Traditional forms of campaigning for children’s rights have not done enough. The children’s rights community needs to start using stronger forms, such as legal advocacy, to advance children’s rights. By legal advocacy we mean using the law to address children’s rights violations. It could be that a law itself actually breaches children’s rights (eg laws allowing parents to physically punish their children) or there could be a gap in the law.
We need to get the law right first. Only then will children be able to enjoy all their human rights.
Legal advocacy workshop programme
To promote the use of legal advocacy around the world, we have started a programme of workshops where legal and non-legal children’s rights advocates meet to discuss and devise legal advocacy strategies for advancing children’s rights.
At these events, campaigners address recurring and persistent violations of children's rights in their country or region. Through supported and organised discussion, they examine the options for challenging these violations, identify the legal blockages to improving the situation and create a concrete plan of action for taking legal advocacy forward.
To date, we have held four such workshops. The first of these, a national workshop in Turkey during October 2011, focussed inter alia on corporal punishment and children’s economic and social rights. It has since seen great successes in the follow-up work of its participants who have received funding to continue the work on the plans developed during the workshop. This was followed by a regional workshop in Nepal in May 2013 with participants from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh which focussed inter alia on juvenile justice and trafficking of children. In January 2015, our workshop took place in Tanzania and participants from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya discussed a range of regional persistent violations of children’s rights, including issues such as privatisation of education and ritual killings of children with albinism. In May 2015 we held our latest workshop in Ukraine, where national advocates for children's rights have discussed issues of children with disabilities and Roma children as well as violence against children and their access to justice. We are planning to run similar workshops in other countries and regions.
We believe in working openly and freely sharing resources. Based on our experiences and resources from running these workshops, our plan is to produce a global legal advocacy guide along with a toolkit in which each country workshop will feature as case study so other campaigners can run similar workshops without our direct involvement. In the meantime, please refer to our summary toolkit on how to set up your own legal advocacy workshop.
Where can I find out more?
The best place to start is with CRIN's reports from our workshops:
- Report from the Turkey 2011 workshop
- Report from the Nepal 2013 workshop
- Report from the East Africa 2015 workshop
- Report from the Ukraine 2015 workshop
You may also wish to consult CRIN's summary toolkit on how to set up your own legal advocacy workshop.
If you have any further questions, you can make an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org.