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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the rapid development of independent human rights institutions for children, or children’s rights commissioners, since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989. It sets out the case for the establishment of such bodies that are dedicated to promoting and monitoring the realization of children’s rights, particularly in the context of the increasingly challenging and hostile global political climate. The chapter then elaborates the core features of these institutions, including the imperative for a legislative mandate, independence, powers to investigate complaints, outreach, and meaningful engagement and participation with children. The chapter is illustrated with examples from institutions across the world and highlights some suggested approaches to strengthening their scope and impact.

Keywords: children’s rights commissioners, independence, complaints, investigations, outreach, participation, children’s rights

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