The Rights of Child Human Rights Defenders (CHRDs)

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Introduction to the CHRD Guide

Concept and Development

In 2018, Child Rights Connect successfully proposed to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that it held its Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the topic of Protecting and Empowering Children as Human Rights Defenders. That year coincided with the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. 2018 was the turning point in a global oversight in which people under 18 years of age who defended and promoted human rights were not considered human rights defenders and, therefore, did not receive the empowerment and protection that this designation demands.

Since then, Child Rights Connect has led a collaborative effort to follow-up to the recommendations that came out of the 2018 DGD with different actors, such as United Nations agencies and human rights mechanisms, non-governmental organizations, academics, children, and regional human rights mechanisms. This Guide is a key output of this collective process, offering expertise, tips and guidelines to advance the protection and promotion of child human rights defenders.

The Guide seeks to recognise the growing numbers of child human rights defenders mobilising across the world with dedication to human rights and the problems of our time (from mobilisation against authoritarian governments curtailing rights and freedoms to drawing attention to the climate emergency) and respond to their situation and the recommendations they have shared with us.

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The CHRD implementation guide is a tool for everyone to advance our global effort to advance the protection and empowerment of child human rights defenders.

Download the CHRD Implementation Guide

What you need to know about the CHRD Implementation Guide

A quick introduction to the CHRD Implementation Guide

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The child-friendly Implementation Guide

The child-friendly version of the Rights of CHRDs: Implementation Guide has been developed with Child Rights Connect’s Children’s Advisory Team and you can find out more about this Team and the child advisors here.



Child Human Rights Defender


Convention on the Rights of the Child


Children’s Rights Impact Assessment


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Human Rights Defender


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


National Human Rights Institution


Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure


Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe


Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children 


Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

The Committee

Committee on the Rights of the Child 

The Declaration or DHRD

The United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

The Special Rapporteur

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders


United Nations