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28th Session of the Human Rights Council: Rights of the Child

12 Mar 2015


12 March 2015
Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Delivered by Hector Guerra

Mr. President,
Twenty-five years following the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, much work remains to be done to ensure the implementation of the legal framework guaranteeing children’s rights.

IDLO welcomes the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, its focus and attention on the rights of the child, and the reminder that in all matters concerning children, states must uphold the rule of law. In the words of the High Commissioner, we need “investment in the rights of children, in addition to investment in children.”

Children must be able to claim their rights without unnecessary obstacles and on a non-discriminatory basis. They also require special consideration when in conflict or contact with the law, and measures protecting their dignity, human rights, and ability to grow, develop, and reach their full potential.

Building societies responsive to the unique needs of children is an essential undertaking, requiring in-depth understanding of the host of economic, social and cultural practices that perpetuate inequality for children and investment in laws and institutions providing protection from discrimination, violence, abuse, and exploitation.

Over the past year, IDLO, in partnership with UNICEF, undertook a series of research studies focusing on children’s equitable access to justice in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States and on alternative measures to detention for children in conflict with the law in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams IDLO’s research signals an overall deficit in the rule of law and investment in child-responsive justice mechanisms and institutions, bringing about or exacerbating a range of violations of children’s rights and preventing the full achievement of development objectives in a variety of key areas, including health, nutrition and education.

Operating at the intersection between law and development, IDLO will continue to work to ensure better access to justice for children and build institutions more responsive to children’s needs and aspirations.

Thank you.

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.