Joint letter on the cancellation of the May pre-session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva and New York and the Secretary-General of United Nationas:


The undersigned civil society organisations working for the promotion and protection of children’s rights worldwide express great concern over the cancellation of the pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee), scheduled to take place from 27 to 31 May 2024, due to the UN liquidity crisis. This sets a terrible precedent, which will have a negative impact on the ability of the Committee to undertake its core work in monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Convention) through the review of States parties in a way that allows for children, civil society, and other stakeholders to contribute to this process.  We also regret that this measure will add to backlogs for future dialogue with States parties.

We join the Committee in expressing deep concern that the scheduled opportunities to consult with children, who are rights holders under the Convention, have been postponed alongside opportunities to interact with civil society representatives and UN agencies. Children and civil society representatives from the countries scheduled for the pre-session have been preparing for months to interact with the Committee. Postponing the pre-session will have a clear impact on their future ability to engage. The postponement, announced just days before child and civil society submissions were due, has also resulted in disruptions and squandered efforts by all, and in frustrations for children who now feel discouraged rather than empowered.

This measure comes after the announcement in January of the cancelling of hybrid modalities for UN human rights bodies and mechanisms just a few days before the February pre-session of the Committee was planned to take place in a hybrid format. At the time, many civil society representatives and some children were not able to interact with the Committee online for the pre-session after months of preparations.

In the context of the UN liquidity crisis, we are also concerned that the Day of General Discussion that would normally take place as part of the drafting process for the Committee’s new General Comment on “Children’s right to access justice and effective remedies” might be postponed or even cancelled. Given that this is one of the main opportunities for States, civil society, UN agencies, and especially children, to interact with the Committee on emerging issues, such a step would be a further and significant setback.

These series of measures have all come at the expense of meaningful and effective engagement with civil society and participation of children. They come at a time when the work of the Committee continues to be more crucial than ever amidst the multitude of crises that disproportionately affect children in the world today, including armed conflicts, climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, growing poverty and persisting inequalities, shrinking civic space, among others. It also comes at a time when the Secretary-General, in his Guidance Note on Child Rights Mainstreaming, has mandated the mobilization of the UN system to collectively strengthen and elevate a shared UN child rights agenda, including through meaningful and effective child participation.

We deeply regret that the UN liquidity crisis is impacting the overall regular functioning of the Committee, in particular the spaces for children and civil society to engage, adding to the worldwide trends of shrinking civil society space. Such measures have not only impacted the Committee, but also on the proper functioning of the treaty bodies system, the work of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN human rights mechanisms as a whole, setting a dangerous precedent.

We call on UN Member States worldwide to comply with their financial commitments to the UN by paying their fees to the UN in full and without delay so as to ensure that the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN human rights system as a whole can continue its critical work.

Please accept, Excellencies, the assurances of our highest consideration.


List of signatories (As 01.05.2024):

  1. ACARI – Associação Civil de Articulação para a Cidadania
  2. Acción por los Niños
  4. ACPE – Agir Contre la Prostitution des Enfants et les violences sexuelles
  5. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
  6. Aldeas Infantiles SOS España
  7. All Human Rights for All in Iran
  8. All Survivors Project
  9. Amnesty International
  10. ARARTEKO. Ombudsperson of Basque Country (Spain)
  11. Asdown Colombia
  12. Associação de Mulheres contra a Violência
  14. Associação Pamen CHEIFA
  15. Associação Portuguesa de Estudos sobre as Mulheres (APEM)
  16. Associação Portuguesa pelos Direitos da Mulher na Gravidez e Parto (APDMGP)
  17. Association “Our Children” Sarajevo/ Network Stronger Voice for Children, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  18. Association “Our Children” Sarajevo/ Network Stronger Voice for Children, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  19. Association du Développement et de la Promotion de Droits de l’Homme
  20. Association EPA
  21. Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women – ESE
  22. Association Maladies du Foie depuis l’Enfance (AMFE)
  23. Association Mauritanienne pour la santé de la Mére et de l’enfant AMSME
  24. Association of the Survivors of Makobola Massacres < ARMMK>
  25. Bornesagen – Joint Council for Child Issues in Denmark
  26. Boutokaan Inaomataia ao Mauriia Binabinaine Association (BIMBA)
  27. Bris (Children’s Rights in Society)
  28. Cabildo por las Mujeres de Cuenca
  29. Campaña Latinoamericana por el Derecho a la Educación (CLADE)
  30. Casa da Criança e do Adolescente
  31. CATW-LAC chapitre Haïtienne
  33. Central Union for Child Welfare (Finland)
  34. Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR-Centre)
  35. Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation
  36. Centro de Defesa dos Direitos da Criança e do Adolescente – CEDECA RIO DE JANERIO, BRASIL
  37. Centro Dom Helder Câmara de Estudos e Ação Social – CENDHEC
  38. CESIP – Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones
  39. Child Law Clinic, University College Cork
  40. Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia)
  41. Child Rights Coalition Cambodia (CRC-Cambodia)
  42. Child Rights Connect
  43. Child Rights Information Center/ CRIC
  44. Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
  45. Child Rights Network Switzerland
  46. Child Welfare League Foundation
  47. ChildFund Alliance
  48. ChildFund Korea
  49. Children of Prisoners Europe (COPE)
  50. Children’s Law Centre (Northern Ireland)
  51. Children’s Parliament (Scotland)
  52. Children’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand
  53. Children’s Rights Alliance for England, part of Just for Kids Law
  55. Colectivo de Derechos de Infancia y Adolescencia de Argentina
  56. Collectif Intersexe Activiste – OII France
  57. COLTE/CDE Guinée
  58. Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de México
  59. Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
  60. Comunidad de Derechos Humanos
  61. Confederación Española de Familias de Personas Sordas -FIAPAS
  62. Conscience and Peace Tax International (CPTI)
  63. Coordinadora de Profesionales por la Prevención de Abusos (CoPPA)
  64. Coordinadora por los Derechos de la Infancia y la Adolescencia
  65. Defence for Children International
  66. Defence For Children International – Canada
  67. Defensa de Niñas y Niños – Internacional DNI Americas
  68. Defensa de Niñas y Niños – Internacional, DNI Costa Rica
  69. Défenseurs Plus
  70. Doncel
  71. Dr EM Knudsen, Department of Social Work, Trent University, Canada (Individual)
  72. Droit d’Enfance
  73. Dutch NGO Coalition on Children’s Rights | Kinderrechtencollectief
  74. ECPAT International
  75. ECPAT Luxembourg
  76. ECPAT NZ
  77. ECPAT Sri Lanka
  78. Ecuador Violencias Cero
  79. Edmund Rice International
  80. educo
  81. Espace Boris Vian (centre social)
  82. European Network on Statelessness
  84. FENASE
  85. Fondation « Zanmi Timoun »
  86. Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil International
  87. Fondation pour l’Enfance
  88. Fórum estadual de prevenção e erradicação do trabalho infantil do Rio de janeiro
  89. Fundación PANIAMOR
  90. Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer
  91. Grupo de Iniciativa Nacional por los Derechos del Niño. GIN-PERU
  92. Global Campaign for Education
  93. Global Detention Project
  94. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR)
  95. Greek Helsinki Monitor
  96. Grupo Curumim
  97. Grupo de Iniciativa Nacional por los Derechos del Niño. GIN-PERU
  98. Grupo Impulsor para Poner Fin a la Violencia contra las Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes
  99. Hope and Homes for Children
  100. Hope For Children – CRC Policy Center
  101. Human Rights Watch
  102. Humanist Union of Greece
  103. ICASM International Coalition for the Abolition of Surrogate Motherhood
  104. Icelandic Human Rights Centre
  105. Institute for NGO Research
  106. Institute of Child Protection Studies
  107. Instituto de Desenvolvimento e Direitos Humanos – IDDH
  109. Intact Denmark
  110. International Catholic Child Bureau
  111. International Social Service – General Secretariat
  112. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)
  114. Izmir Another School Is Possible Education Cooperative
  115. Jubilee Campaign USA
  116. Justice for Girls
  117. Juvenile Justice Advocates International
  118. Kids Empowerment
  119. Kindernothilfe e.V.
  120. Lawyers for Human Rights
  121. Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights
  122. Make Mothers Matter
  123. Methoria
  124. Minority Rights Group – Greece
  125. Molo Songololo
  126. Movimento de Emaus- CEDECA-Emaus
  127. Mulher Século XXI – Associação de Desenvolvimento e Apoio às Mulheres
  128. National Coalition Austria, Netzwerk Kinderrechte Österreich
  129. National Coalition Germany _ Network for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of the child
  130. National Secular Society
  131. Núcleo Cearense de Estudos e Pesquisas sobre a Criança
  132. Núcleo de Pesquisas e Estudos sobre o Desenvolvimento da Infância e Adolescência
  133. Observatório da População Infantojuvenil em Contextos de Violência/Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
  134. OII Europe (Organisation Intersex International Europe e.V.)
  135. Ombudsman for Children, Croatia
  136. Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Ireland
  137. Organisation des Jeunes pour le Monde d’Avenir (OJMA)
  138. Peace Movement Aotearoa
  139. PINCat- Plataforma d’Infància de Catalunya
  140. Plan International
  141. Plataforma de Direitos Humanos – Dhesca Brasil
  142. Plataforma de Infancia
  143. Plataforma de Organizaciones de Infancia de Madrid
  144. Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights
  145. Positive Discipline in Everyday Life
  146. Punanga Tauturu Inc
  147. QADER for Community Development
  148. Red Niña Niño
  149. Rede Ecpat Brasil
  150. Rede Não Bata, Eduque
  151. REDIM Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México
  153. REIPER
  154. Repatriate the Children – Sweden
  155. Right to Education Initiative
  156. Save the Children
  157. Save the Children in Albania
  158. Save the Children New Zealand
  159. Save the Children Norway
  160. Save the Children South Africa
  161. SED
  162. Síndic de Greuges de Catalunya (Spain)
  163. SOS Children’s Villages International
  164. South African National Child Rights Coalition (SANCRC)
  165. /
  167. TB-Net
  168. Terre des Hommes International Federation
  169. The Advocates for Human Rights
  170. The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC)
  171. The Child and Youth Friendly Governance Project
  172. The Egyptian Foundation for the Advancement of Childhood Conditions
  173. The Office of the Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia
  174. The Public Health Foundation of Georgia
  175. Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
  176. “TOFASINASINA” Incorp. For Restorative of Justice
  177. Uganda Child Rights NGO Network
  178. UNICEF Ireland
  179. University of Auckland Faculty of Law
  180. Validity Foundation – Mental Disability Advocacy Centre
  181. Voces Ciudadanas
  182. Vulnerable Children Assistance Organization (VCAO)
  183. Western Cape Commissioner for Children
  184. World Organisation Against Torture
  185. World Organization for Early Childhood Education – OMEP
  186. WORLD Policy Analysis Center, UCLA
  187. World Vision International