Together publishes submission for DGD on Children as Human Rights Defenders

Date: 25th July 2018
Category: Reporting to and monitoring the UNCRC

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Together has published its submission on Children as Human Rights Defenders, made to the Committee on the Rights of the Child ahead of this year's Day of General Discussion (DGD) in September.

The submission highlights the range of experiences that children and young people have in acting as human rights defenders in Scotland. Whilst some children and young people recognise themselves as human rights defenders and have a strong understanding of what a human rights defender is and does, others are acting as human rights defenders but are not framing their work in this way. There are also children and young people who may wish to become human rights defenders but who lack the knowledge, support and power that they need to do so.

Together's submission discusses what role these children and young people can play as human rights defenders in society, what enables them to act in this way, and how they can be protected and supported through safeguards and legislation. Examples of children who already act as human rights defenders in Scotland have been used throughout the submission to highlight the valuable work that is already being done by many Together members in this area.

Together sits on the DGD Taskforce which is responsible for coordinating the Day of General Discussion. Together's involvement in the Taskforce has created opportunities for ensuring representation of children and young people from Together member organisations in the involvement of the day. For example, two children from the Children's Parliament are on the Chjildren's Advisory Team to support the UN Committee in planning the day. In addition, the former Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament sits on the 'content' team and the Co-Director of the Children Parliament is on the 'participation' team, which makes sure the day is informed and developed with children and young people.