As an organisation, our aim is to create strong links between grass roots NGOs and international organisations in Geneva to encourage change. We work with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, attend sessions of the Human Rights Council, the Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. We were invited by the Swiss Government to speak on child marriage with Dr Dubravka Simonovic, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and have recently participated in a CEDAW briefing on child widows which is a consequence of child marriage. To strengthen this work, we collaborate with the International Council of Women, which has national Chapters in 64 countries and whom we represent at the UN in Geneva.
As child marriage is often linked to other traditional practices, our work is not limited to child, early and forced marriage, but also covers related issues such as female cutting (FGM) and child widowhood.
We collaborate with multiple NGOs
Indonesian Women's Conference
We collaborate with many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Geneva, Vienna, New York and around the world to amplify our advocacy efforts for social change. In Geneva we have links with the World Council of Churches and coalitions such as Child Rights Connect to further the rights of children.
We are currently conducting research on child widows (a consequence of child marriage) with NGOs and other stakeholders from over 20 countries to create greater awareness of their plight and to influence social change. This research gap emerged from our report 'Millions of Child Widows Invisible Forgotten and Vulnerable' published in July 2018. This report was presented at the 38th Human Rights Council, at a briefing to the CEDAW Committee, at the Indonesian Women's Conference in Jogyakarta, at a Global Consultation of the World Council of Churches in Kingston, Jamaica, at a seminar during the European Parliament in Brussels and at the Afro-European Medical and Research Network.
In Geneva we endeavour to obtain Government Missions’ involvement and support for change, which was successful for the adoption of the resolutions on child marriage.
In July we attended a gathering of Ambassadors, NGOs and the public in an event to celebrate one hundred years of Nelson Mandela, hosted by Her Excellency Ms Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the UN.
We have spoken on side event panels during Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva with the Ambassador of Sierra Leone, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada and the African Union’s Ambassador against child marriage and we enjoy good links with many Missions. Their involvement is critical for our work.