Using your national court system to challenge a children right’s violation can be the most direct way to access justice. Courts have legal ways to stop violations, prevent them from happening again, and give victims remedies such as compensation. But it can also be a very stressful, long and expensive process.

The first step to getting justice for children's rights violations is usually the national system. Most international mechanisms require the exhaustion of domestic remedies first, and decisions by national courts and bodies are usually directly enforceable, meaning you are more likely to actually get the remedy that you need in the national system. But if your national system hasn’t helped you get justice, you can find out about the regional and international options available to you.

Tools to help you get your day in court 

Our guides section contains a legal guide on children, the law and legal systems so you can find out if going to court is the right option for you and how to go about doing it.

The aim of our “access to justice for children” project is to have a report for every country in the world on how the national system views children, whether it recognises the Convention on the Rights of the Child and how, and what domestic avenues are available for victims to seek justice for violations, including going to court.

You can find out how your national courts have handled children’s violations in the past by searching our children’s rights case law database. It houses our CRC in Court database, which tracks court cases around the world in which the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been used, as well as cases that focus on children’s rights issues generally. We then publish plain language summaries and analysis of what each case means for children’s rights.

Traditional forms of advocacy - protests, media campaigns, letter writing etc - haven’t done enough to advance children’s rights. So CRIN encourages the use of harder forms of advocacy - including legal advocacy. Using the national legal system to complain about children’s rights violations is a type of legal advocacy. For more information, see our legal advocacy page.