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The Movement

Defence for Children International is an independent non-governmental organisation that has been promoting and protecting children’s rights on a global, regional, national and local level for 35 years.

Defence for Children International is represented through its national sections and associated members in 47* countries worldwide, and an International Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Read more about us | See our brochure |View Fact Sheets in EN, FR, ES | Read national sections' stories


Juvenile Justice

Defence for Children International believes that no child belongs behind bars. The deprivation of liberty should be used only as the very last resort in dealing with children in conflict with the law.

During its International General Assembly in 2008, Defence for Children International reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to juvenile justice as its priority issue at the international level.
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Position Statements

As an international human rights organisation, Defence for Children International works to raise awareness about child rights violations and advocate for governments and stakeholders at regional and international levels to take action to implement international child rights standards.

Click below to read Defence for Children International’s position statements on key child rights issues.
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A step in the (human) right direction for children being deprived of liberty worldwide

Campaign AcronymToday, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially requested for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty to be carried out. In its Child Rights Resolution, the UNGA explicitly invites for the commission of “an in-depth global study on children deprived of liberty”. This marks the success of the campaign calling for such Study and the commencement of its concrete implementation.
Defence for Children International (DCI) is proud to announce the success of its campaign calling for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, which was officially launched in March of this year, with the support of over sixty non-governmental organisations (NGOs), States and United Nations human rights agencies and experts.

read the full press release in EN | FR | ES | AR

Advocating for the inclusion of violence against children into the UN post-2015 agenda

Post2015AgendaVACDCI as part of the Working Group disseminating the recommendations discussed during the High Level Panel on Violence Against Children, held in September 2014 during the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council
see the Fact Sheet
spread the word using hashtags: #endViolenceAgainstChildren #endVACpost2015 ; #endviolence ; #post2015

Gender Sensitive approach: key to the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Gender and Ebola webFrom the outset of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Defence for Children International - Sierra Leone (DCI-SL) has observed that women and girls are at greater risk of contracting the disease than men and boys. Though the official statistics released to the public are not usually disaggregated by age and sex, these observations have been echoed by UN bodies, humanitarian and human rights organisations monitoring the crisis, as well as health workers. UNICEF in particular has reported that women across the three most affected countries account for 55 to 60 percent of deaths in the epidemic. 
read the full press release
learn more about DCI-Sierra Leone's response to the Ebola virus outbreak

Maa’n for Adala-Together for Justice: Regional Workshop, Cairo (Egypt), 20-22 October 2014

CairoWorkshop Oct14 DCI regional desk for the MENA region (DCI Palestine) in collaboration with the International Secretariat organised a three day workshop in Cairo, Egypt, from the 20th to the 22nd of October to discuss about the strengthening of the relationship with the League of Arab States (LAS). The meeting took place in the amazing premises of the LAS and was officially opened by H.E. Ms. Inas Mekkawy, Minister Plenipotentiary, Head of the Department for Family, Childhood and Women of the LAS.
Eight national sections and associated members from the DCI-MENA region participated to the workshop: Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Yemen, Egypt, Palestine and Sudan, while expert representatives from DCI-Belgium and DCI-The Netherlands actively contributed to the discussion and shared their experience.



Celebrating Achievements & Recognising Challenges

35 Anniversary LogoToday, 5 July 2014, Defence for Children International (DCI) celebrates its 35th anniversary. Founded in 1979, the International Year of the Child, DCI was one of the first international organisations dedicated to a child centred approach and held a historical role as drafter and advocate for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UNCRC. With now a comprehensive legal tool in hand, which codifies in detail the rights of the child, we have much to celebrate…but significant work remains in making these rights a reality.
read the full press release in EN | FR | ES | AR