Available translations: English العربيّة

Rights of children

Graphic: Young Afghan girl similing

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Most children grow up in a safe and positive environment, with the support and care of family.

However, despite the fact that the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the world's most ratified human rights treaty, too many children in our region are vulnerable to gross violations of their rights, including violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking and child labour.

Certain groups of children – such as children with disabilities, indigenous children and refugee or asylum seeking children – can be at particular risk of discrimination and marginalisation.

Without the support of trusted adults, many children are left to suffer in silence. And the voices of children and young people are rarely heard when decisions are made about the issues that affect their lives.


Graphic: Young boy in India with shoe shining brush


In serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity.

Carol Bellamy, Former Executive Director, UNICEF

Graphic: Mongolian child smiling

Helping children lead better lives

Mongolia

Bolorsaikhan Badamsambuu describes the challenges that children in Mongolia can face in their everyday lives and what motivates him in his work.


Promoting and protecting the rights of children is a priority for the APF and for our members.

Our members talk directly with children and their advocates to identify the issues that matter most in their lives. They conduct research and monitor how different groups of children are affected by laws and policies.

Some national human rights institutions (NHRIs) have conducted national inquiries into major human rights violations, such as exploitative practices like "bacha bazi" and access to education for children with disabilities.

NHRIs use the information they gather to make recommendations to improve laws, policies and practices for children, as well as to make sure that the voices of children are heard by decision makers and the community.

They also independently monitor how well their government is meeting its international human rights commitments to children.

Most importantly, our members are developing a range of innovative programs to support children to understand their rights and develop strategies to address the issues they face in their daily lives.


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Image credits

  1. Young Afghan girl similing - Afghanistan Matters, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1SL9tcr
  2. Young boy in India with shoe shining brush - APF/Michael Power