Child Rights Connect has a strategic position to access high-level decision-makers within the UN human rights system and work with them towards more accessible, effective and protective mechanisms for children.
Promoting meaningful, safe and effective child participation and civil society space for children is one of the strategic priorities and key areas of expertise of Child Rights Connect. We have been a driving force to advance the debate, set the standards and build the capacity for child participation at international level.
In 2017, Child Rights Connect launched the first ever global programme on children human rights defenders in order to raise awareness about their role and to actively advocate for the realization of their rights. The 2018 Day of General Discussion (DGD) to the theme “Protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders.”
We advocate for more State to ratify OPIC, so that more children can access the mechanism, and we work closely with the UN Committee on the rights to ensure that the Protocol and its rules of procedure are effectively operationalized.
Since 2014, a group of States has introduced the concept of the “Protection of the family” at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). This has many implications on children’s rights and we have undertaken a variety of advocacy activities to ensure that “family” is understood from a children’s rights perspective.
We provide technical assistance to children’s rights defenders, to identify the best UN entry points for advancing their objectives for children’s rights. We also provide information on how to effectively engage with these entry points and connect children’s rights defenders to the relevant organisations, units and people.
Technical assistance is done through accessible publications and tools, online and in print, as well as tailor-made expert advice both by the Secretariat team, as well as through provision of spaces for peer-to-peer exchange and mutual learning, such as the website member space and webinars.
We provide capacity building on the UN human rights mechanisms to children’s rights defenders. Capacity building is done through direct or online trainings and seminars, as well as through making training materials available on its website.
Direct training is provided preferably to member organisations of Child Rights Connect, who can ensure multiplication of the knowledge through their organisation and networks at regional, national and local levels.
We implement advocacy to raise awareness and understanding on our three overall priorities, as well as to effect concrete positive change in child rights policies and practices within and throughout the UN human rights system and among States. We consult issues we advocate for among our global membership, which gives our advocacy high legitimacy and weight.
Advocacy is done through building strategic relationships and securing partnerships, and continuous raising of issues through oral or written statements, one-to-one lobbying, campaigns, participation in and organisation of events and conferences.
Working groups amplify the discussion on their specific theme at and through the UN, and work to ensure implementation on the ground. Almost half of Child Rights Connect member organisations, 38 in 2017, are working together in six working groups.
The WG on child participation aims to provide strategic advice and support to the CRCnct Network and partners on children and young people’s participation by harnessing the strong, collective, and influential voice of the Network in empowering children to exercise their rights to participate under the UNCRC.