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Independent human rights institutions for children

A growing movement for the development of Ombuds for Children has emerged in the past several years. National Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children, or 'Ombuds for Children', 'Child Advocates', 'Commissioners', 'Défenseurs', 'Defensorías' etc. are institutions whose role is to monitor the actions of governments and other actors, promote children's rights, and offer a space for dialogue between children and the State.

The visibility of Ombuds for Children has increased over the past two decades in various international instruments, especially in a comprehensive General Comment issued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child that highlights their central role in the implementation of the Convention. In addition, a Global Network of Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children was launched on the occasion of the UN Special Session on Children in 2002, designating the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre as its Secretariat.

Since 1989, UNICEF IRC has been accompanying this movement by conducting research, supporting the consolidation of networks and providing technical assistance for the creation and strengthening of independent institutions. Building on the recent momentum and the need it has generated for evidence-based guidance, UNICEF IRC has undertaken a global study aimed at analysing the role and impact of Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children across regions. This study is part of a larger research on the general measures of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Publications

Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights
Publication Publication

Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights

Children are among the most vulnerable group in any society, with no vote, no access to the powerful lobbies that influence government agendas, and little access to the legal system and courts to protect their rights. This Digest focuses on independent human rights institutions for children and the urgent need to create such institutions in every country in the world.
Ombudswork for Children
Publication Publication

Ombudswork for Children

The first Innocenti Digest provides information on the recent and expanding phenomenon of ombudsmen/commissioners for children. It discusses the history of ombudswork and different patterns in the origin, development, mandate and status of the different types of ombudsman offices.
A Voice for Children: Speaking out as their Ombudsman
Publication Publication

A Voice for Children: Speaking out as their Ombudsman