is an independent non-governmental organisation set up during the International Year of the Child (1979) to ensure on-going, practical , systematic and concerted international action specially directed towards promoting and protecting the rights of the child.

The organisations aims are

To foster awareness about , and solidarity around, children's rights situations, issues and initiatives throughout the world.

To seek , promote and implement the most effective means of securing the protection of the rights in concrete situations, from both a preventative and curative standpoint.

no child should have to work

child have the right to information

priority should be given to children in conflict with the law

all children have the right to go to school

all children have the right to play

To achieve these aims, DCI's methods include :

Publishing information on all aspects of children's rights, through regular and adhoc publications;

Taking up specific cases of violations of children's rights referred to us as an independent agency;

Undertaking action-oriented investigations, alone or jointly, on serious global problems which are found to be inadequately documented internationally, e.g. the sexual exploitation of children, children in prison

Taking direct action in response to situations involving the violation of rights of specific groups of children

Monitoring and evaluating the practical implementation of accepted children's rights

Working for improved international standards in the children's rights sphere

Stimulating co-operation and action, nationally, regionally and internationally, to improve responses to children's rights problems

all children have the right to health care

no children should be a victim of violence and war


children can express their own opinions

all children are equal

no child should be sexually abused

DCI is an international movement which has membership of both individuals and organisations involved with or supporting its work in over 60 countries on all continents, national sections in 50 countries and subscribers, correspondents and information exchange agreements in many more. It has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council , with UNICEF, with UNESCO and with the Council of Europe.

Further information about DCI's publications and newsletter can be obtained from

Defence for Children International
1 rue de Varembe PO Box 88
1221 Geneva 20