Children shaping national human rights agendas

In recent years, opportunities for children to speak out at local, national, and international forums have been increasing. Children’s participation has also grown within UN human rights mechanisms, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).


On June 5th, the first event of the series "How to Engage Children in Follow-up to Reporting to the Global and African Union (AU) Human Rights Mechanisms" took place. This initiative is part of the "How to Child Rights," a platform initiated by Save the Children in 2022 that facilitates co-creation and peer learning on child rights in practice.

The series aims to provide guidance on why and how to engage children in a safe, sustained, and meaningful manner with an inclusive lens during the monitoring and advocacy follow-up stages of the review process of States. 

Children hands

The How To Child Rights platform offers a series of practical, high quality, tried and tested tools, guidance and case studies and peer exchanges, to support effective and innovative programming - including advocacy - for children’s rights across the civil society sector, including UPR Info.

This initial session focused on the importance of involving children in the human rights review processes, as showcased by a child advocate from Zambia. The young speaker participated in the 4th UPR cycle of her country by providing inputs to the Other Stakeholders Reports focusing on children's rights. The increased budget allocations in education and advocating for enhancing the role of the Independent Commissioner for Children and providing adequate resources for the Human Rights Commission are a few of the issues raised in the report and in the suggested recommendations. Many of these recommendations were raised during the UPR Working Group of Zambia held in Geneva in January 2023. The recommendations from the report were reflected in the 13 recommendations made by UN Member States, all supported by the Zambian government.


Beyond her involvement in the preliminary phase of the UPR, the child advocate engaged in the follow-up by sharing recommendations with government stakeholders. The young activist, who is also a member of the Child Parliament in Zambia, provided feedback to the parliamentary committee on areas to channel investment to ensure children's rights are protected and promoted. She also collaborated with the Minister of Education to develop a new curriculum aimed at equipping children with essential skills to become responsible citizens.

To learn more about the experiences of other children from African countries who have similarly engaged in human rights mechanisms and significantly contributed to the enhancement of children's rights in their regions, you can read the briefing here.

The next event in this series is scheduled for 24 August 2024. For more details, please follow the updates on the Save the Children website.

Countries: Zambia