Access to justice: challenging violations of children's rights

Access to justice is a human right, but it is also what makes other human rights a reality. For children’s rights to be more than a promise, there must be a way for those rights to be enforced.

Access to justice for children means that children, or their appropriate advocates where applicable, must be able to use and trust the legal system to protect their human rights. The legal system must provide children the means to obtain a quick, effective and fair response to protect their rights; the means to prevent and solve disputes; mechanisms to control the abuse of power; and all of this must be available through a transparent, efficient, accountable and affordable process. The importance of access to justice applies equally to children and adults, yet children’s rights in this area have long been neglected and ignored.

Our report, Rights, Remedies and Representation: A global report on access to justice for children, analyses the ways that the countries of the world have grappled with these issues. We have documented the good, the bad, the effective, the ineffective, the radical and the revolutionary ways that children can access justice around the world. The report also ranks the countries of the world on how they provide access to justice for children and provides a “Eutopian report” showing how their legal systems have realised this right.

With the support of hundreds of lawyers and NGOs around the world, we have also published a report for every country on earth, setting out the status of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in national law; how the law treats children involved in legal proceedings; the legal means available to challenge violations of children’s rights; and the practical considerations when challenging violations using the legal system.


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