Child Rights Connect is a registered Swiss association. Its organs are the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, the International Secretariat and the Working Groups.

International Secretariat

Child Rights Connect’s International Secretariat is a multi-disciplinary team, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland. It carries out the network’s day-to-day activities, providing a solid and expert base for everything that the network undertakes.

Alex ConteExecutive Director
Alex believes that realizing the rights and potential of every child is essential not only in itself but also for the sustainable future of communities and nations and the achievement of a prosperous and fair global society. Alex has over 20 years’ experience as a human rights lawyer and advocate, having worked as a criminal law barrister, with international inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, and in academia as a professor of international law and human rights. He joined Child Rights Connect in July 2019 .
Agnès Gràcia CorberóHead of Programmes
Agnès is the Child Rights Connect focal point for the UN Human Rights Council and Programme Officer for the Latin-America, Africa and Middle East and North Africa regions.

She is an international human rights lawyer who is specialised in children’s rights. Her commitment to children’s rights is personal as well as professional, as she has been part of different children and youth-led organisations throughout her life. Before joining Child Rights Connect in May 2019, she worked for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions advocating for network members and advising them on how best to engage with the UN human rights system. Agnès has also worked on children’s rights-related projects for the International Commission of Jurists, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador and the Committee on the Rights of the Child, among other national and international human rights organisations. Agnès holds a Law Degree from the University Pompeu Fabra and an Interuniversity Master’s Degree in International Diplomacy and International Public Service. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Catalan.

Fanny ChappuisProgramme Officer
Fanny is driven by her optimism and strong desire to contribute to improving people’s lives. That’s why she dedicates her education path and career to bringing a wide range of operational and technical supports to human-size organizations. In continuation to her Master in Development Economics and International Project Management, Fanny conducted a few missions with NGOs dedicated to children’s rights and peace education. After an inspirational 3-year experience working in mediation and conflict resolution in the corporate sector, she decided to further engage in the implementation of children’s rights and joined Child Rights Connect in March 2017 as Programme Assistant. Fanny particularly enjoys being in contact with dedicated children’s rights defenders from all over the world!
Leire Ibañez LarreaNetwork and Programme Officer
Leire is a human rights lawyer with experience in the UN human rights system. Leire has been dedicated to human rights since the beginning of her career, starting as an intern in the Treaty Body Division of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She continued her career as a lawyer in a Migration Law Firm in Spain, providing them legal advice on illegal labour conditions and gender violence. Pursuing her desire to work in the human rights area, she gained experience at the OMCT and IRCT in Geneva where she advocated for victims of torture at the Universal Periodic Review, assisted in coordinating Civil Society engagement with the Committee Against Torture as well as in carrying out research on grave human rights violations. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Zsuzsanna RutaiChild Empowerment and Safeguarding Officer
Zsuzsanna found her calling at university: after concluding her internships, she launched a children’s rights organisation at the age of 23. After a few years at the civil sector, she joined the Secretariat of the Ombudsman for Minority Rights in Hungary where she focused on investigations and complaints related to children’s rights and education. As a seconded official, Zsuzsanna worked at the Children’s Rights Division of the Council of Europe and supported the work of the Lanzarote Committee. Before joining Child Rights Connect in February 2023, she had been working as an independent consultant on children’s rights, child participation and minority rights protection with international and non-governmental organisations. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest) and Master of Laws on Human Rights from the Central European University (Vienna). She conducted her PhD research on child participation in the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (at Eotvos Lorand University). She is the author of several articles and reports and co-author of the Council of Europe publication “Compasito – Manual on Human Rights Education for Children”.
Imen TalhaouiAssociate Programme Officer
Imen has been passionate about children’s rights and child protection from a young age. She worked her way towards this field by completing a Bachelor in International Relations and a Master in International and European Law at the University of Geneva (UNIGE). She integrated children’s rights in her university studies through her thesis by conducting research on the integration of protective measures for child refugees in the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees. Imen has experience working with children and in international organisations such as the United Nations as well as in diplomacy. As an Associate Programme Officer at Child Rights Connect, Imen works on child participation and advocacy. She is determined to dedicate herself to the protection of children’s rights, to listen to the concerns of children and to advocate for a better implementation of these rights.

Five year Strategic Plan 2020-2024

External evaluations of our work

With the support of our core donors, particularly the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), we regularly conduct external evaluations of our work, which assess the relevance, coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of our actions as well as the sustained impact of the results attained towards the realisation of children’s rights. The evaluations fulfill a strong learning objective as recommendations help to inform our current and future work.

“From small beginnings Child Rights Connect has become a highly respected organisation – as one interviewee noted ‘if Child Rights Connect did not exist, it would have to be invented’. The focus on the Human Rights Council as well as the CRC Committee has the potential to lead to a long-term positive impact on children’s rights…”

– Evaluation of the work of Child Rights Connect, 2015

“Without Child Rights Connect’s presence, the global civil society’s advocacy and influence on children’s rights and child rights mainstreaming would be hampered”.

“It is clear that Child Rights Connect has managed to influence institutional systems and practices of actors of central importance from a child rights perspective”.

“The establishment of the Children’s Advisory Team serves as a role model for other organisations”.

– Evaluation of the work of Child Rights Connect, 2022

Executive Committee

This committee has legal, policy and management responsibility for the network. It meets quarterly to provide the network with strategic direction and to supervise the work of the Secretariat and the thematic Working Groups. It is accountable to the General Assembly.

Maria HerczogPresident
Maria Herczog has been doing research on child welfare, child protection and on child rights, family matters for more than 30 years. She is author of several books, book chapters and journal articles with over 100 publications on these topics. She has been teaching child welfare and protection at different universities since 1989. Maria is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and in the media. She has been working with UNICEF, Council of Europe, WHO as a temporary scientific expert for decades and working on projects with BCN, Hope and Homes for Children, ISS and others as a consultant and as a senior technical advisor. Maria has a Ph.D. in sociology and is a visiting senior lecturer at ELTE University Law Faculty. She is also chair and program director of the Family Child Youth Association in Budapest, Hungary. She has been working as a senior policy officer at the Institute for Human Services, in Columbus, Ohio since 2018. She is currently working on two projects with Eurochild. She has been a member of the Board of Learning for Wellbeing Foundation since 2018 and a Trustee on the Board of Home and Homes for Children since April 2020. Maria was a member to the UN CRC Committee between 2007- 2015, and the Rapporteur of the Committee between 2013-2015.

She was an elected member of the Management Board of Eurochild in 2009, and its president between 2010 and 2016.

Maria Belen Paz AguilarVice-President
Maria Paz is a Bolivian woman who has been passionate about children’s rights and child participation from a very young age. She studied in the French school in La Paz, Bolivia, and moved to Paris in 2004 to study international law and international cooperation. Her voluntary work in different NGO’s led her to specialise in the education and children’s rights sector. She worked for ‘Initiatives of Change France’ as the field coordinator of the ‘Education for Peace Programme’ in Paris for eight years, then joined the CATS (Children as Actors for Transforming Society) Programme as part of the Core Team and Child Protection Officer for five years. She has been living in La Paz, Bolivia, for the past six years, where she has been developing child participation projects and doing field research.

She is currently the Director for Development and Latin America of Act2gether an initiative of the Learning for Wellbeing Foundation.

Catherine MbengueSecretary
Ms Catherine Mbengue is a former United Nations official with vast experience in children’s rights. Ms Mbengue served in UNICEF, between 1981 and 2011, in several leadership positions, including as a Country Representative in Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi and Mauritania. Ms Mbengue also served as the ECPAT International Senior Advisor, Advocacy for Africa and at the global level, representing ECPAT in Geneva. She is a long-time serving member of the International Board of Trustees of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) , including as the Chairperson of the Administrative Council from 2012-2018. She holds two Master’s degrees in Economics and in Political Science from Sorbonne University in Paris.
Maria Lucia Uribe TorresTreasurer
Maria Lucia Uribe is the Executive Director of Arigatou International office in Geneva since 2013. In her role as Executive Director, she currently heads the strategic implementation and expansion of the Ethics Education for Children Initiative, ensuring that values-based education is integrated in programs to respond to the prevention of violence and the promotion of peace building and interfaith and intercultural learning and collaboration.
Mrs. Uribe is currently convener of the International Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, and of the Working Group on Children and Violence of Child Rights Connect. Previously she served as Coordinator of the Working Group on Education and Fragility for the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). Mrs. Uribe holds a Master in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the University of Basel, Switzerland; a specialization in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and a Bachelor degree in Finance and International Relations and from Externado University in Colombia.
Flutra GoranaFocal point on child participation
With the start of civil war in former Yugoslavia, at age 19, I became a refugee. I was one of very few fortunate refugees that were welcomed by United States of America. I escaped war.
I joined the humanitarian and development sector by chance as a volunteer with a refugee resettlement organization in NYC. From then until now, I spent 24 years working with refugees and asylum seekers, mainly children and youth from Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, Liberia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Eretria, South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan, Iraq, survivors of torture and refugee trauma, survivors of human trafficking from South America, workforce development and education for refugee and asylum-seeking youth.
Since 2016, I have been living and working in Lebanon, responding to the Syrian refugee crisis with focus on children and youth. Currently, I am the Country Director for War Child Holland in their Lebanon Office.
Maria Amihan AbuevaMember
Amihan has been working on child rights by strengthening the organizations she has worked with and by building alliances and coalitions locally and internationally, to have larger impact on policies and programs to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence. She understands the challenges faced by children in the Southeast Asia/ASEAN region. She is currently the Regional Executive Director of CRC Asia, a regional network of child rights organizations and coalitions in Asia. She has promoted child participation to protect children from violence, promote active citizenship of children, defend human rights and a healthy environment. In September 2008, Amihan was the first recipient of the Wilberforce Leadership Award given by the US-based organization Free the Slaves, an award given to an individual who influenced institutions, government, business or large groups of people to significant action to fight slavery.
Leo RatledgeMember
Leo Ratledge is a Co-Director of the Child Rights International Network (CRIN). He leads on legal and policy work within CRIN and is jointly responsible for the organisation’s strategy and direction. He has worked internationally on the human rights of children since 2010, particularly specialising on access to justice for children, addressing impunity for sexual violence and addressing how children’s rights are impacted by emerging technologies. He has substantial experience working with international and regional human rights mechanisms as well as working collectively with coalitions to campaign for the realisation of children’s rights.

Patrons

Jean Zermatten
Jean Zermatten is a renowned specialist of children’s rights. Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child from 2005 to 2013, he was elected Chairman in 2011. and was the first Swiss member of this Committee.

Former judge, Jean Zermatten also worked to launch the first Swiss Children’s Rights Network. He remains active in the direction of academics programmes in Switzerland and abroad on children’s rights and protection.
Jean Zermatten became patron of Child Rights Connect in 2018.

The Child Rights Connect Children’s Advisory Team

Child Rights Connect’s Children’s Advisory Team (CAT) is a permanent structure within the organisation. It is a global Team of child advisors that are empowered as human rights defenders to shape and take forward activities on children’s rights, in line with our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan.

General Assembly

This is where our member organisations come together each year to approve the network’s plans and activities and elect people to various key roles. Specific actions at the General Assembly include:

  • Approving the strategies, plans and activity reports of the Executive Committee, the Secretariat and the thematic Working Groups
  • Approving the budget, auditor and audited accounts
  • Approving new members’ applications
  • Electing the Executive Committee and President of the network.

Our Policies

Child Rights Connect is committed to realizing children’s rights around the globe. We acknowledge our duty to be as effective and efficient as possible, as well as to be transparent, accountable, and responsive to all our stakeholders, including children. Our top priority is to be and act as a child safe organisation.

Our organisational policies support and promote transparency and accountability at all levels of our organisation, including within our network, and help meet the expectations and rights of all our stakeholders, particularly of children.

Our key policies apply to members of our Network and Executive Committee (Board) and we ask them to sign that they have read and understand their related responsibilities, and commit to comply with these policies.

Our History

The landmarks for child rights includes key milestones in relation to the UN and CRC Committee’s work, child participation and Child Rights Connect

First in-country CRC session

In March 2020, the Committee on the Rights of the Child held an historic extraordinary in-country/region session for the first time in the Treaty Bodies system in Apia, Samoa.

All initial State reports submitted under the CRC

The CRC becomes the first Human Rights Treaty Body with no initial reports overdue!

Child-friendly CRC Convention

UNICEF-Child Rights Connect child-friendly version of the CRC Convention

OPSC implementation guidelines

OPSC implementation guidelines focusing on the implementation

Children’s Advisory Team for organizing the DGD

First collaboration of the CRC Committee with a Children’s Advisory Team to organize its DGD, composed of 21 children from all around the world

First Adopted Views on individual communication

First Adopted Views on individual communication against Denmark during the 77th Session

Report on first Inquiry Procedure against Chile

Report on first Inquiry Procedure against Chile

Day of General Discussion on Children Human Rights Defenders & adoption of working methods for child participation

Day of General Discussion on protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders with unprecedented child participation and the adoption of Working methods for the participation of children in the days of general discussion of the CRC Committee

Implemention of the SRP

Committee started implementing the Simplified Reporting Procedure (SRP)

First session webcasts

First UN live webcast of a session, during the CRC 73rd session

Working methods for the participation of children in the CRC reporting process

Adoption of Working methods for the participation of children in the reporting process of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

First joint General Comment CRC-CEDAW

First joint General Comment in the Treaty Body System CRC-CEDAW

First examination of a State report via video

CRC Committee was the first treaty body to conduct the examination of a State party report via video for Tuvalu, 64th session

The NGO group became Child Rights Connect

The NGO group became Child Rights Connect at the occasion of its 30th anniversary

Adoption of the OPIC

Optional Protocol to the convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (OPIC) which allows children to submit complaints regarding violations of their rights and provides for an inquiry procedure for grave or systematic violation of child rights. Entered into force in 2014 first ratified by the…Read More

Establishment of a working group for an optional protocol on a communication procedure

Establishment of a working group for an optional protocol on a communication procedure by the Human Rights Council and following a proposal for a draft optional protocol from the government of Slovakia

First annual day on the Rights of the Child at the Human Rights Council

First annual full-day meeting on the Rights of the Child at the Human Rights Council to discuss, negotiate and adopt a resolution about the specific theme or children’s rights in general (an Omnibus Resolution)

Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children intended to enhance the implementation of the CRC regarding the protection and wellbeing of children who are deprived of parental care or who are at risk of being so

General Comment on the right of the child to be heard

General Comment on the right of the child to be heard

Special Representative on Violence against Children

Special Representative on Violence against Children established to promote the elimination of all forms of violence against children in all regions, promote and support the implementation of the recommendations of the study on violence, and identify and share good practices to prevent and respond to violence against children

UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child

UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child released after two years of field-testing. The Guidelines provided a formal mechanism to determine the best interests of the child as part of a comprehensive child protection system

Machel Study 10-Year Strategic Review – the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children

Machel Study 10-Year Strategic Review – the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children reviewed the current situation faced by children in armed conflict including the impact of the changing nature of conflict, also highlighted priorities and the responses required for the next decade. A more in-depth publication, Children and Conflict…Read More

UN Study on Violence against Children

UN Study on Violence against Children by the appointment of the expert Mr. Paulo Pinheiro the first comprehensive global study conducted on all forms of violence against children, provided a global picture of violence against children and proposed recommendations to prevent and respond to this issue

18 members in the CRC Committee

First session with 18 members in the CRC Committee

First children’s reports

First children’s reports submitted on Belgium and the United Kingdom

UN General Assembly Special Session on Children

UN General Assembly Special Session on Children convened to review progress since the 1990 World Summit for Children. The General Assembly adopted of World Fit for Children which outlined four key priorities; promoting healthy lives, providing quality education for all, protecting children against abuse, exploitation and violence and combatting HIV/AIDS

Millennium Summit and Declaration

Millennium Summit and Declaration which contained values, principles and objectives for the international agenda for the twenty-first century, and set out eight goals to be achieved by 2015 including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and reducing child mortality

Adoption of the OPSC

Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC) which sets out specific acts that must be criminalized within the areas of sale of children for purposes of sexual exploitation, transfer of organs, forced labor, or adoption, as well as child prostitution and child pornography. Entered…Read More

Adoption of the OPAC

Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) which strengthens article 38 of the CRC by raising the minimum age of direct participation in hostilities from 15 to 18 and prohibiting anyone under 18 from being compulsorily recruited into the armed forces. Entered into Force in 2002

First children’s meetings

Child participation during pre-sessional working group meeting on India, one on Mali and the Netherlands

Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

First presentation to the CRC Committee by children

First presentation to the CRC Committee by children delivered by a group of Japanese students during an open meeting (including the media) during the lunch break

Convention on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (ILO 182) adopted by the General Conference for the International Labor Organisation, which defines which situations should be classified as the worst forms of child labor and specifies what governments must do to…Read More

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

Creation of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and appointment of Mr. Olara Otunnu as the first Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, mandated to promote the protection, rights and welfare of children at every phase of conflict

International Conference on Child Labor

International Conference on Child Labor in Oslo during which a global agenda for eliminating the worst forms of hazardous and exploitative employment of children was adopted and a global strategy for eliminating the most intolerable or extreme forms of child labor was proposed

Guidelines on periodic reports

Guidelines regarding the form and contents of periodic reports adopted by the CRC Committee

Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children

Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children by the appointed expert Ms. Graca Machel, which described the impact of armed conflict on children and included a number of concrete recommendations for the protection of children in armed conflict

First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children convened in Stockholm, with the participation of a broad range of stakeholders including governments, NGOs, and children. It adopted the Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action, tools for mobilizing and monitoring action to protect children from sexual exploitation

First participation of children in a written submission

The first experience with children participating in a written submission

The Committee established that NGOs may participate in the CRC pre-session

The Committee established that the working group may invite representatives from non-governmental organizations to attend the pre-sessional working group meeting to provide information at its 7th session

First comprehensive alternative report

First comprehensive alternative report submitted to the CRC Committee by the national coalition the Child Rights Development Unit to inform the consideration of the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which took place in January 1995

UNHCR Guidelines on Protection and Care on Refugee Children

UNHCR Guidelines on Protection and Care on Refugee Children for UNHCR’s staff and partners on refugee children that combined the concept of children’s rights with UNHCR’s efforts to protect and assist refugee children

First examination of State party reports and first concluding observations

First examination by the CRC Committee of the State party reports and first concluding observations for Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Egypt, Russian Federation, Sudan, Sweden, Viet Nam

First participation of NGOs in pre-sessions

First participation of NGOs in the pre-sessional working group meeting in order to present information on the situation of children in their country, to assist the CRC Committee to set priorities and identify key issues for discussion with the government

Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption

Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, which protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad, and reinforces Article 21 of the CRC as it seeks to ensure that…Read More

World Conference on Human Rights

World Conference on Human Rights with unprecedented participation of governments and NGOs, and the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for strengthening human rights work around the world. The declaration included a section on the rights of the child, which called for the universal ratification of the…Read More

First Day of General Discussion

First General Day of Discussion of the CRC Committee dedicated to children in armed conflict, followed-up by a preliminary draft of an optional protocol to the Convention which would raise the age of recruitment into the armed forces to 18

Rio Conference

UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Conference) which adopted Agenda 21, a wide-ranging blueprint for action to achieve sustainable development, and required that children’s interests be taken into account

First regional meeting of national child rights coalitions

First regional meeting of national child rights coalitions held in Lima, Peru to strengthen the child rights movement and focused on monitoring the CRC at national level, followed by Western Europe

First State Party reports and first written comments by NGOs

First State Party reports and the first written comments by NGOs submitted to the CRC Committee for Sweden and Bolivia

Formation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

First election of 10 members of the CRC Committee by States Parties, who adopted guidelines regarding the form and content of initial reports at its first session

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to consider matters relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, including the problem of adoption of children for commercial purposes

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child adopted by the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union), entered into force in 1999

World Summit for Children

World Summit for Children with 27 measurable goals set in the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children

UN Rules for Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty

UN Rules for Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty reaffirming the Beijing Rules and emphasizing that imprisonment of juveniles should be a last resort and for the shortest possible amount of time

Riyadh Guidelines

UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines) focused on the prevention of juvenile delinquency as well as protection measures for children who are at risk

Adoption of the CRC Convention

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most comprehensive document on the rights of children, was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly and opened for signature on 20 November, recognizing for the first time children as rights holders in an international treaty. The Convention entered into force…Read More

The Beijing Rules

UN Standard Minimum Rules of the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules) which set the minimum conditions for the treatment of children who are in conflict with the law and emphasize that imprisonment should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible

Formation of the Ad Hoc NGO Group for the drafting of the UNCRC

Formation of the Ad Hoc NGO Group with over twenty NGOs to better influence the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Group would meet to analyze the articles of the Convention and submit changes or the inclusion of new articles to the Working Group.…Read More

International Year of the Child

International Year of the Child to provide a framework for advocacy on behalf of children and to promote recognition that programs for children should be a fundamental part of economic and social development plans

Working Group on a draft CRC Convention

Working Group on a draft convention on the rights of the child established by the Commission on Human Rights, open to all members of the UN, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations with consultative status, following a proposal submitted by the government of Poland

Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Since 1983, we have influenced major child rights developments such as the drafting of the UN treaties on child rights.

We continue to play a central role in key children’s rights developments at international level, including the drafting of all the UN treaties on children’s rights. Our Secretariat is considered a leading expert on the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Child Rights Connect was initially set up in 1983 as the Ad Hoc NGO Group for the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Its initial mandate was to influence the drafting of the CRC, the first and most comprehensive international human rights treaty for children. Since then, we have worked to connect UN human rights systems to the daily realities of children’s lives.

To reflect our work, which now extends beyond the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we changed our name to Child Rights Connect in 2013. As a network, Child Rights Connect has members at national, regional, and international levels, including other networks and child-led organisations. We work closely with national NGOs and coalitions, UN agencies and experts, States, and children themselves, to advance children’s rights around the world.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, we have a unique working relationship with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. We also have special ECOSOC consultative status at the United Nations, meaning that we are fully recognised to take part in United Nations deliberations.

Testimonials

“In 2016, our strategic partnership with Child Rights Connect reached an even higher level, opening strategic awareness about children’s human rights throughout the work of the United Nations human rights system.”

Orest Nowosad, Chief, Groups in Focus Section, Human Rights Treaties Branch, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

“Child Rights Connect is a very valuable partner of the Committee. They facilitate our interaction with children and with civil society, which helps us to get additional first-hand information from the ground.“

Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

“Child Rights Connect is our key partner to link children’s rights defenders from around the world. In 2016 we jointly tackled the new simplified reporting procedures. We are looking forward to continuing this discussion with a focus on the participation of children themselves.”

Jorge Cardona, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

“Thank you very much for all the support by Child rights connect team for us to attend the CRC pre-session. It was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to be there for the session and present children’s realities in Sri Lanka to the committee directly. The post de-brief was really helpful to identify the way forward and will share the SWOT analysis with other CSOs soon.”

Sri Lanka Delegation

“We would like to thank you all for the support that you gave to the Lesotho CSOs delegation that attended the 78th UN-CRC Pre-session in Geneva, beginning of this month. The Pre-session went really well and it was a great opportunity for the Lesotho child rights CSOs to learn more about the importance of implementing the UN-CRC and reporting on its implementation. Even though the time was very limited, the team was able to address most of the questions and issues raised by the Committee and made a commitment to provide additional information as required by the Committee.”

Lesotho Delegation

“Child Rights Connect facilitated a dynamic and high quality workshop on how to advocate for issues related to childhood statelessness at the UN level. It was highly useful for our members and partners to understand the links between their issues and children’s rights.”

Chris Nash, Director, European Network on Statelessness

“Our participation in the review of Mauritius by the Children’s Rights Committee had a positive effect on the follow-up. NGOs and the state cooperated in concrete actions. As a collective we have more weight, we are united for the same cause, and this is in the best interest of children in Mauritius.”

Kolektif Drwa Zanfan Morisien (KDZM), Mauritius Coalition

“The support we have received in the whole process has been excellent and we would be happy to repeat the same experience with other countries”

Dr. Eamonn Hanson, Senior Advocacy Advisor, War Child Holland

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.