Defence for Children International (DCI) is an
independent non-governmental organisation that has been promoting and
protecting children�s rights on a global, regional, national and local
level for over 25 years.
The movement was founded in July 1979 by Nigel Cantwell and Canon
Moerman, the chair of the International Year of the Child, at a time
when children's rights were not the main focus of many organizations.
The International Year of the Child instigated the dissemination of an
unprecedented amount of information about children's rights violations
such as torture, prostitution, economic exploitation, arbitrary
detention, and trafficking and sale. At the time, few international
structures were dedicated to a human rights-based approach to the many
problems faced by the world's children. DCI was established in direct
response to this void.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
DCI mobilized the NGO community to become actively
involved in the drafting process of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child. The resulting NGO Ad Hoc Group, established in mid-1983, made
significant contributions to the Convention's final text. In 1987, the
NGO Ad Hoc Group joined with UNICEF in publicly promoting the objective
of having the Convention ready for adoption by the General Assembly of
the United Nations in 1989.
Following the unanimous adoption of the Convention
by the General Assembly on 20 November 1989, DCI national sections
successfully lobbied their governments to ratify the new Convention. DCI
sections were often the first to take the initiative of producing an NGO
Alternative Report for the Committee on the Rights of Child, or to
initiate national coalitions.
Through DCI�s major role in co-ordinating NGO input to this
drafting process, it developed substantial links with other NGOs and
established itself as a centre of expertise and resources. DCI has
consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC) and the Council of Europe, and working relations with UNESCO,
UNICEF and the ILO. Please click here for more details.
DCI developed into a worldwide network through the creation of national
sections and the establishment of partnerships with associated members.
DCI�s International Secretariat, located in Geneva, is
the focal point of the movement. It
represents the movement at the international level and develops programs
and projects which promote child rights globally and which support the
activities and growth of national DCI sections and associated members.
Through its sections, in
45 countries across the globe, DCI carries out concrete programmes to
promote and protect the rights of children.
national sections and associated members focus their intervention and
design their programmes according to the specific needs and priorities
of the children in their respective countries, focusing on various areas
of work, including juvenile justice, child labour, child rights�
education, child participation and children in armed conflict, among
works on specific children's rights concerns through the creation of
international programmes such as the International Child Labour
Programme, coordinated by DCI Costa Rica, the International Programme on
Juvenile Justice, and the No Kids Behind Bars! Global Campaign.
networks and coordinates with various players in the child rights� area,
including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Thanks to
the reliable information received from the field, DCI is able to make
effective advocacy interventions, addressing the CRC and other United