Following the release of the 2018 Day of General Discussion (DGD) outcome report on Protecting and Empowering Children as Human Rights Defenders, a group of experts meet in June to discuss how to follow up on and join efforts to implement the recommendations included in the report.
The highly committed participants exchanged on the development and strengthening of national laws and policies for the protection and empowerment of children human rights defenders (CHRDs). They also discussed about existing norms and practice at the international and regional levels, with a focus on enhancing the participation of CHRDs and their protection. Lastly, discussions focused more in depth on empowerment and protection, as integrated and mutually reinforcing concepts, covering issues such as child participation and protection policies, education, freedom of peaceful association and of assembly, and violence and reprisals against CHRDs.
Throughout the meeting participants identified key actions to follow up on the DGD outcome recommendations and committed to their implementation. All these commitments have been gathered in a roadmap to monitor and encourage follow-up to the 2018 DGD!
Among many other commitments, the roadmap includes actions such as:
- The development in consultation with children of a toolkit for States on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
- The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) committed to continue to monitor and assess, during the dialogue with States Parties, national laws and policies through the lens of CHRDs’ rights, including through a more explicit link to child participation and civil rights and freedoms, and
- To continue to promote the mainstreaming of children’s rights and child participation among other treaty bodies, special procedures and more broadly within the UN Office for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Today at the opening of the CRC Committee 82nd session, Orest Nowosad, Chief of the Groups in Focus Section of the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanism Division at the OHCHR, stressed once again the importance of making child participation an integral part of the UN human rights system, in partnership with the CRC Committee and Child Rights Connect.
The June meeting was organized jointly by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Office for Human Rights and Child Rights Connect, and brought together children and young advocates, Treaty Bodies’ members, Special Procedures mandate holders and representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), UNICEF and civil society organisations.