Children Human Rights Defenders
Children who take action to promote their human rights, the rights of their peers or the rights of others (including adults) are human rights defenders.
Article 1 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”. However, despite the many examples of children acting as human rights defenders worldwide, those children are not fully recognized, supported and protected as such.
In 2017, Child Rights Connect launched the first ever global programme on children human rights defenders in order to raise awareness about their role and to actively advocate for the realization of their rights. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has recognized the importance and newness of this topic and has decided to dedicate its 2018 Day of General Discussion (DGD) to the theme “Protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders” (link to Cmtee webpage). Child Rights Connect is the main partner organization of the DGD, working closely with the Committee, OHCHR, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights defenders and many other key experts and stakeholders, including children.
Through the DGD and other capacity building and advocacy activities we work to ensure that:
- Children across the world are empowered to understand their role as human rights defenders and to offer recommendations on what needs to happen to protect and promote their rights;
- The reality and views of children human rights defenders influence decision-makers at national level and contribute to the strengthening of the international human rights framework.