Day of General Discussion: "Protecting and Empowering Children as Human Rights Defenders" 28 September 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Room XVII, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Logo designed by the DGD Children’s Advisory Team

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified international human rights instrument, with 196 States parties.

During its 76th session, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the body of independent experts responsible for reviewing progress made by States parties in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, decided to devote its 2018 Day of General Discussion (DGD) to the issue of protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders. It will take place on Friday, 28 September 2018, during the 79th session of the Committee at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The purpose of Days of General Discussion was to foster a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the Convention as they relate to specific articles or topics. Representatives of Governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations human rights mechanisms, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, national human rights institutions, the business sector, as well as individual experts and children were encouraged to take part. The Committee also welcomed the submission of written contributions.

Overall objective of the 2018 DGD

The 2018 DGD was the first ever global discussion focusing on children as human rights defenders. Its main goal was to bring together a global movement for children human rights defenders including children, States, National Human Rights Institutions, Children’s Ombudspersons, the UN, civil society and the private sector to promote understanding about the role of children as human rights defenders, identify what needs to be done for child rights-related laws, policies and practices to take adequate account of children as human rights defenders; and for human rights defenders-related laws, policies and practices to be child-sensitive.

Specific objectives of the 2018 DGD

  1. Collect children’s views about their experiences as human rights defenders;
  2. Assess legislation, jurisprudence, policies and relevant measures aimed at protecting or empowering children human rights defenders, by providing examples of good practices and challenges, including from children’s perspectives;
  3. Clarify the States’ obligations applicable to children human rights defenders under the CRC and existing standards on human rights defenders;
  4. Identify key elements for an effective implementation of a child rights approach to the situation of children who are, or want to become, human rights defenders, including specific recommendations for duty bearers that can inform the Committee’s recommendations to States.


Child-friendly documentation

For more information on child participation, please consult Child Rights Connect’s website.

Written submissions

Webcast and Videos

Follow-up to the DGD

The Committee, together with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, OHCHR and Child Rights Connect, will hold a technical meeting on 14 June 2019 in Geneva to develop a roadmap outlining the main actions to support the implementation of the DGD recommendations at national, regional and international levels. Participants of the meeting will include treaty body members, Special Procedures mandate holders, human rights regional mechanisms, OHCHR, UNICEF, representative(s) of the DGD Children’s Advisory Team, civil society organizations and other experts. An outcome report of the meeting will be available.

Country-specific information