UN Day of General Discussion – what young people did

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NICCY School Children Child Rights Defender

This year, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is devoting its Day of General Discussion (DGD) to ‘Children as Human Rights Defenders’.  It will be the first ever global discussion focusing on this area and aims to collect children’s experiences and views, address the barriers and challenges to them being/becoming human rights defenders and identify existing or future measures necessary to protect and promote them as such.  The Committee will also examine the State’s obligations to children acting as these ‘agents of change’ and make recommendations to duty bearers to create the conditions – on a child rights basis – necessary for this.

Young Person’s Submission

In their submission the young people explored what it means to be a Child Human Rights Defender in a divided and contested society and the additional support children and young people living in such circumstances may need from their Governments. The submission was prepared by Pearse Smith, a member of Children’s Law Centre’s Youth Advisory Group and of NICCY’s Brexit Steering group. Pearse describes growing up in Northern Ireland and how this has impacted his role as a Child Human Right’s Defender.

You can also read the Overview Summary submission here.


In addition, two videos were produced. One exploring the views of members of the NICCY Youth Panel and another exploring the views of a young person and youth worker from Pearse’s community: