The World Day Against Child Labour was launched in 2002 by the International Labour Organization to highlight the predicament faced by children engaged in labour. It is observed on 12 June annually to bring attention and promote the abolition of child labour. The slogan for World Day 2023 is “Social Justice for All. End Child Labour!” For the last two decades, child labour was steadily decreasing due to the work of the international community. Unfortunately, a series of conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic plunged families into poverty thus leading to a...

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is composed of independent experts who monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its States parties. It also monitors the implementation of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. All states parties are required to report to the committee on how the rights are being met.  On May 9 and 10, 2023,...

The United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Livingstone Sewanyana, asked NGOs to provide written inputs for his Thematic Report on Youth Participation and Engagement in Intergovernmental Forums. The Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Youth Rights where it called upon States to empower youth to contribute to the political, civil, economic, social, and cultural development of their countries. The report will be used to identify good practices of youth participation in intergovernmental forums globally to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. The...

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a cyclical review process of all 193 UN Member States. Once every four years the human rights situation in each State is reviewed. The State under review declares what action has been taken and the measures to be adopted to improve human rights within the Country. During the UPR, specific recommendations are made by the Member States of the Human Rights Council to the State under review. The 43rd UPR session was held from May 1 to 12 in Palais des Nations, Geneva. Among other...

Water is the driving force of all nature. - Leonardo da Vinci Since early times it has been clear to us that water is crucial for our existence and development. Since 1993, this has been officially emphasized by celebrating the 22nd of March as World Water Day. This day serves for all of us as a reminder of the importance of clean water and to become more aware of how we use and manage the water available to us. It is addressed to governments and businesses to create policies and practices...

The United Nations Human Rights Council held its forty-sixth regular session from 22 February to 23 March 2021 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  It started off with a high-level segment from 22 to 24 February where dignitaries representing more than 130 countries addressed the Council on their governments’ efforts to promote and protect human rights. It was held for the first time entirely online. This session also welcomed the new president, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji.  It was opened with speeches from Secretary-General of the United Nations, António...

Every year, on the 8th of March, we celebrate International Women’s Day, an event promoted by the United Nations in order to celebrate the progress reached by women in the economic, political, and cultural fields. The theme proposed for 2021 is: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. This celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign slogan is: “Choose to challenge”. It is important to know this celebration as...

November 20 marks the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. Since then, the World Children’s Day offers each of us an important occasion to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights towards the realization of a better world for children. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has very negatively impacted the enjoyment of children’s rights worldwide. The health crisis has aggravated pre-existing inequalities in education, especially for those children at risk of digital exclusion or with special needs. Despite the best...

October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl Child, which was established in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly through the adoption of Resolution 66/170. This particular focus on the girl is a recognition that every child, in particular  every girl, has the dignity to be respected and the rights to be protected. It was the Fourth World Conference on Women held in 1995 in Beijing, China, that highlighted  the right  of every girl. The conference culminated in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: the most...

On September 9, 2020, we will commemorate, for the first time, the International Day to Protect Education from Attack. The General Assembly resolution establishing the International Day affirms that governments have the primary responsibility to provide protection and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels to all learners, especially those in vulnerable situations. Between 2015 and 2019, 93 countries experienced at least one reported attack on education and more than 22,000 students, teachers, and academics were injured, killed, or harmed in attacks on education during armed conflict or insecurity. Among...