Submission for OHCHR’s study on access to justice for children

Children face unique barriers in exercising their rights due to their lack of legal autonomy, states’ failure to enshrine their rights into laws and policies, and the lack of accessible remedies when their rights are violated.  Girls are uniquely vulnerable to human rights violations as they must also contend with discriminatory beliefs, gender-based stereotypes and cultural and/or social practices which result in girls having poorer nutrition, receiving less health care, and having lower levels of educational attainment and greater levels of illiteracy. Recognizing these barriers in realizing children’s rights, this submission for an OHCHR study on access to justice for children explores adolescents’ right to access to justice in the context of the right to health, particularly reproductive health, and elaborates upon states’ affirmative obligations to enshrine international human rights norms into laws and policies in order to guarantee children’s equal enjoyment of their rights and prevent human rights violations.