- What is the Child Rights Information Network?
- How can I participate in the network?
- What are the benefits of CRIN membership?
- How can I become a CRIN member?
- Does CRIN provide financial or material help?
- How can I work/volunteer for CRIN?
- How do I look for a publication or an event?
- How can I contact other organisations?
- Where can I find information on a specific theme?
- How can I obtain general information on child rights?
- What are child rights?
- What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
- How does it work?
- Can NGOs get involved?
- How do NGOs participate?
- What is the Special Session?
- What is the status of child rights law in the US?
- How can I get help?
The Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) is an independent, non-religious, non-political forum committed to facilitating information exchange between child rights professionals in different parts of the world. CRIN aims to collect and disseminate information on child rights in order to promote the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the unique treaty encapsulating the human rights of children. By providing a central 'clearinghouse' for such information and by making information available in a variety of formats and media, CRIN seeks to empower the child rights community and to accelerate the implementation of the CRC. CRIN has a membership of over 1,500 organisations in over 130 countries. About 84 per cent of our members are NGOs; and 60 per cent are in the South (including over a quarter each in Africa and Asia). Providing greater access to information to members with limited electronic resources is a key part of our current strategy. [more information]
Anyone with an interest in child rights is welcome to participate in the network. The success of CRIN is owed to the countless organisations and individuals that work with us to share information on child rights. There are many ways you can participate in the network. For example:
- Submit news to CRIN; both about your activities and other news that you think would be of interest to CRIN members. Contact us by email, telephone or fax. Kindly include contact details and website links (where available), so that you can be contacted for further information. We are interested in: news releases and relevant news coverage, details of upcoming events, campaigns, conferences, courses, abstracts of publications, books, reports, annual reports and working papers. We also disseminate information about relevant job vacancies you may have.
- Seek support from the network: you can include items in CRINMAIL such as
request for information, assistance for research, a search for case studies,
call for submissions of papers, etc.
- Subscribe to CRIN's email list services - it only takes a minute: CRINMAIL has an open subscription policy, which means that anyone can subscribe to the services and receive the emails. Click here to subscribe or read our archives.
The information managed by CRIN is accessible to all, but CRIN members enjoy some special benefits:
- Website: Once your organisation becomes a member, we place information about your organisation on an individual webpage in our online membership database, and create another page devoted to your publications. This enables child rights experts who visit our website to learn about your organisation and its activities, and to contact you.
- CRINMAIL: members' proposals for CRINMAILs are given the priority over non-members' submissions.
- Receive CRIN Annual Report
- Feature in CRIN's Members' directory
- Members' news: members can post some of their current information (news, reports, opinion pieces...) on the CRIN website through the CRIN co-ordinating staff.
Please note that the benefits of CRIN membership are purely in terms of information services and, because of our size and budget, CRIN regrets that it is unable to provide members with any of the following:
- Financial or material assistance
- Project partnerships
- References or accreditation
CRIN's membership policy requires that an organisation:
- is involved in child rights activities
- supports the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- is committed to sharing information
If you wish to apply for CRIN membership, please fill in an application form and send it to us along with any recent reports or brochures published by your organisation, which ascertain that you are actively involved in promoting children's rights. Application forms are available in English, French and Spanish.
CRIN is not a funding organisation, it is an information forum. We are therefore unable to provide any financial or material assistance to other organisations. You may wish to search through our directory of CRIN members for organisations in your country whose mandate include funding other organisations. For information about fundraising and donor agencies, you may want to refer to the following:Taking It Global provides a list of 200 foundations and fundraising coalitions worldwide British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND) provide latest useful information about funding and a guide to funding sources for NGOs.
Job vacancies with the Child Rights Information Network do not occur very often. At present CRIN is a small team based in London, UK, and does not employ staff overseas. When vacancies do come up they are advertised on the Save the Children website. Volunteer: CRIN does not have an internship programme as such, but we do work with volunteers. Volunteers come in regularly to help the CRIN co-ordinating team with various tasks, including: administrative support, research and editing of email bulletins, website maintenance, translations, etc. Volunteer posts are unpaid, but travel within London and lunch expenses will be covered. If you are a student in law, development, languages or any relevant field, live in London, and can commit to working one to two days a week for a minimum of three months, email your CV, and we will acknowledge your expression of interest and let you know as soon as a position becomes available.
To look for publications and events on child rights issues, go to CRIN's publications catalogue or CRIN's events calendar and search by keyword, country, language or information type. CRIN does not publish/organise these reports/events but advertises them on its website for other child rights organisations. Therefore, we do not hold hard copies of publications. If you wish to know more about any of the publications or events, use the contact details provided on the relevant page to contact the publishers or organisers directly.
CRIN has a membership of over 1,500 organisations in over 130 countries. About 84 per cent of our members are NGOs; and 60 per cent are in the South. All their contact details are on the CRIN website, in our Directory of child rights organisations. To look for specific child rights organisations worldwide, go to the directory, and search by keyword, country, theme or mandate. The Directory is also available in hard copy on request.
To help organisations and students to find more specific information, CRIN has a number of thematic desks on its website. These should help you locate information more easily. Such themes include: armed conflict - child labour - disability - discrimination - education - health - HIV/AIDS - juvenile justice - sexual exploitation, etc. To research specific issues regarding child rights, use CRIN's theme desks on the homepage [or top of page, left-hand side], and view all news, events and publications available on these theme.
- CRINMAILs: CRIN manages several email lists on various child rights issues in English, French and Spanish. You can subscribe to any of these email lists and unsubscribe at any time. Archives of CRINMAIL issues are also available from CRIN website.
- CRIN Newsletter: CRIN newsletters are published every year in English, French and Spanish. All issues are available in pdf format on the website, but you can also receive hard copies of old and new issues by entering our Newsletter mailing list. If you want to receive a hard copy, just let us know by email.
- CRIN's Links: the News part of the CRIN website offers links to many child rights related email lists and news websites from other organisations working in the field.
Human rights are things that the governments of the world have agreed that all people have because they are human beings. They include the right to be treated fairly, to have your dignity as a person respected and the right not to be treated differently because of your ethnic origin or sex. Governments have agreed that they will defend people's rights and do their best to help people enjoy their rights in their everyday lives.The governments have also agreed that children should have their own special set of rights because of children's special needs and vulnerabilities. So Children's Rights are the human rights that all human beings aged 0-18 are entitled to through the universal approval of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These rights include the right of children to live with their parents, to have their voices heard on issues that affect them, to be protected during wars and not to be exploited or abused.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a United Nations treaty that sets out the basic human rights that children everywhere - without discrimination - have. It was drawn up in 1989 and came into force in 1990. There are 54 articles in the Convention that spell out the rights that all children under the age of 18. A convention is an agreement between countries to obey the same laws. In order for such a convention to be applicable in a given country, governments have to ratify a convention. So far, every country in the world has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, apart from the United States and Somalia. [Read more]
The CRC is one of seven UN human rights 'treaty-based mechanisms'. Each treaty
has a body of experts, referred to as a Committee, that monitors the implementation
of each treaty [more info].
Once a country has ratified the CRC, it has to report to the Committee on the
Rights of the Child within two years, explaining how they have incorporated children's
rights into their activities (eg, laws, policies, and actions). After this initial
report, countries, known as 'States parties' have to submit further reports every
five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and
recommendations to the State party in the form of 'concluding observations'.
General Comments: The Committee on the Rights of the Child publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, in the form of General Comments on thematic issues. These general comments are based on specific articles, provisions and themes of the Convention, and aim to assist the States parties in fulfilling their obligations under the Convention.
General Day of Discussion: Once a year, during its third annual session, the Committee organises a day of discussion aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as they relate to a specific issue or theme. The Discussion day is a public meeting, open to Government representatives, individual experts, United Nations bodies and specialised agencies, as well as members of civil society. For more information, visit the website of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Increasingly, NGOs and other civil society organisations use the CRC as a framework for their activities, which means that their activities will ensure that children's rights are achieved. Furthermore, the Convention on the Rights of the Child differs from the other six treaties because it is the only one that specifically requests the input and participation of non-governmental organisations in the monitoring and implementation of the CRC. [Article 45]
NOGs and other civil society organisations are therefore invited and encouraged to submit information to the Committee, giving their opinions about how a State Party has implemented the CRC. NGOs and NGO Coalitions can also produce 'Alternative reports', 'NGO reports' or 'shadow reports'. These reports are very useful for the Committee on the Rights of the Child when examining states parties reports. They enable the Committee to hear different views, and not just those of a government which might want to ignore reporting on areas where it has not fulfilled its obligations. This reporting process is supported by the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to hold a Special Session on Children - a meeting dedicated to the children and adolescents of the world bringing together heads of state, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), children's advocates and young people. The Special Session was helo on 8-10 May 2002, and was attended by thousands of delegates, including NGOs, children, government representatives, etc. The aim of the Special Session was to review the achievements in the implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted at the 1990 World Summit for Children, and to make a renewed commitment and a pledge for action for children in the next decade. The outcome document of the Special Session, 'A World Fit for Children', includes a Declaration and a Plan of Action to realise children's rights and improve child well being over the next ten years. [More information]
The United States is one of only two countries that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the child, the other one being Somalia. Why is this? The United States has ratified almost every other UN human rights treaty (status of ratification), however it has not ratified the CRC. Reasons for this can be subject to interpretation. Opposition to the CRC is very politicised, and opponents to it have made unsubstantiated claims saying that the UN would encourage children to sue their parents or have abortions, or it would dictate parents how to raise their children, etc. Other concerns include capital punishment for minors, where individual states have the power to execute a person convicted of a crime committed while under the age of 18. Article 37 of the CRC explicitly prohibits this. For more detailed information about the status of child rights in the US, visit the website of UNICEF USA.
Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is no procedure for individual complaints, this means that an individual cannot go to the Committee on the Rights of the Child to lodge an official complaint, however child rights issues may be raised by other committees with competence to consider individual complaints. Therefore, the best way to seek help, is to refer to your country's laws. Alternatively, you can contact organisations that work on human rights issues for advice. CRIN has details of over 1,500 organisations that work on children's issues, and you may wish to contact ones that are in your country, visit our Directory of child rights organisations.