Mainstreaming Child Rights in the UPR

child rights

Child Rights Connect has recently launched the second round of consultations on the draft Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on Child Rights Mainstreaming. The consultation round will close on 12 March 2023 (click here to read more).

The Guidance Note is practical guide for all UN levels, from Headquarters to country offices, on the mainstreaming of child rights in all aspects of the organization’s work, including in the work related to the UPR. Among the Guiding Principles stated, the Guidance Note calls UN Entities and Country Teams to:

  • Systematically integrate meaningful child participation in their processes and reports, always applying child safeguarding policies and procedures. In addition, child-friendly and accessible information on these opportunities should be provided to children, including the most marginalized;
  • Include information on the situation of children in relation to their mandate in their reports or submissions to the UPR.

Participation and contributions of UPR info to this process

The UPR is a strong tool that can be used to defend children's rights and contribute to the recognition of “child human rights defenders” (CHRDs). In the last years, UPR Info has been encouraging more and more States, CSOs, and NHRIs to mainstream child rights in the UPR process. More recently, on 5th September 2022, UPR Info participated to briefing on Child Human Rights Defenders (CHRDs) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), organized by Child Rights Connect. On this occasion, Laura Sinner, UPR Info’s Programme Officer, contributed to the experts' exchanges on why and how UN Member States can formulate UPR recommendations on CHRDs.  UPR recommendations can positively contribute to their recognition, protection, and empowerment at the national level.

There is a huge lack of child-friendly information on human rights mechanisms in general and the UPR is no exception (…)”, Laura Sinner, UPR Info.

To respond to this gap, UPR Info together with Child Rights Connect, developed a guide entitled "The UPR and Me" in December 2020. Child Human Rights defenders are also encouraged to participate in the Pre-sessions which is an advocacy platform organized by UPR Info that allows CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) and NHRIs (National Human Rights Institutions) to discuss the human rights situation in their country before the Review.