Connect with the UN
There are many opportunities for child rights NGOs, coalitions and children/child-led organisations to engage with the UN human rights system. Some parts of the system are specifically focused on child rights and other are focused on human rights in general. The different UN bodies that organisations can interact with to advocate for and advance child rights include:
The Committee on the Rights of the Child
The Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) is made up of 18 child rights experts, who work specifically on child rights, as defined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocols on Children in armed conflict (OPAC) and the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (OPSC). The Committee also provides its expert interpretation of the CRC by drafting General Comments and organising Days of General Discussion. Soon it will be able to receive complaints from children whose rights have been violated.
The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body, which is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the world and addressing human rights violations. While the HRC covers all human rights, it holds an Annual Day on the Rights of the Child every March. It also has an annual resolution on child rights during the March session. The HRC also covers many other themes related to child rights, such as birth registration, trafficking, violence and the administration of justice, to name but a few.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism under the Human Rights Council, whereby the overall human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed by all UN Member States. Each State is reviewed every 4.5 years according to a fixed calendar. The UPR covers all human rights, including child rights. Although only States can take part in the review, NGOs can get involved in a variety of ways to make sure that key child rights concerns are raised during the discussions and included in resulting recommendations.