A worldwide network


Defence for Children - Belgium is the Belgian section of Defence for Children International (DCI), an international non-governmental organization (INGO) for human rights which was created over 30 years ago (1979) and whose International Secretariat is based in Geneva (Switzerland). Its main goals are the protection and promotion of children’s rights at a local, regional and international level through its national sections located in fifty countries.

The situation of children in the justice system cis DCI’s priority and main area of intervention. However, each national section determines its field of intervention in accordance with specific needs and priorities of children of the country. Therefore, they work on a wide range of issues including health, access to education, participation of children, violence against women,trafficking, sexual abuse and prostitution, migration, children in armed conflicts, child labor and juvenile justice.

Our movement links the discussions at international forums with the realities on the ground through “direct” intervention and actions that tend to structural and sustainable changes.

It is an organization in which all sections are considered equals. This reality promotes genuine exchange and allows balanced North-South cooperation where all decisions are taken in a democratic manner and is a reflection of the various existing national realities. DCI strongly believes in the importance of networking and in the establishment of collaborative alliances to strengthen its actions and increase its impact.

The work of our NGO at an international, national and regional level is governed by the principles enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN, 1989), its two optional protocols (one relating to the involvement of children in armed conflicts, the second to child prostitution) and the international standards on human rights (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UN, ...).

In practical terms and based on the Convention, DCI’s national sections have developed many action plans:

  • Direct intervention: DCI provides direct assistance and support to children: socio-legal aid, monitoring of children in conflict with the law, rehabilitation programs for children exploited or trafficked, etc.These direct interventions are carried out not only with the children affected, but also with their families and their local community.

  • Research and Monitoring: DCI researches and monitors the proper implementation of children’s rights in accordance with international standards and denounces abuses and violations of those rights.

  • Lobbying and Advocacy: DCI calls for the development of policies and practices in line with children’s rights at a national and international level.

  • Training: DCI organizes training on strategies to promote child rights and works with professionals to ensure the respect of children’s rights in different environments.

DCI International Secretariat in Geneva is the "heart" of the movement. It represents the national sections to the United Nations and the international community, develops projects to promote children’s rights around the world, and provides support (institutional, technical, advocacy) for the development of DCI national sections and associate members.

DCI has consultative status within:

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Defence for Children International (DCI) - Secrétariat International
Rue de Varembé I. Case postale 88, Genève 20
CH - 1211 Suisse
+41 (0) 22 734 0558