Domestic Implications of Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: The Case of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two substantive Protocols. Ethiopia’s reporting history to the Committee on the Rights of the Child is better in terms of complying with periodicity and participation than its reporting histories to other treaty bodies. Ethiopia submitted four reports to the Committee and received recommendations. This article aims to examine the implications of these recommendations on domestic child rights framework. Ethiopian delegates to the constructive dialogues made a number of promises and submitted reports of compliance with regard to the Committee’s recommendations. Concluding observations of the Committee, which are checklist of compliance with conventional obligations, can be considered as soft obligations on the government of Ethiopia. Though concluding observations cannot sufficiently reach domestic law-making process and the law making organs, propelling role of the observations in the adoption of domestic laws, policies and plans of action is observed. With regard to the interpretative relevance of concluding observations, this article shows that there is no analytical mode of treaty application and prescribed principles of treaty reference, which would have paved the way for utilizing the concluding observations of the Committee in interpreting child rights treaties.