Children‘s voices heard at the UN Day of General Discussion

Konstantinos represented the Eurochild Children’s Council at the UN.

A historical event took place in the United Nations Palais in Geneva on 28 September, where around 80 children from across the world met with a few hundred adults on the Day of the General Discussion to discuss the topic of children as human rights defenders. 

The Day of General Discussion (DGD) is held every other year by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and focused on a specific article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) or a related subject. Child Rights Connect managed the day this year, after their proposal to focus on “Protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders” and including children not only as participants, but as contributors to the day, won an open call for the event last year. 

Eurochild supported this project by informing and helping our members get involved. Eurochild also took part in Child Rights Connect's DGD Strategic Task Force, their Child Participation Team, and we supported them in their work with the Children‘s Advisory Group and other child participants at the event. 

More importantly, the Eurochild Children's Council (ECC) was represented in the Children's Advisory Group for the event. Konstantinos, a 16-year old member of the ECC, from Greece (invited by Smile of the Child NGO), worked with a team of 19 other children and young people from across the globe since the beginning of this year, to help prepare the event. 

Konstantinos represented Eurochild Children's Council at the event itself in Geneva on 28 September. He took the stage and spoke in a panel discussion on Child-led initiatives & online protection. He explained why he setup his platform Teens4Greece

Several high-level individuals attended the day, and in addition to some remarkable children from different backgrounds, panelists included Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights; Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders; Regina Jensdottir, Head of the Children's Rights Division of the Council of Europe; Catalina Devandas Aguillar, UN Special Rapporteur on persons with disabilities; and Genevieve Avenard, French Children’s Ombudsperson & Chair of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC), to name a few.

For more information about the UN Day of General Discussion, please follow this link to Child Right Connect‘s website on the event, or follow the #DGD2018 on Twitter. 

You can find further background information here