19th January 2009

Children’s rights have gained greater global visibility through the almost universal ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Treaty bodies for other international and regional instruments, which cover the rights of “everyone”, including children, are giving increasing attention to children’s rights. In the same vein, human rights mechanisms, including regional ones such as the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee of Social Rights and the Inter-American Commission and Court, have become more sensitive to children’s rights.

With this increasing visibility comes the recognition that children in every country of the world suffer widespread and often severe breaches of the full range of their rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural. In many cases, children do not have adequate or realistic remedies for breaches of their rights at national level. Seeking remedy through international and regional human rights mechanisms, though on the increase, is not well-developed. International justice for children discusses the principles of child-friendly justice at international level and examines monitoring mechanisms and current systems of admissibility, determining how easy or difficult it is for children to gain access to them.

This publication also identifies the obstacles to be overcome and proposes concrete ways to remove them through specific recommendations to governments, international organisations and monitoring bodies. This work is a solid contribution to making international justice accessible, friendly and meaningful to children, thus ensuring that children’s rights safeguarded by conventions are concrete and not just theoretical.

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Author: rmchristen