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By Dr. Laurene Graziani

The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognised that children are fully fledged persons to whom public authorities can be held accountable. Since children have rights, they should have access to justice in case of violations of their rights.


Generally without legal capacity, minors do not have the ability to act directly before domestic courts. However, the procedural capacity of children has progressively been recognized by some international judicial authorities.


Taking into account their victim status rather than their age or legal status, they have been able to bring their complaints before those judicial bodies. Thus, several complaints have been brought by children victims of sexual violence, or their parents, before the European and Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Elimination of the Discrimination against Women.


Our main objective is to underline that access to justice for victims of sexual violence is fundamental. Through an analysis of the international case law on the rights of the child, we will also highlight obstacles that girls, who are particularly concerned by sexual violence, can face and how to address them.


Dr. Laurene Graziani holds a PhD in Law (Aix-Marseille University, 2015), under the supervision of Professor Kerbrat (Sorbonne) and Professor Hanson (Geneva) and an interdisciplinary Master of Advanced Studies in Children’s Rights (IUKB/ Fribourg University, 2010). In parallel with her academic work, she has undertaken several projects in the field of children’s rights advocacy and education, child protection and participation.

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    Proteknôn is derived from two Greek words: "in front of" and "child". As our name implies, we are senior child protection researchers and practitioners, focused on what children are facing, especially as it relates to their care, protection and wellbeing. In order to do this, we are committed to learning from and with girls and boys, of all ages, backgrounds and capacities.

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