Challenges and opportunities to reinforce children’s rights through the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda

Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child, 18th session of the HRC, March the 6th

The reinforcement of the 2030 SDGs Agenda provides a system of follow up and accountability checks, even though there are still some difficulties between the States and not everyone has submitted the national plan for the implementation. According to Mr. Rodolfo Succar, Defensoría de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes de la Provincia de Santa Fe- Argentina, change is still possible because it depends on the application of laws. Public policies for children, monitoring of the mass media as opinion makers and monitoring of the juvinile criminal system can be a social investment made to be by States to keep the situation under control, gather data and plan the interventions. The gathering of data is, in fact, necessary to analyse the context and the individuals’ history, to create a matrix for the prevention and monitoring of future situations. It has to be kept in mind that not always the answer is the one anticipated but the system allows ridefinition and filling in the gaps.

In any case, the participation of the children is considered fundamental for the good realization of the SDGs, from the enjoyment of rights to the consideration of the child as an actor of the change as suggested in the 2030 Agenda. This tool is considered by Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization and Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, as a path for prevention and protection from violence against children. The 2030 Agenda is considered by the panelists as a roadmap for the creation of an historical breakthrough in the protection of children. What is necessary is a strong leadership able to promote sustainable development in every situation and in each country, through the promotion of participation. A strong accountability is the basis for the measurement of the national reviews and implementation, together with data gathering that is still lacking in this area.

Furthermore, the participation of children as agents of the change is one of the funding principle of the Agenda. Informing, forming and mobilizing citizens, in Ms. Marie-Chantal Coulibaly, Citizen Voice and Action Coordinator, World Vision Mali, is in fact the final purpose and tool of the 2030 Agenda. If the citizens are not informed of the rights they detain or the instruments they can appeal to there will be no empowerment and no dialogue.

The interventions of all the single States and NGOs suggest a general commitment to the SDGs with some questions on the good practice raised by some countries. The issue of the implementation of the SDGs in developed countries or areas afflicted by conflict was raised by different representatives and the help of the developed countries was asked, in terms of sponsoring rights and donations to sustain the programs in action. Some States furthered the question of the most untouched issues as child pornography or poverty, child marriages and abuses, conflicts, health access, malnutrition, both in developing and in developed countries. With the support of NGOs, the general attitude is towards the embracement of the 2030 Agenda and promotion of effective ameliorations.

The panelists suggest the commitment of the States in raising verifiable and comparable data to allow the organizations to create ad hoc projects. Furthermore, the investment of the government in the key areas of education and empowerment is stressed and, most of all, the necessity to build a dialogue between the children and the governments. A safe environment in which children can learn, discuss, dialogue, grow and rethink the projects addressing the issues most concerning as poverty, education, bulling, family and the spaces in the city. The best interest of the child and their integral growth should be always the compass regulating the actions of the States.

A strong legal framework is certainly necessary but it is not sufficient, there must be monitoring mechanisms that continuously investigate new paths and fill in the gaps.

In conclusion, cooperation is certainly necessary, political will and action are at the core of the improvements, together with the coordination between national and international instruments. The definition of clear language, data gathering and mobilization of the civil society are fundamental. From the 44 Reports expected from the States no direct reference was made to children. This is symptomatic, according to Ms. Santos Pais, of a reality not focused on the children’s rights nor interested in their opinion. The situation must change, efforts need to be made not only in the creation of a strong and effective legal system, with monitoring mechanisms and verifiable activities, but also in the practical application of the 2030 Agenda.

Beatrice Bilotti


15.00 18.00
18th meeting
Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child

Challenges and opportunities to reinforce children’s rights through the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda

  Chair: H.E. Mr. Amr Ramadan, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council

Moderator: H.E. Mr. Peter Sørensen, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva


•          Mr. Rodolfo Succar, Defensoría de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes de la Provincia de Santa Fe, Argentina

•          Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization

•          Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children

•          Ms. Marie-Chantal Coulibaly, Citizen Voice and Action Coordinator, World Vision Mali

A/HRC/34/RES/7/29, A/HRC/34/RES/31/7, A/HRC/34/NI/9, A/HRC/34/NGO/8, A/HRC/34/NGO/39, A/HRC/34/NGO/113, A/HRC/34/NGO/160


How human resources services can empower jobseekers with disabilities – Side event March the 17 th , Permanent Mission of Austria

People with disabilities represent a significant group in our society and a big potential not fully realized. As reminded by H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi, Permanent representative of Austria to the UN in Geneva, there are all types of barriers hindering the full enjoyment of a normal life, may them be physical, economical, social, or obstacles to health services, access to education, employment full time. The reasons of this marginalization may be different, from the weak voice people with disabilities have in the political process, to the lack of comparable data on labor market participation that limits the interventions. On the bright side, polices of inclusiveness are developing, Austria and other countries have laws binding companies to employ one person with disability every 25 employees. Most of the time though the companies prefer to pay the sanction instead of complying with the quota.

The testimony of Fernanda Almeida, President of the National Federation of Persons with Autism from Brazil and member of RIADIS, stressed the difficulty for employers to see beyond the appearances. For her, as for Matthieu Chatelin, Cerebral Palsy European Community’s Association and Youth leader of the European Disability Forum, a good CV is not sufficient. There are numerous barriers to overcome, from the initial demonstration that they are capable of doing their job to the adjustment in terms of space. Some employers do not consider how easy it can be to overcome structural barriers because they just focus on what they cannot do.

Education is highlighted by all the panelist as the most important tool to overcome the difficulties, as instrument that can guarantee a future within the society. It is a responsibility of the States to assure accessibility to education, training and employment, but usually it is not guaranteed. The isolated condition in which the State leaves people with disabilities, may it be a direct or indirect result, is an alarm for the civil society organizations that work hard to give fair chances to people with disabilities.

Ms. Virginia Carcedo Illera, CEO and General manager of Incerta empleo, showed the effort and work realized by Incerta during the years of its existence. Working for university and employment accessibility and inserting over 200 thousand people with disabilities in its database. With a system based on ICF skill oriented approach, they connect people to the companies, focusing on the capabilities and compatibility with the firm.

On the same issue, Zero Project, as an international initiative founded by the Austrian ESSL foundation, monitors the application of the CRPD and identifies effective solutions and promotes knowledge exchange. The data resulted from the 2017 research showed, as already presented by the other panelists, that the laws existing are not in use and often there is no data on the condition of labor and education accessibility of people with disabilities. These deficiencies of the States show the marginal role given to the issue and the lack of interest in changing the existing situation.

Lorena Homar, Olympic Swimmer

In conclusion, the panelists stressed the importance of a fair and equal access to education, apprenticeship and employment. To be treated as equally capable of doing a job and equally in need of living the world and relating with people is the most important thing the civil society and the companies, the governments and the employer could do. The relegation doesn’t help neither the person with disabilities nor the State, because it would miss the potentialities of its own citizens.


Beatrice Bilotti

Human Rights Council: Third Phase of World Program of Human Rights Education

We would like, first of all, to thank the Member States, and particularly the Platform for Human Rights Education and Training[2], for their participation in the high-level panel discussion that took place in September on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. The World Programme for Human Rights Education is an essential tool for implementing the UN Declaration, by providing a concrete framework for action and by strengthening partnerships and cooperation at all levels.

We are in the Third Phase of the World Programme (2015-2019)[3], which aims to promote social inclusion of marginalised groups; foster interreligious and intercultural dialogue; and combat stereotypes and violence, with a particular emphasis on the role of journalists and other media professionals.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recently invited all Member States and National Human Rights Institutions to submit information on national implementation of the third phase of the World Programme. We urge all Member States to contribute their national feedback, due on 18 April.

Human rights education is a sustainable approach to dressages the root causes of any human rights violations, concerning all people, and is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Human Rights Education requires the involvement of all relevant actors, including the participation of civil society at all stages of the policy-making processes.

In this spirit, the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning is co-organizing an exhibition on Human Rights Education with SGI and HRE2020[4], with thanks to the OHCHR. You are most welcome to visit.

Claire de Lavernette

[1] This statement reflects views of NGOs expressed in the discussions of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning of the NGO Human Rights Committee of Conference of NGOs (CoNGO).
[2] Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal, Slovenia, Switzerland and Thailand
[3] A/HRC/27/28 (4 August 2014), “Plan of Action for the third phase (2015–2019) of the World Programme for Human Rights Education”.
[4] Global Coalition for Human Rights Education,



Presentación del informe del Alto Comisionado de Derechos Humanos sobre los desarrollos en derechos humanos:

El Alto Comisionado de Derechos Humanos presentó su informe anual el pasado 8 de marzo, celebración del Día Internacional de la Mujer, durante el Consejo de Derechos Humanos. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein señaló como los derechos de la mujer han aumentado en todo el mundo especialmente el derecho a la educación, al trabajo y el voto.

El informe presentó las tendencias negativas en varios países contrarias a los derechos humanos, entre ellas la creciente crisis de los refugiados y el incremento de la violencia extrema y los grupos terroristas. Citó igualmente  situaciones alarmantes en lo relativo a los derechos humanos en varios países como la escalada de operaciones violentas contra las minorías Rohingya en Myanmar que se han materializado en matanzas masivas, incluidas  de niños y mujeres, así como el abandono del país de miles de refugiados. Otro episodio de gran brutalidad contra los derecho humanos es la campaña  anti-droga llevada a cabo por el gobierne de Duterte, que ya se ha cobrado más de 7000 muertes.   El informe menciona poco el derecho a la educación y los derechos económicos sociales, económicos y culturales.

No todo son malas noticias en el informe. Una buena noticia señalada por el Alto Comisionado son los esfuerzos realizados por el gobierno chino en los últimos 30 años para mejorar el sistema de salud pública, la educación de calidad y la protección de la gente mayor.

Para ver las reacciones por parte de las misiones diplomáticas se puede revisar aquí:

Para leer el informe entero clica aquí:


Ignasi Grau

Transforming lives: The power of human rights education

This is the title of a beautiful exhibition on human rights education, which was launched on 6 March and which is taking place until 17 March at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, in parallel to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council. You are all welcome to visit!
The exhibition reiterates the vital role of human rights education and training in the promotion of dignity, equality and peace and in the prevention of human rights violations and abuses. It examines what human rights education is, and its impact on the increasingly challenging world in which we live. It also offers inspiration and hope for individuals to engage and take action.
This exhibition is co-organized by the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education chaired by OIDEL, together with Soka Gakkai International and HRE 2020, Global Coalition for Human Rights Education.
Claire de Lavernette



L’autonomie des écoles et la liberté d’enseignement

Beaucoup d’États ayant procédé à de profondes mutations de leur système éducatif l’ont fait dans le sens d’une plus grande responsabilisation des acteurs de l’éducation et d’une diminution des pouvoirs d’intervention de l’État central.

Cette tendance se fait d’abord au sein même de l’école publique. Le degré des décentralisations et d’octroi d’autonomie varie d’une simple orientation générale, comme en France, jusqu’à un radical transfert des pouvoirs décisionnels de l’État central vers les autorités locales et les chefs d’établissement, au Danemark ou en Finlande par exemple.

Cette décentralisation a aussi pour effet de conférer aux parents d’élèves de plus larges possibilités de choix. Quelles sont les raisons d’une telle évolution, sachant que subsiste, dans la très grande majorité des pays, une volonté farouche de contrôler la prestation éducative à un niveau national? Nous identifions quatre raisons : 1) la pression des  normes  internationales, 2) l’impératif de la qualité, 3) la question de la gouvernance et 4) l’émergence de la société civile.

1). Les dispositions des instruments internationaux relatifs au droit à l’éducation constituent sans doute un élément de réponse. Ils établissent clairement le droit des parents d’être reconnus comme les premiers responsables de l’éducation de leurs enfants ainsi que leur droit de choisir le type d’établissement scolaire en fonction de leurs options philosophiques ou religieuses, les critères ayant été heureusement étendus aux choix pédagogiques par la Charte européenne des droits fondamentaux

Cette perspective conduit nécessairement les États à adapter leur législation interne dans le sens d’une responsabilisation des acteurs de l’éducation, essentiellement ici les parents d’élèves. Les mêmes instruments internationaux, nous l’avons vu, situent clairement les objectifs de l’éducation au niveau de l’épanouissement personnel des potentialités de chaque élève.

2). Dans la plupart des pays se pose de manière brûlante la question de la qualité et de l’efficacité pédagogique et éducative de l’école. Les nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication, et bien d’autres facteurs ne sont que difficilement pris en compte dans l’évolution des systèmes scolaires qui peinent à  suivre le rythme

Par ailleurs, il est une autre réalité toujours davantage prise en compte aujourd’hui : la nécessité pour l’école de former des « citoyens » à part entière. Tout le monde s’accorde aujourd’hui sur le fait qu’une telle formation théorique ne peut déployer ses effets démocratiques que dans un contexte où la participation et la responsabilité personnelles sont valorisées.

L’efficacité pédagogique et éducative de l’école indépendante, tant au plan de sa capacité d’adaptation aux besoins pédagogiques nouveaux qu’à celui de l’éducation personnelle, est généralement reconnue. Sur le terrain scolaire, le secteur indépendant constitue souvent un « laboratoire » expérimental et innovateur dont profite l’école publique.

3). Outre les problèmes pédagogiques évoqués, les systèmes nationaux d’éducation se trouvent confrontés à des difficultés de gouvernance. Pour reprendre une expression célèbre en France il y a quelques années, les systèmes d’éducation publique deviennent toujours davantage des « mammouths » qu’il s’agit de dégraisser ; l’efficacité de ce régime amaigrissant passe nécessairement par une répartition plus judicieuse des responsabilités. Comme le dit M. Toulemonde dans son ouvrage Et si on tuait le mammouth paru la semaine dernière en France : “Il n’est plus temps de tenter d’agiliser le mammouth… Enterrons-le sans fleurs ni couronnes et engageons-nous dans les voies explorées non seulement par nos voisins mais en France même par l’enseignement supérieur… Donnons l’essentiel du pouvoir aux acteurs locaux par la décentralisation, la déconcentration, l’autonomie des établissements“.

4). Enfin, et c’est peut-être le facteur le plus important, cette évolution des législations éducatives s’inscrit dans le contexte du développement de la société civile. La discussion autour du bipôle classique « public-privé » tend à céder le pas à une réflexion sur la participation et la responsabilité des acteurs issus de la société civile, et ce dans tous les domaines, bien au-delà de la seule question scolaire.

Au-delà des querelles opposant les défenseurs des diverses conceptions de cette société civile et de son champ d’autonomie, on s’accorde généralement à reconnaître que cette société civile, lorsqu’elle agit dans des activités dites « publiques », ne peut être simplement comprise dans les catégories opposant ce qui relève de l’«officiel», de l’«étatique» ou du « gouvernemental » d’une part au « privé » d’autre part.

Trois principes

1. L’État n’intervient pas dans les choix pédagogiques des établissements, sinon pour veiller à la mise en place d’un cadre d’équité et de responsabilité général. Si l’on raisonne à partir du principe de subsidiarité, les parents deviennent manifestement incapables d’assurer seuls le financement de l’école.

2. Les parents et les enseignants sont considérés comme des acteurs responsables de l’enseignement. Cette « confiance » dans le citoyen est un fondement de la démocratie .Le monopole éducatif de l’État repose souvent sur une méfiance explicite ou implicite envers les parents et les enseignants, auxquels le droit – et le devoir – de participation effective aux décisions et aux responsabilités est ainsi nié.

3. Les pouvoirs publics agissent de telle manière que les établissements scolaires puissent, de manière autonome, offrir une prestation pédagogique réellement pluraliste. Ils veillent à la transparence et à la véracité de l’information fournie par les prestataires et mettent en œuvre un système de financement non discriminatoire permettant aux parents de choisir entre divers établissements scolaires.


A. Fernandez et I. Grau