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Children and the Human Rights 75 Initiative (Information for Children)

OHCHR and children

What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Seventy-five years ago, at the United Nations, all countries in the world agreed that all human beings are born free and equal, and that they all have the same rights as anyone else. They developed a list of human rights that everyone is entitled to. This document became known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Celebrating 75 years of the Declaration

This year, the UN Human Rights Office celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This campaign was called the Human Rights 75 initiative.

In December 2023, there was an important event where world leaders made commitments (pledges) to improving human rights in their countries, and share ideas for a new vision for the future of human rights. This new vision will help to shape the Summit of the Future in September 2024 and its results. The Summit of the Future is a big meeting where States from all around the world will agree to a new vision for the world.

Children and Human Rights 75

Children are taking action to promote and defend human rights around the world. For example, children are coming together to fight for climate justice, for a healthy environment and for clean water. They are calling for equal rights for all people, schooling for girls, housing for minorities, gender equality, and for spaces that allow young people, older persons and persons with disabilities to participate in public life, and for many other human rights! Yet, children face challenges in realizing their rights.

Engagement with children is a key part of Human Rights 75 initiative because:

  • Children’s voices, experiences, and solutions for the future are important in any discussion or activity on human rights, including Human Rights 75.
  • Children can help spread the word worldwide on why Human Rights 75 is important.
  • Children’s right to participate should be respected in the development of human rights commitments for the future.

Children’s Vision for Human Rights

The children’s vision for human rights results from a consultative process with children around the world as part of the Human Rights 75 Initiative, and reflects children's views on the future of human rights. Read their full vision here.

How were children involved

The UN Human Rights Office developed several activities to reach out to children around the world:

  • Dialogues between children and the UN Human Rights Office
  • Focus group discussion between children and adults working in the UN Human Rights Office
  • Global survey for children to influence the vision for the future of human rights (September 2023) and summary report of children’s views and recommendations
  • Child participation at Vienna (Austria) event in June 2023 and high-level event in Geneva (Switzerland) in December 2023
  • Regional dialogues : Engage in the 5 regional dialogues organised by OHCHR in September-October 2023. You can find out more here!
  • Check out the HR 75 page for more information!

Members of the Children's Advisory Team of Child Rights Connect worked with the UN Human Rights Office and Child Rights Connect throughout 2023 to develop child-friendly materials to promote the Human Rights 75 Initiative and build children’s capacity to engage with the Initiative.

For example, you can check out child-friendly resources, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and an information sheet on the UN Human Rights Office and the High Commissioner, developed by the Child Advisors.

Important dates

January 2023

Launch of Human Rights 75

5-6 June 2023

Vienna high-level symposium and Youth and Child Human Rights Defender Conference

September – October 2023

Children’s survey to inform the High Commissioner’s vision statement on the future of human rights

Children’s analysis of the replies and outcomes report

Regional dialogues

October-November 2023

Focus group discussion with UN Human Rights Office

10-12 December 2023

Human Rights 75 – Closing high-level event in Geneva, Switzerland with child participation