Promoting children’s rights

Like adults, children and young people have human rights. These rights are set out under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and ratified by 169 nations.

Four general principles underpin children’s rights: participation, inclusion, non-discrimination and equality. Children’s rights include – the right to education, health, play, family life, a safe standard of living and protection from abuse and harm.

We have adopted a rights-based approach and the core principles of the UNCRC. They are at the centre of our work and guide our mission.

Children & youth participation

What exactly is child participation?

Child participation is one of the core principles in Article 12 of the UNCRC. It states that children and young people have the right to freely express their views and should be taken seriously.

Children are experts in their own lives. It is only right that they participate in decisions that affect them.

In practice, this means that governments and stakeholders should ensure meaningful participation in all matters affecting them within their families, schools, local communities, public services, institutions, government policies and judicial procedures.

We are committed to supporting children to ensure that they are listened to in political decision making on matters affecting their lives.

Protecting children against exploitation & violence

All children have the right to be safe. Yet children around the world experience forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence which can take place at home, at school, in institutions, at work, in the community and online.

In many countries, girls are the first victims of human rights violations. During armed conflict and displacement, children and young women are particularly vulnerable to rape and various forms of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

We educate and work with communities to implement preventative measures to keep children safe in their environments.

Child Labour

Millions of children around the world work and nearly half of them are involved in hazardous working conditions that directly endanger their health, safety and development. We train children to identify and stop child labour and other forms of child exploitation.

Online Safety

New technologies and the internet have opened up many opportunities for children, but children’s online presence has also increased their exposure to harmful and often illegal content.  Such content includes child sexual abuse, pornography and adult content, sexting, cyber-grooming, revenge porn, online hate-speech or disinformation, cyberbullying and harassment. We advocate for new protective legislation so that tech companies take responsibility and use their tools to combat child exploitation.

Fulfilling children’s right to a healthy & sustainable environment

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis.

Children and young people have been calling on governments to take action on the environmental crisis, one of the greatest threats to millions of children and their rights globally.

If no specific prevention and redress measures are taken soon, children believe that things will only worsen in their lifetime and for future generations.

Children are frequently forgotten when developing legislation, policies, and programmes to tackle environmental issues. And this is despite children’s capacity to be changemakers and their ability to draw the world’s attention to the climate crisis through their protests, social media activity and community and civic engagement.

Through our various advocacy and campaigning efforts, we strive towards putting children’s voices at the centre of political debates.

Children on the move

All children on the move have rights that must be protected and fulfilled.

Today an estimated 50 million children have migrated across borders or have been forcibly displaced – they are “children on the move”. There are various reasons why a child goes on the move such as conflict, climate change, poverty, violence, lack of education or access to services.

Unfortunately, these children frequently face human rights violations, from exploitation and violence to being separated from their families and detained because of their migration status. And most of the time, they are deprived of essential protection and services.

We work with children and young people in migration to empower them, their families and their communities for lasting change in their lives.