ACEI’s UN Geneva Reps attend Human Rights Council and Committee on the Rights of the Child meetings and events
ACEI’s United Nations Geneva Representatives attended meetings and events aligned with the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the 76th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Both the HRC and the CRC meet no less than three times per year. HRC activities include the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which provides the opportunity for each member state to declare the actions they are taking to improve the status of human rights in their nation. Similarly, the CRC monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Optional Protocols for nine-member states during each session.
The sessions took place from 11 – 29 September 2017. This year, our UN Representatives attended an HRC annual general discussion on the integration of the gender perspective. They also attended the CRC periodic review of Ecuador and a side event on Protecting Civil Society for and with Children hosted by the Permanent missions of Chile, Ireland, Japan, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia and CIVICUS, Save the Children, and Child Rights Connect. Below, we capture the main take-aways from their participation at these events.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can serve to become the gender agenda the HRC needs to inspire equality through the empowerment of women and girls. Similarly, the HRC Universal Periodic Review can provide a useful opportunity for member states to monitor progress on Gender Equality SDG 5.
Nations like Ecuador are working toward universal education by addressing issues of poverty and the needs of the most vulnerable groups, including girls, racial and religious minorities, indigenous, children with disabilities, and children who identify as LGBTQIA. Solutions include working directly with children to know what works better for them to learn, system analysis of the education sector, investment in the selection and professional development of teachers, and improving dialogue among communities.
To secure human rights for all and achieve the SDGs, it will be essential to open civic spaces for children and youth to participate in decision making processes. To create these spaces, children need greater support to overcome barriers, including accessibility to information translated into language that is easily understandable and facilitation from NGOs so that children may collaborate at the local, national, and international levels.
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