children’s rights, ombudsman, complaint mechanisms, child-friendly procedures, child participation


The protection of children’s rights is an obvious task of independent children’s rights institutions (ICRIs), though achieved through a variety of means. Based on the guiding principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in protecting these fundamental rights, including the right to be heard. ICRIs carefully examine children’s rights through investigation and research. But are rights-defenders upholding these principles in their own work? In this brief article I examine the requirements of being a child-friendly and participatory ICRI, and through a three-element comparison of European ombudsman institutions, I present some examples.