Defence for Children International

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Defence for Children International
MottoThe worldwide movement for Children's rights
PurposeProtecting and promoting Children's Rights
HeadquartersThe International Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland
  • 38 national sections around the world
Region served

Defence for Children International (DCI) is an independent non-governmental organisation set up in 1979, during the International Year of the Child, to ensure on-going, practical, systematic and concerted international and national action specially directed towards promoting and protecting the rights of the child, as articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Nigel Cantwell was one of its founders and its current president is Mr Abdul Manaff Kemokai of Sierra Leone.

DCI's International Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It currently has 38 national sections and associated members and a representation at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

DCI is active on a global, regional, national and local level. On a global level it focuses its efforts on lobbying, child rights advocacy, monitoring of the implementation of the UNCRC by State Parties and acting as a facilitator for the exchange of information and experience of its national sections. The national sections work on various child rights issues, adapting their focus to the specific needs of the children in their respective countries. Their main areas of work are child labour, juvenile justice, child prostitution, children in armed conflict and child rights' education.

As are other major human rights organisations, it is a member of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and Child Rights Information Network.

DCI has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Council of Europe.

Defense for Children International – Palestine[edit]

Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), established in 1991, is the national section of DCI in the Palestinian territories. According the Israeli NGO Monitor, which analyzes and reports on the output of the international NGO community from a pro-Israel perspective, numerous individuals with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization in many countries, have been employed and appointed as board members at DCI-P. DCI-P has been accused of leading the campaign exploiting children to promote demonization of Israel, with many of its allegations being false and part of attempts to smear Israel with allegations of “war crimes”.[1]

DCI-P is a member of the Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO), and like PNGO also promotes Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and is an active participant in lobbying the UN, EU, foreign governments, and other international bodies to promote this agenda.[1]


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