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Children and adolescents, human rights defenders



General Discussion in the UN

31/03/2018: Switzerland

From March 19 – 21, a children’s advisory team met in Geneva to prepare the next Day of General Discussion of the United Nations (DGD 2018). Eight children and adolescents from India, Moldova, Norway, Scotland and Senegal met with experts from the Committee on the Rights of the Child to refine the details of this important day that is convened annually to discuss a specific issue.

The focus of the year 2018 will be "Children and Adolescents as Human Rights Defenders". Just as Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize 2014, was a teenager who was committed to the right to education of Pakistani girls, other children can play an active role in defending their rights and their communities.

Among the calls of the 22nd General Chapter (2017) the Marist Institute is inviting provinces to: “flee from paternalistic approaches and empower those who do not have a voice”, and “commit ourselves firmly in the promotion and defense of the rights of children.”

For this reason, FMSI is inviting the provinces to take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the preparation of this DGD 2018 with the aim of encouraging Marist children and adolescents to strengthen their protagonist participation and leadership in the defense of human rights.

FMSI is working with other organisations to carry out a large survey that gathers the opinion of children and youth from all continents. This will be valuable information that will be discussed by the experts of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Sept. 28, when the DGD 2018 is held at the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Geneva.

(Photo: some of the children of the children’s advisory team together with two of the members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Luis Pedernera and Mikiko Otani)

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