The paper offers practical opportunities and recommendations for organisations to advocate for improved protection of Indigenous children's rights at both the international and domestic level.
Indigenous children around the world continue to face significant challenges in exercising their rights. They often experience major violations of their human rights on multiple levels – as children, as members of Indigenous communities and as impoverished people. This invisibility is apparent in the Indigenous rights space both locally and internationally.
This paper introduces key human rights instruments relevant to Indigenous children: the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration). The paper highlights some key successes and strengths of the CRC in its first 20 years, and the strong complementarities between the CRC and the Declaration, as important and tangible lessons and opportunities for advancing Indigenous children rights.
The paper offers practical opportunities and recommendations for organisations to advocate for improved protection of Indigenous children’s rights at both the international and domestic level. Some of these opportunities include:
- The Third Optional Protocol to the CRC, which will enable children and their representatives whose rights have been violated and who have no redress for these violations to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and have their case heard
- The CRC General Comment No. 11 which sets out how the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child apply specifically to Indigenous children
- Establishing and strengthening national institutions, such as Children’s Commissioners
- Raising the profile of Indigenous children in international forums
- Periodic reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the child