Advanced Training Course

Children’s Rights | In theory and practice: an introduction

21-22 February 2020, 10am-5pm

CES | Lisbon


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) turned 30 in 2019 and keeps on growing in importance.

This course provides a basic introduction to children’s rights and is ideal for any curious mind interested in understanding more about children’s rights and how they can be realised. The course will combine theoretical knowledge with practical exercises and case studies. The course looks at children’s rights as part of international human rights law, focusing on the background and origins of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This course will help you understand how the general principles and the rights of the CRC can be implemented on a national level but also on a more local level, and will give you an overview of the actors involved in the realisation of children’s rights.

In addition, a number of specific issues will be addressed including, among others, violence against children, alternative care for children, children with disabilities and the right to participation. The course will conclude on some reflections on the contemporary challenges such as how to protect and defend children’s rights in the digital age, what are the consequences of the environmental challenges on children’s rights and children as human rights defenders.


A. History of children’s rights, background and origins of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the place of children’s rights in the international human rights law ‘constellation’.

B. Principles and rights of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with a specific focus on those thematic areas:
- Child and Youth Participation (e.g. tools to facilitate their participation, right to vote);
- Alternative care for children (e.g. foster care, child care reforms, family support measures);
- Violence against children and child protection strategies and measures.
- Children in the justice system; with the participation of Marine Braun, Child Rights consultant. 

C. International and regional children’s rights mechanisms (e.g. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children);

D. Contemporary challenges: children’s rights in the digital age, children’s rights and the environment (examples of current strategic litigation led by children), children as human rights defenders.

Véronique Lerch is an international Human Rights consultant, specialized in child rights, working for institutions such as UNICEF, the European Commission or Eurochild. Her areas of expertise are: policy development, child and youth participation, alternative care, advocacy and communication for change, organisational development and capacity-building. She was previously the Head of the Advocacy department of a large child rights organisation: SOS Children’s Villages International. She led an advocacy campaign to improve the rights of young people ageing out of the care system in over 20 countries in Europe and Central Asia and introduced participatory methods in the campaign for children and young people to be change agents. She holds a European Master degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) from EIUC and a Master in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Special participation:
Lawyer by training, Marine Braun has more than 9 years of experience in criminal defence, legal research, advocacy and project management with different actors - both in the field and at Headquarters level - including the United Nations (i.e. UNDP, IOM), civil society (i.e. Defence for Children International) and the Brussels bar association. She is passionate about children's rights and focuses her work on children in the justice system. She strongly believes the child's voice should be heard and taken into account in any action undertaken towards him or her. She became a child rights consultant in 2018. Her new project is to conduct research on the creation of a single practical tool, which would gather a maximum of techniques professionals - whatever their function in the justice system - could adopt in order to have a more fluid and adapted communication with the child in contact with the law.

Target audience
Any individual interested in learning more about the human rights of children, international law students, journalists, NGO staff, public servants or staff working on child protection.

Location: CES Lisbon, Picoas Plaza
Dates: February 21 – 22, 2020 from 10:00 to 17:00
Total number of hours: 12 hours
Price: €120 (General); €80 (Students and former VoteDHr students)

Two places in the course are reserved for people passionate about children's rights/or activists interested in learning more about children's rights. Those scholarships are open for people living in Portugal and with limited financial means. Send us an e-mail at with your CV and a paragraph explaining why we should waive the fee for you. Deadline: 11 February 2020

VOTEdhr - Elections, Democracy and Human Rights Training, research and support
Coordination: Carla Luís

Certified training: Laboratório Associado - DL n.º 396/2007, de 31/12, DL n.º 63/2019, de 16 de Maio e Estatutos do CES.
Certificate issued (English and/or Portuguese) upon completing the course.