The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion has developed a template to serve as a suggested model to help civil society stakeholders draft thematic submissions on the Article 7 “right to acquire a nationality”. The template serves as a guide, and it is not necessary for you to strictly follow it, rather to draw inspiration from it and adapt it to suit your context. This template is intentionally comprehensive so as to be as useful a tool as possible. You should not feel that your submission is required to be as comprehensive, and are encouraged to tailor your submissions according to your context and purpose.
You may also find it helpful to refer to the section of the Toolkit which contains a 10-point Checklist. guiding civil society stakeholders in the assessment of issues, legal gaps, and conditions in which statelessness may arise and manifest in countries under review.
Points to be mindful of when drafting a submission
Certain aspects of drafting a submission for the CRC Committee require specific attention. The purpose, content, structure and format, and outcome are all important point to keep in mind when drafting a submission.
What is the purpose of your submission? What situation/s do you want to highlight before the Committee? The Checklist (found in Section 5) is a useful tool to help determine this. Draft your submission in a way that highlights these issues.
Structure and format
Structure your submission in an easy to follow, and easy to refer to manner. Be mindful that the report will be referred to in a Committee setting, so numbering paragraphs will help Committee Members navigate it. Bearing in mind the purpose and intended outcome of your Submission, highlight key information in text boxes and bold text. In particular, highlight your suggested issues for the List of Issues and your suggested recommendations at the end of each relevant section.
Be mindful of practical considerations related to format and content, such as the maximum word limit (20,000 words) etc. For more information in this regard, visit this page of the Child Rights Connect mini-site: http://crcreporting.childrightsconnect.org/convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child-alternative-report/.
What content/information should you include in your submission? Be mindful of the Committee’s needs in preparing your submission – i.e., provide it with information and perspectives that it has not received from the State and other actors, so it is as well informed as possible. In particular:
- Refer to the State report and highlight any gaps, inaccuracies and counter-perspectives.
- Refer to previous relevant Concluding Observations and recommendations of the Committee as well as other human rights mechanisms, and comment on the State’s performance in this regard.
- Provide a balanced position based on reliable data, empirical research and your work in the field. Do not make unsubstantiated claims or engage in hate speech. These will undermine the credibility of your submission. Hence, where the State has performed well, it is important to record this.
- Draw the Committee’s attention to jurisprudence and relevant law and policy provisions. Quote the full provisions and if necessary, annex the relevant laws (or excerpts of them) to your submission.
- Include as many facts and statistical information and data in your submission as possible. Similarly, draw the Committee’s attention to the lack of statistical data.
- If it is possible to do so in a meaningful and protection-sensitive way, include the opinions and viewpoints of children.
- Strongly consider including case studies, testimonies and human stories to illustrate the issues being addressed by your submission.
Ultimately, you want your submission to achieve the following:
- Inform the Committee: of the situation and provide a different perspective to that of the State report.
- List of Issues: draw the Committee’s attention to information that is not available, so it may include questions related to this in the List of Issues to the State under review.
- Concluding Observations: Convince the Committee of the importance of addressing the issue in its Concluding Observations and provide the Committee with information and language that can inform this.
- Recommendations on the content of children’s right to acquire a nationality: Convince the Committee of the importance of making relevant content recommendations and provide the Committee with information and language that can inform this.
- Recommendations on measures of implementation: Convince the Committee of the importance of making relevant recommendations on measures of implementation and provide the Committee with information and language that can inform this.