For the first time ever, the UN as a system is making an assessment of how it integrates child rights into its work. The Secretary-General has committed to develop a Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming to provide practical guidance to all levels of the United Nations, across all three pillars, and to Headquarters, regional and field contexts, on the mainstreaming of child rights in all aspects of the organisation’s work (concept note English, French and Spanish).  

On behalf of the UN core group* leading the development of this Guidance Note, the OHCHR organised 9 online regional consultations in multiple languages, with civil society organisations and children to gather inputs for the UN Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming. 

Civil society regional consultations were held in Africa, Asia, Pacific, Europe, and children’s consultations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, North America and Caribbean, where participants could contribute ideas, opinions and inputs directly with representatives of the UN core group on what the Guidance Note should include. 

Child Rights Connect supported the organisation of these meetings with key members and partners in the different regions. We wish to thank the following organisations:  

  1. CSO Forum (Africa)
  2. CRC Asia and CRC Cambodia (Asia)
  3. Act2gether, Alana Institute, Edmund Rice International, CDHCM, MMI-LAC (Latin America)
  4. Manara Network (Middle East and North Africa) 
  5. Inter-American Institute for Children’s Rights (IIN-OEA) (North America and Caribbean)  

Civil society actors were also invited to provide their inputs to the UN Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming through an online survey in English, French and Spanish.  

You can find Child Rights Connect’s survey responses here. 

A specific survey for children was developed in close collaboration with our Children’s Advisory Team 

In total, more than 450 children aged 7-17, and 300 civil society stakeholders** contributed worldwide and seized this historic opportunity offered by the UN leadership to contribute to shaping the Guidance Note! 

By engaging through the survey and/or the consultation, children were empowered to share their views and ideas. Not only established children’s groups and networks already familiar with children’s rights and the UN were mobilised, but this consultative process was an opportunity to raise awareness of children with limited insights about the UN and its work.
Children were also empowered to take an active role during the consultations and have moderated some of the discussions!
Guiding questions were also defined to help them and during the consultations, to share example and ideas based on their own experiences and settings. 

 Next steps (timeline to be confirmed): 

  • Early 2023: Draft Guidance Note and its child-friendly version 
  • 2023: Second round of inputs 
  • 2023: Advanced draft of Guidance Note, and child-friendly version 
  • 2023: Guidance Note is available! 

For more information, you can check:

  • Child rights mainstreaming webpage here 
  • UN Guidance Note webpage for civil society here 
  • UN Guidance Note webpage for children here 

*Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNICEF, the Special Representative of the SG on Violence Against Children (SRSG VAC) and the Special Representative of the SG on Children in Armed Conflict (SRSG CAAC)
**missing data from consultations to be added