The new UN Secretary-General Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming: How can children participate?

If you are 18 years or older, you can check this page on how to participate through the civil society.

Big news! The UN Secretary-General has now adopted and published its Guidance Note of the on Child Rights Mainstreaming! (August 2023)

Some useful words to know on this topic – click here! (in French and Spanish too)

Quick Links

  • Here is the Children’s Glossary to learn the answers for the questions 
  • You can read the child-friendly position paper in English, French and Spanish
  • Take a look at our timeline with activities and opportunities to get involved in English, French and Spanish!

Children have told the United Nations  how it can do better on child rights mainstreaming! 

In February 2023, the draft Guidance Note has been released by the United Nations: English / Français / Español
There was an online survey for children to share their feedback in February/March 2023.
draft Guidance Note is not child-friendly, therefore we developed a tool for adults to empower children.

Survey for children: Children answered a child-friendly survey in August-September 2022 to know ‘what is the UN?’ and ‘what is child rights mainstreaming?’ and to share their views and ideas directly to the UN on how it can do better on child rights across all its work. The survey has now closed but you can find the PDF versions here: English / Français / Español

Online meetings to share ideas on child rights mainstreaming at the UN: In September 2022, there were some online meetings happening so that children and adults could share their views and opinions with the UN on how it can do better to mainstream child rights. All children were invited! You can find out more about in English / Français / Español.

What is child rights mainstreaming? What is the new UN Guidance Note? What can I do?

  • Child rights mainstreaming is when all children’s rights are always taken into account across all actions and decisions. In practice this means that children are:
    • Able to know, exercise and enjoy their rights
    • Respected as a special group of rights holders in society
    • Respected as key actors of civil society with extra rights because they are children
    • It also means that governments (UN Member States) are putting into practice their promises under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

  • Without Child Rights Mainstreaming, some child rights will be ignored or taken away. Especially, many children don’t know about their rights to be protected and empowered as child human rights defenders.
  • There are some good practices but still children’s rights and child participation are still not known and common, or mainstreamed, across the UN!

  • Child Rights Connect asked the UN to take action to better mainstream child rights and we made a child-friendly position paper of this call to action – read it here!

  • The UN replied and committed to developing a UN plan on child rights, or what they are calling a ‘UN Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming.’

  • The UN Guidance Note makes sure that the UN knows about and puts something into practice. This also allows the UN to give more  attention and spend more time and money on this topic. Thanks to that, the UN can also support countries to meet their promises.

  • The UN needs your help to draft the Guidance Note! They need to know your experiences, suggestions and recommendations! 
  • Child Rights Connect had presented a position paper (see the child-friendly version above!) on child rights mainstreaming to the Secretary-General (SG) of the United Nations (UN).
  • Afterwards, the SG replied and agreed to develop a UN Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming.
  • Now, the SG wants to consult with children for the development of this Guidance Note.

Our member network has a broad reach and works in every country in the world.

It is unique in its global outreach and its diversity, constituting a strong and credible global voice on children’s rights.

Help us create a world in which all children can enjoy their rights.