In celebrating thirty years since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we pledge to discharge our commitment to achieve respect, protection and fulfilment of the rights of every child in every place.

As we celebrate 30 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we are right to applaud the progress made in the recognition and protection of children’s rights.

We should also recall that progress has been uneven. Many of the world’s children still live in situations in which their rights are violated and in which they may have little hope to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity. In all regions of the world, national laws, policies and practices remain out of step with the Convention and its Optional Protocols.  The protection and fulfilment of children’s rights is not a favour nor a matter of charity, yet many continue to view children as objects of protection rather than as full rights-holders. Children and their representatives continue to face barriers in accessing justice for the violation of children’s rights. And those seeking to promote and protect the rights of children, including children themselves, face a shrinking space in which to safely and effectively do so.

As the largest global network of children’s rights organizations and coalitions, Child Rights Connect therefore pledges to:

  1. Focus the vast diversity of expertise, experiences and approaches of its members to ensure the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of all children as enshrined in the Convention and its Optional Protocols.
  2. Advance the recognition, protection and empowerment of all children human rights defenders, including through child participation at all levels.
  3. Empower children’s rights defenders in reporting to, and other forms of engagement with, the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
  4. Strengthen accountability to children by building synergies between the Committee, other Treaty Bodies, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, the Sustainable Development Goals and the youth agenda.
  5. Advance the ratification of the third Optional Protocol on an Individual Communications procedure and its strategic use by children’s rights defenders to contribute to the realization of children’s rights.

Alex Conte, Executive Director