Ombudsmen for children, also known as children’s defenders, are autonomous State agencies dedicated to the defence and promotion of human rights for children, operating in Latin America from national ombudsman offices. Ombudsmen for children constitute key players in national systems independently monitoring the fulfilment of human rights for children. National institutions for human rights and the defenders or procurers of these rights for children are crucial in the promotion and surveillance of the application of international instruments protecting children’s human rights. In view of the importance of these institutions, the IIN is in the process of preparing a project which will strengthen the means to defend and promote these rights.
An study is currently under way which, when completed, will allow us to know the status of ombudsman offices in relation to the Paris Principles and General Comment Nº2 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, two documents which are fundamental for the work of these institutions. In addition, the project includes a protocol for ombudsmen which will facilitate their intervention in different situations which violate human rights, and which will provide channels of coordination between ombudsman offices when dealing with international situations. It will also include the creation of a training programme for professionals and technicians in ombudsman offices for the human rights of children. A web site will also be developed providing important information regarding children’s rights from the perspective of the work of ombudsmen, as well as the means to exchange information and establish a forum for significant matters.