The rights of children
Children and youth require special protection
Poverty, violence and growing inequality have a negative impact on the rights of young people. terre des hommes schweiz advocates for the protection of children’s rights worldwide. Our work revolves around the right to health and access to education. terre des hommes schweiz campaigns against all kinds of violence against children and youth.
terre des hommes schweiz’s work is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) from 1989. No international human rights convention has been signed by as many countries as the CRC. Switzerland ratified it over 20 years ago. All the terre des hommes schweiz project countries are also signatories. The USA is the only country not on board. This widespread international support reflects the fact that children and youth need special legal protection and that their rights require special consideration.
Taking the special needs of children into account
The international consensus on this issue makes the Convention on the Rights of the Child an important tool in terre des hommes schweiz’s collaboration with national and local governments. Both here in Switzerland and in the project countries. terre des hommes schweiz is currently campaigning for young asylum seekers and refugees in Switzerland and in our project countries to be treated first and foremost as children and to be granted their rights as per the CRC. In particular, they must be given access to education, health services and leisure activities that meet their specific needs.
Holding governments to account
Through its work based on human rights and the rights of children, terre des hommes schweiz helps its partner organisations to hold their governments to account and ensure they defend the rights of children and youth in other areas as well. For example, in Tanzania the state recently prohibited pregnant girls from attending school. terre des hommes schweiz is calling for access to school education for all girls – even when they are pregnant or have children.
Through its developmental policy work in Switzerland, terre des hommes schweiz calls for Swiss politicians as well as companies and associations based in Switzerland to respect the rights of children and youth in their international activities.