For online participants, please see below for the Zoom links for each session.


About the Conference

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of Child Rights Connect, celebrating 40 years of coordinated global civil society advocacy in Geneva for child rights. It also marks 25 years since adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and 75 years since adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Yet, across the globe, these celebrations coincide with attacks on democracy, shrinking civil society space and an unprecedent backlash against universal human rights, undermining the freedom, safety and action of those defending human rights. Child rights, their defenders (including child human rights defenders), and the larger child rights movement are not spared.

For the purpose of developing a strategy for the child rights movement, including children, to effectively counter anti-child rights rhetoric and respond to challenges faced by the movement, experts and practitioners will convene with children, key States and the public at a conference hosted in Geneva (in hybrid format) on Friday 26 May 2023.

Recognising its importance, the conference is part of the formal programme of work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child during the last day of its 93rd session in Geneva. Child advisors of the CRCnct Children’s Advisory Team will also attend.

Conference programme

The conference centres around two plenary high-level panels: the first considering the context and challenges faced by the child rights movement and child human rights defenders; and the second looking at potential responses through UN mechanisms and agencies.

The morning plenary will be proceeded by a dialogue with representatives of the Child Rights Connect Children’s Advisory Team, which has been selected as ‘Changemakers’ by World Vision International. The afternoon plenary will be proceeded by a keynote address from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Each plenary session will be followed by parallel working sessions on key thematic issues, aimed at identifying elements for the subsequent development of a global strategy to counter anti-child rights rhetoric through changing the narrative around the role and impact of the child rights movement.

In line with our environmental policy (under development), this conference is a paperless event. Please access our digital conference pack, which includes the conference programme and practical information.

Conference key information

  • Date and time: Friday 26 May 2023, 9h to 18h (CEST).
  • Location: Ecumenical Center (1 route des Morillons, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex). Registration opens at 8h30 CEST.
  • Online: See below for Zoom links
  • Languages: English – French – Spanish
  • Registration: here
  • Conference pack: here

Zoom links (please click the blue text)

Next steps and follow-up

All parts of the conference will be recorded, with recordings to be made available on this webpage.

The Child Rights Connect Secretariat intends to use these to help it draw key findings and recommendations from the conference so that these can be used to strengthen on-going advocacy as well as to identify potential global responses to the challenges being faced by the child rights movement and child human rights defenders. In turn, this will inform development of the Strategic Plan for 2025-2029 for the Child Rights Connect network, which will be considered for adoption at the organisation’s General Assembly in mid-2024. Conference discussions may also inform the contribution of Child Rights Connect to the Human Rights 75 Initiative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which will affirm the need to put children’s rights at the core of any new vision for the future of human rights.

Child Rights Connect encourages all participants to provide feedback on how the conference went. This is important for the Secretariat, to inform the further development of a strategy on responding to challenges faced by the child rights movement and to help improve its work. The survey is anonymous and survey responses will remain confidential.

Countdown to the Conference. Don't miss it!

Do not hesitate to contact the secretariat at secretariat@childrightsconnect.org if you have any questions.