Child Human Rights Defenders


Implementation Guide

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. The Rights of Child Human Rights Defenders (CHRDs)
  4.  » 
  5. Interactive CHRD Implementation Guide
  6.  » 5. Implementing a Rights-Based Approach for CHRDs

Implementing a Rights-Based Approach for CHRDs 

(Art. 4 CRC and Art. 2 DHRD)

Realizing children’s rights, especially those of CHRDs, requires measures of implementation to be appropriate for children and their rights, accessible to children and capable of involving them meaningfully. Moreover, implementation for rights-holders who are children faces additional challenges given their status in society, lack of political power, frequent dependence on adults for access to accountability mechanisms and more generally a resistance to the idea that children have rights and should be facilitated to claim them.


CRC Article 4

States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.


DHRD Article 2

(1) Each States has a prime responsibility and duty to protect, promote and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms, inter alia, by adopting such steps as may be necessary to create all conditions necessary in the social, economic, political and other fields, as well as the legal guarantees required to ensure that all persons under its jurisdiction, individually and in association with others, are able to enjoy all those rights and freedoms in practice.

(2) Each States shall adopt such legislative, administrative and other steps as may be necessary to ensure that the rights and freedoms referred to in the present Declaration are effectively guaranteed.

Article 4 of the CRC is similar to implementation clauses in other human rights instruments (which, of course, also apply to children). However, the Committee has emphasized that in the context of the CRC, ‘States must see their role as fulfilling clear legal obligations to each and every child. Implementation of the human rights of children must not be seen as a charitable process, bestowing favours on children.’1 It has given detailed guidance on the implementation of the Convention in General Comment No. 5 on General Measures of Implementation.

The CRC has a number of provisions, in addition to Article 4, which support implementation. However, the Declaration supplements understanding of what is needed to ensure the effective empowerment and protection of HRDs. Read together, the CRC and Declaration combine to provide a roadmap for protecting, respecting and fulfilling the rights of children who are HRDs.


1 United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2003) General Comment No. 5 (2003) on General measures of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (arts. 4, 42 and 44, para. 6), CRC/GC/2003/5, para. 11.

Table of Contents



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