CHILDRENS RIGHTS PROGRAM
The Childrens Rights Program of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights promotes and protects the fundamental rights of children.
Campaign Against Forced Child Labor
The One School at a Time Project seeks to educate retailers and consumers about the harmful effects of child labor and to promote opportunities for child laborers to attend school. The Campaign is sustained by a coalition of individual volunteers, organizations, and concerned others. Minnesota Advocates and a volunteer committee have formed a partnership with the village of Sankhu, Nepal to support the Sankhu-Palubari Community School for children who are at high risk of becoming child laborers. Please view child labor images taken by board member David Parker.
The Child Survival Project
Worldwide 12.5 million children under age five die every year from preventable causes. In order to ensure the survival and healthy development of its children, each government has to fulfill its economic and social rights obligations based on the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. These obligations directly address issues fundamental to the survival of children, such as discrimination, access to health care, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to an education. When children under age five die at excessively high rates from preventable causes, their fundamental human rights are violated.
In early 1998, the Child Survival Project finished the critical first phase of its work to document excessive and preventable child mortality as a human rights violation. The report analyzes the cases of child survival in three countries of varying levels of developmentUganda, Mexico, and the United States, sets forth the relevant obligations that each of these countries has under international human rights law, and recommends ameliorative measures to increase child survival and health. The report found that although the direct causes of child deaths are biological in nature, the survival of children depends heavily on structural factors such as allocation of resources. Underlying economic and social factors linked to child survival must be addressed in order to effectively combat high rates of preventable child deaths.
The Child Survival Project used research, documentation and advocacy to expose and combat excessive rates of preventable child deaths as a human rights violation. The Project conducted extensive research using a case-study approach in three countries of varying levels of developmentUganda, Mexico, and the United States. Fact-finding missions to Uganda and Mexico were carried out. In the United States, the Project planned public and school-based human rights education initiatives based on the US case study. A county summarization of project facts is available.
The final report, Global Child Survival: A Human Rights Priority, analyzes the child survival situation in each country, sets forth the relevant obligations under international human rights law, and recommends ameliorative measures to increase child survival and health.
Why human rights matter to the survival of children
The process of implementing fundamental human rights guarantees invokes mechanisms that can promote child survival. At national and local levels, laws, policies, and programs can be assessed in light of a governments international human rights obligations. At the international level, advocates can use international and regional bodies, such as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF, to present information about a countrys compliance with its obligations under international law and to advocate for corresponding international assistance and pressure.
Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
The Program's US-based advocacy authored or contributed to the drafting of summaries of the "shadow report" on our country's compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) which focused on racial disparity in infant mortality rates in the United States and the situation in Minnesota and the Midwest. For additional information on this topic go to www.woatusa.org where the executive summary of the NGO shadow report is available.
Children's Program Volunteer Opportunities Children's Program Publications