The idea of establishing an NGO Panel to coordinate and promote the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty came about as several non-governmental organizations demonstrated interest in supporting the campaign calling for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, an idea initially pitched by Defence for Children International (DCI) in early autumn 2013.
After a first informal group of NGOs was convened by DCI at two different meetings (November 2013 and January 2014, Geneva), to discuss the idea and scope of the campaign, it seemed appropriate to move towards a more formalized entity, in view of the subsequent phases and efforts which would be required to launch and follow a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
The NGO Panel for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty is set up to coordinate joint advocacy and lobbying efforts towards the launch, completion and follow-up of a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
- Collaborate and coordinate for the campaign to call for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty at international, regional and national level, through advocacy and lobbying activities with UN agencies, member States, and other relevant stakeholders;
- Identify key international, regional and national events, meetings, etc. and collaborate in the organization of joint activities to raise awareness and gain support for the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty;
- Identify & lobby for possible candidates for the role of Independent Expert;
- Share relevant information, reports, analysis on the topic of the Study.
The NGO Panel is guided by the principles of availability, mutual-respect, collective output, solidarity in negotiating positions.
It will be independent and transparent in its functions.
Membership to the NGO Panel is open to all international, regional and national NGOs working in the advancement of the full respect of human rights of the child, which request to be member. Members are to agree with the scope and role of the NGO Panel.
In order to ensure efficient functioning of the NGO Panel, a Core Group has been established, currently consisting of nine members. Membership to the NGO Panel is decided by consensus within the Core Group, taking into account a balanced regional representation and relevance to the topic of children deprived of liberty. The Core Group leads and coordinates all activities, with the expectation that each organizational member will invest staff time and resources.
Membership of the Core Group is to be limited to those NGOs who have expressed their interest to join and have been engaged in the campaign calling for a Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty since the initial phases, and must be organizations which work for the promotion and protection of human rights, with a specific child rights agenda.
Members of the NGO Panel can decide to withdraw their membership by giving written notice to the co-conveners (Defence for Children International (DCI) and Human Rights Watch). Replacement with another NGO can take place upon common approval of the Core Group of the NGO Panel.
Members of the NGO Panel Core Group include:
- Defence for Children International (DCI) - co-convenor
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) - co-convenor
- Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
- International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE)
- International Detention Coalition (IDC)
- International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO)
- Penal Reform International (PRI)
- Terre des Hommes International Federation
- World Organization against Torture (OMCT)
The NGO Panel has two co-conveners, Defence for Children International (DCI) and Human Rights Watch. Conveners carry out the following tasks:
- Information sharing
- Preparation of meetings
- Coordinate advocacy and lobbying activities
- Officially represent the NGO Panel
- Foster relationship with partners and stakeholders
- Maintain the website and develop communication materials
Activities and Tasks
Once formally established, and then annually, the co-conveners will discuss and prepare a work-plan (complete with chronological timeline and outreach strategy) that will be submitted to the Core Group for approval.
All decisions are to be taken by consensus within the Core Group of the NGO Panel. If consensus cannot be reached - on an exceptional basis – decisions will be made based on a majority vote. In the case of a tie, the co-conveners will cast the deciding vote.