods of work. While there is no specific General Comment on youth, some Committees have covered issues that are of key importance to youth.


In depth…

Examples of General Comments (GCs) or Recommendations that mention youth or are relevant to young people include:

  • The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’s General Comments (GC):

GC no. 23 on the right to just and favourable conditions of work highlights the non-compliance of low wages that do not reflect youth’s skills, and the excessive use of unpaid internships and short-term contracts with the right to just and favourable conditions of work.
GC no. 14 on the right to the highest attainable standard of health highlights the need for youth-friendly health care, which respects confidentiality and privacy and includes appropriate sexual and reproductive health services.
GC no. 22 (2016) on the right to sexual and reproductive health highlights that youth have the right to evidence-based information on all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, including maternal health, contraceptives, family planning, sexually transmitted infections, HIV prevention, safe abortion and post-abortion care, infertility and fertility options, and reproductive cancer.

  • The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s General Recommendation no. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education highlights the barriers to education and later employment for young women and girls, and the higher representation in part-time work and unemployment.
  • The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in its GC no. 5 (2017) on the right to independent living, mentions the provision of services that facilitate the transition of young people to adulthood, including support with moving out of the family home, starting employment and continuing into higher education as crucial factors to support independent living.

While the Committee on the Rights of the Child regularly makes recommendations on children and youth, it is bound by the age limit established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, defining a child as any human being below the age of 18.

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