Children as Human Rights Defenders: UN Committee has discussion

September 29, 2018

On 28 September the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child held a Day of General Discussion on the topic “Children as Human Rights Defenders”. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, gave the opening speech; here some excerpts:

….It is my great pleasure to join in welcoming you all to this Day of General Discussion on Children Human Rights Defenders..I am most excited of course to be welcoming the members of the Child Advisory Team. You make this such a very special moment for us all – for us personally who work here and for the human rights work we try to do here. This year is the 20th birthday of the UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration and the 70th birthday of the UDHR. ….

Today, we will talk with you, about you. We will listen to you, …….

….We older people have failed you – have failed children. In so many places, in so many ways – older people are still failing children…….

Yet, the strange thing about this, is that it was older people – even older people – including some working 70 years ago – who made those laws and standards that recognise you have those rights, and yet it is older people who are breaking those promises.

……………If young age is no barrier to experiencing the worst consequences of older people’s decisions, then why use young age as an excuse to leave you out, to lock you out, from the places where those decisions could be changed. As human rights defenders, you know far better than I do why it is so important that we rethink the power relationship between older and young people.  If we would just change how we older people relate to children, make more room for you, listen to you more respectfully, value your experiences more, keep our promises to you then maybe we too would grow up and with you, just get on with changing the world for better.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23654&LangID=E

 

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