April 2021

During its 81st session, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the body of independent experts responsible for reviewing progress made by States parties in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, decided to devote its 2020 day of general discussion (“DGD”) to the theme of "Children's Rights and Alternative Care", which was scheduled to take place on 18 September 2020. However, in light of the health risks and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee decided to postpone the DGD to 2021. It will take place over two half days on 16 and 17 September 2021, during the 88th session of the Committee in Geneva. Due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the DGD is expected to be primarily a virtual process with the possibility of some in-person meetings being reviewed at this time. More information will be provided in the next few weeks.

The purpose of General Discussion Days is to foster a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the Convention as they relate to specific articles or topics. Representatives of Governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations human rights mechanisms, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, national human rights institutions, the business sector, as well as individual experts, including children and young people, are welcome to take part.

The UNCRC has launched its call for submissions as part of this global public consultation to help feed into and guide the discussions. The deadline for submissions is 14 June 2021. 

For more information about the background and scope of this DGD, please review the DGD Concept Note.

For more information on how to provide a submission or participate in the process, please review the Guidelines on participation and submissions. Both adults and children are encouraged to contribute to this process!

In addition to written or video submissions, children and young people are also invited to contribute their views and ideas via a separate survey, developed by members of the DGD Child and Youth Advisory Team, in partnership with researchers from the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and a number of civil society organisations. The deadline to complete the survey is 31 May 2021.

Learn more about the survey, the DGD, and how to submit written content or videos for the 2021 DGD below.

Help spread the word about this important consultation!
UNCRC Day of General Discussion on Children's Rights and Alternative Care

This concept note outlines the context, background, relevance, purpose, scope, and objectives of the 2021 Day of General Discussion on the theme of “Children’s Rights and Alternative care”. This document is also available in French and Spanish.

As part of a public consultation to help feed into and guide the discussions at the 2021 Day of General Discussion, all interested stakeholders, whether adults or children, are encouraged to send written submissions to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. This document includes guidelines for participation submission. This document is also available in French and Spanish.

These working methods aim to facilitate and promote the meaningful participation of all children, particularly those in disadvantaged or vulnerable situations, in days of general discussion.

Over the last three months, a team of Children and Young people have worked with researchers from IICRD alongside colleagues from a number of civil society organisations to prepare a survey that looks at what children's rights and alternative care should look like. The group of children and young people involved have self-selected from the Day of General Discussion Child and Youth Advisory Team, representing about 20 countries around the world, to join the research project. Their input and hard work has ensured that there is a survey true to the needs and wishes of care experienced children and young people that will help shape not only the 2021 Day of General Discussion, but hopefully the global conversation on children's rights and alternative care and how it should look well into the future. The survey is now open and the deadline for completion is 31 May 2021.

The Facilitator's Guide outlines the importance of the Children and Young People Survey, how children and young people can participate, and the ethical guidelines for supporting their participation. It has been developed to help guide adult support workers in administering the questionnaire and, if needed, in assisting children and young people to complete it. It also is useful if you want to hold a group discussion beforehand. This facilitator’s guide is designed to help adult support workers prepare for facilitation and to help parents/guardians/carers and/or people who work with children understand what the global consultation is and how the children they care for or work with can be involved.

Newsletter participants, currently 4,441 in total, work on issues related to the care and support of vulnerable children across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. The purpose of the newsletter is to enable members to exchange information on matters of mutual concern. If you would like to share a document, raise a specific issue, request a newsletter subscription, or reach out in any other way to the Network, please send the information to us at contact@bettercarenetwork.org or visit our website at www.bettercarenetwork.org. 

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