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Program Specifics


These Conference themes and topics will be dealt with through plenary presentations and panel reactions, discussion groups and working groups, and poster sessions.  Below, you will find a brief description of the nature of each of the major sessions of the Conference, followed by a tentative agenda of the day-to-day Conference program with some of the faculty identified. See our website ( for updates.

The first evening’s Conference opening session will provide the perspectives and visions of members of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on children’s rights and education.  Additionally, those underwriting and cooperating to present the Conference will be introduced and a brief orientation to the Conference process and goals will be provided.  The evening will end with a reception and social period to renew acquaintances and begin to make new friends and expand our networks in the service of children.

The mornings of each of the first 3 full days of the Conference will be devoted to consideration of a theme. The history, status, critical issues and opportunities, and alternatives for resolving issues and constructing promising futures for that theme will be explored and debated by respected international experts in presentations and panel discussions, by reaction panels, and by the audience of participants.   The major themes are: the Convention on Rights of the Child and Protection, Education and Participation; Alternative Meanings and forms of Education; and Education and Culture.

The afternoon of each of the first 3 full days of the Conference will be devoted primarily to topical working groups or “Stream Groups.”   Five Stream Groups are planned, with a particular group dealing with the following topics:  human rights respecting learning communities; violence and abuse against children; children affected by war; child labor; and HIV/AIDS.   The Stream Groups will be facilitated by one or more experts and a youth leader who will be responsible for helping participants explore the major issues of the topic in itself, it’s relationships with each morning’s major theme, and its relationships with all other Stream Group topics. The goals for the Stream Groups, working within the broad context of children’s rights and education, are to clarify the status and significance of their topic, to determine priority targets for improvements, and to identify the most promising models and strategies to make those improvements at local, national and international levels.

Particular attention will be given to developing future perspectives and recommendations to achieve the goals of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children (to be held in September of 2001, but forecast in time for this Conference). Conference participants may choose to stay with a particular Stream Group throughout the Conference, or for any part of it.

The final day and evening of the Conference will be devoted to Stream Group discussion, production and refinement of suggestions for models and strategies to advance children’s rights across issues and the full human ecological system (e.g., home, neighborhood, school, community, nation and world); to reporting out by Stream Groups; to presentations of perspectives by a youth panel and Conference Rapporteurs on the accomplishments of the Conference to next steps to be taken to achieve the recommendations of the Conference; to concluding comments by members of the UN Committee on  the Rights of the Child; and to a closing party.

Children facing special circumstances impinging on their rights, such as disabilities, violence, poverty, and racial, ethnic and/or gender bias, will be given particular consideration throughout the major theme and stream group sessions.

The free periods during the Conference days and evenings will provide opportunities to become acquainted with the beauty and hospitality of the University of Victoria and the city of Victoria and to review poster session presentations on major themes and Stream Group related-topics. The City of Victoria, situated on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia, is famous for its seacoast location, beautiful gardens, and mild weather. For more information on visitor services please contact Tourism BC ( or Tourism Victoria (

Special events will occur throughout the conference, during and outside of conference sessions.  These will be announced at a later date.






Saturday 18 August

Evening                       Opening Ceremony                5-9 p.m.


Introductions and Welcome


First Nations Welcome



Children’s Rights and Education:  Perspectives and Visions from Young Persons and from Members of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child


Nikki Sanchez-Hood (Canadian Youth Representative at the Preparatory Meetings for the UN Special Session on Children) and 1-2 Youth from other nations



Judith Karp, Israel; Awa D’Neye Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso; Marilia Sardenberg, Brazil); Mrs. Ghalia Al-Thani, Qatar





Sunday 19 August

Morning                                                                      8:30 a.m. – 12 Noon


Theme:  The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Protection, Education and Participation of Children

(Exploration of the history, status and future of the Convention and its implementation as they relate to disability; the endangerment, exploitation, corruption, abuse and neglect of children; the growing significance, challenges and needs of education; and the critical need for genuine participation by children as rights bearing citizens)


8:30-10:30 a.m.

[Presenters: Cecilia Braslavsky (Director, International Bureau of Education, Switzerland); Eugeen Verhellen (Director, Children’s Rights Centre, University of Ghent, Belgium); Lloyd Axworthy (formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada); Vitit Muntarbhorn (Chulalongkom University, Bangkok; former UN Special Rapporteur on Child Sexual Exploitation); James Garbarino (Cornell University, New York, USA); Roger Hart (Director, Centre for Children and the Environment, City University of New York, USA]


11:00 a.m. -12:00 Noon

Donor and Cooperating Agencies/Organizations Perspectives on Mainstreaming Children’s Rights: Overview by Martha Nelems (Canadian International Development Agency) Janet Vahamaki (Swedish International Development Agency); Ulf Fredriksson (Education International); Philip Cook (Institute for Child Rights and Development), Stuart Hart (International School Psychology Association and Child Rights Education-International); Andres Guerrero (UNICEF); Firmin E. Matoko (UNESCO); Lukas Scherer (NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child); and John Kydd (International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)]



LUNCH BREAK                                                       12 Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon                                                                   1:30 – 5:00 p.m.


Stream Groups Working Sessions
  • Human Rights Respecting Learning Communities (facilitated by Stuart N. Hart, Coordinator of Child Rights Education-International, University of Victoria, Canada, and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Ulf Fredriksson, Education Officer for Education International, Brussels, Belgium; Andres Guerrero, Education Programme Officer, UNICEF, New York, USA; Vicky Colbert, Columbia); Victor Karunan (UNICEF, SE Asia); Benedito Rodgriques dos Santos (University of Goias and National Movement for Street Boys and Girls, Brazil)
  • Violence and Abuse Against Children (facilitated by Brent Parfitt, Deputy Ombudsman for Children, British Columbia, Canada; James Garbarino, Cornell University, New York, USA; and Melanie Gow, World Vision and the Violence Against Children Caucus, Geneva, Switzerland),  
  • Children Affected by War (facilitated by Maria Salazar, Columbia; Francisco Pilotti, Social Affairs and Education Unit, Organization of American States) Inter-American Children’s Institute; Katherine Vandergrift, Canadian Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict); and Christopher Lowry (Medicine Sans Frontiers Canada)
  • Child Labor (facilitated by Bill Myers, University of California Davis, USA; Mary Joy Pigozzi, UNICEF, New York; Nandana Reddy, Concerned for Working Children in Bangalore, India;  Susan Bissell, WHO Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, Melbourne, Australia;Susan Gunn, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, Switzerland; and Shawna O’Hearn, Save the Children – Canada


Late Afternoon                                                           5:00-6:30



Susan Bissell Video-Film Premiere



Monday 20 August


Morning                                                                      8:30 a.m. – 12 noon


Theme: Education and Culture

(The implications of historical, existing and potential relationships between the education of children and the economic, social, political and legal dimensions of widely diverse cultures will be considered.  Particular attention will be given to the manner in which the Convention on the Rights of the Child can respect and serve diverse values orientations; child labor orientations and practices in conflict with and supportive of children’s rights;  realistic and imagined relationships between child education, poverty and economic progress; the necessity of producing healthy sustainable environments; and the potential for stimulating moral will and practical initiatives to serve children through political action.)


8:30-10:00 a.m.

Presenters: Nandana Reddy (Concerned for Working Children in Bangalore, India); Bill Myers (international child labor expert, University of California-Davis, USA); Francisco Pilotti (Social Affairs and Education Unit, Organization of American States); Mary Joy Pigozzi (Education Section, UNICEF, New York, USA)


10:30 a.m.- 12 Noon

Special Cultural Values Panel:  Awa N’Deye Ouedraogo  (Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Burkina Faso);  Marilia Sardenberg (Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Brazil); Judith Karp (Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Israel; Mrs. Ghalia Al-Thani (Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Qatar); Dr. Ali Ganim Al-Hajeri (Qatar Charitable Society); Malfrid Flekkoy (Nic Waals Institute, Norway); Victor Karunan(UNICEF, SE Asia); Philip Cook (Institute for Child Rights and Development, University of Victoria, Canada)



LUNCH BREAK                                                       12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon                                                                   1:30 – 5:00 p.m.


Stream Groups Working Sessions – Continued

  • Human Rights Respecting Learning Communities
  • Violence and Abuse Against Children
  • Children Affected by War
  • Child Labor



Late Afternoon                                                           5:00-6:30


Poster sessions

ICA group performance




Tuesday 21 August


Morning                                                                      8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Theme:  Alternative Forms and Meanings of Education

(The full spectrum of purposes, meanings, forms, processes and products of education will be discussed and debated as to their relevance for and potential to fulfill the rights of children to and through education in the wide variety of cultural contexts they experience.  Article 28 and, particularly, article 29 will provide the basis for discriminating analyses of the status, needs, and best directions for education. Special attention will be given to the use and developing potential of media and electronic communication technology.)


8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Presenters: Vicky Colbert (creator of the Columbian “New School”); Ulf Fredriksson (Education Officer, Education International, Brussels); Benedito Rodgriques dos Santos (University of Goias and National Movement for Street Boys and Girls, Brazil); Sandra Griffin(Canadian Child Care Federation); Martha Farrell Erickson (Director, Children, Youth & Family Consortium, University of Minnesota, USA); Lukas Scherer (Chairperson, Education, Literacy and Media Sub-Group of the NGO Group for the CRC, Switzerland).


10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Special Focus on Education and the Education, the Media, and the Electronic Communications Revolution

Panel Members: Andres Guerrero (Education Programme Officer, UNICEF, New York, USA); Andrea Khan (CRIN, United Kingdom); Chris Lowry (Medicine Sans Frontiers Canada); and Stuart Hart (Coordinator, Child Rights Education-International, Institute for Child Rights and Development, University of Victoria, Canada and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana, USA).


LUNCH BREAK                                                       12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon                                                                   1:30 – 2:30 p.m.


Stream Groups Working Sessions – Continued             2:30-5:00

  • Human Rights Respecting Learning Communities
  • Violence and Abuse Against Children
  • Children Affected by War
  • Child Labor



Late Afternoon                                                           5:00-6:00

Poster Session

Wednesday 22 August

Morning                                                                      8:30 a.m. – 12 Noon

Stream Groups prepare and present their perspectives, findings, and recommendations

8:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Each Stream Group will prepare a written wall-display presentation to indicate the 10 major priorities it has selected for making child rights advances in its topic areas.   The work of the Stream Groups will be specifically targeted to respect the principles and standards of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29 and its General Comments, and related goals of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children.

10:45 a.m. – 12 Noon

Each Stream Group will, in 15 minutes of allotted time, will describe the rationale for its selections and associated goals, models and strategies considered important to making progress.   After the Conference, each Stream Group will be expected to provide a more comprehensive report to the Institute for Child Rights and Development to further guide priority setting, planning and capacity building extending from the conference.

LUNCH BREAK       (and Poster Sessions)            12 Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon                                                                   1:30 – 5:30 p.m

Reports of Facilitators for Special Cut-Across Themes (e.g., HIV/AIDS, physical and mental health – Jeff Goldhagen, American Academy of Pediatrics, USA; persons with disabilities – spokespersons to be announced; race-ethnicity – Philip Cook, Institute for Child Rights and Development, Canada; and gender – Danielle Belanger, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Canada)

Reports of Conference Rapporteurs:  Gerison Lansdown  (Free-Lance Child Rights Consultant, United Kingdom) and Nicki Sanchez-Hood (Canadian Youth rep at pre UN Special Session meetings) representing and in cooperation with Cynthia Price Cohen (Child Rights Research Institute, New York, USA), Martha Farrell Erickson (Child and Family Consortium, University of Minnesota, USA) and Malfrid Grude Flekkoy  (Nic Waals Institute, Oslo) – additional persons to be included

Concluding Comments by Members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

(Judith Karp, Israel; Awa D’Neye Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso; Marilia Sardenberg, Brazil; Mrs. Ghalia Al-Thani, Qatar)

Closing Ceremony

Purpose and Structure: The conference


The conference’s general purposes, structure and themes will be continuous with and expand upon the work of the 1st International Conference on Children’s Rights in Education (Copenhagen, Denmark, 23-30 April 1998; for detailed information on the first conference see the “For More Information” section). The general purposes of the 2nd International Conference on Children’s Rights in Education remain identical to those of the first conference: to advance respect and support for children’s rights and the full development of children through education. The overarching theme of this Conference is “Creating a Culture of Human Rights, Democracy and Peace in the New Millennium”. The Conference will provide a structured exchange by international and national experts of information and perspectives on theory, research and practices relating education and children’s rights. The fundamental framework for exchange on this theme will be the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly education articles 28 and 29, and articles 2 on non-discrimination, 6 on survival and development, 12 on the child’s opinion, 19 on protection from abuse and neglect, 20 on protection of a child without a family, 27 on standard of living, 32 on child labor, 34 on sexual exploitation, and 38 and 39 on armed conflict. Education and children’s rights conditions in emerging nations will be given special attention.


·        A TEAM OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS.  The 2nd International Conference on Children’s Rights in Education will provide the perspectives and specialist knowledge of an international team of experts on major themes and critical issues of timely significance for children’s rights in education.

·         INTERNATIONAL AND EMERGING NATIONS FOCUS.  The children’s rights and education topics of the Conference, the design of the program, and the experts both in faculty and participant positions are being selected to assure relevance and power in dealing with both developed and emerging nation interests.

·        PRACTICAL SIGNIFICANCE AND FUTURES ORIENTATIONS.  The program will deal with issues in ways that give direction to practical applications and to advances toward more progress and a better future for children.

·        BASIC FOUNDATION THROUGH ADVANCED LEVELS.  The Conference will include presentations, discussions, and workshops that deal with basic and advanced knowledge and orientations.

·        OPPORTUNITY FOR NETWORKING AND COOPERATION IN AREAS OF SHARED INTEREST.  There will be multiple opportunities to discuss topics, strategies, and issues with and between faculty and participants and to develop plans for cooperative relationships and projects to advance children’s rights in and through education.  This was clearly part of the experience of the first conference and is expected to be a highlight of this conference.

·        SOCIAL AND CULTURAL EVENTS.  The program will include numerous events to enhance the social relationships among those attending and to help them become acquainted with the beauty of Victoria and British Columbia.


The faculty of the conference will be comprised of internationally respected child rights and education scholars, professionals and advocacy leaders from a broad range of discipline and specialist interests.  The list below includes those who have already agreed to join the faculty. Additions are being made and will be posted periodically.

      Lloyd Axworthy, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada

Susan Bissell, Honorary Scholar, WHO Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, expert on childhood in Bangladesh

Cecilia Braslavsky, Director, International Bureau of Education, Geneva, Switzerland

Cynthia Price Cohen, Director, Child Rights International Research Institute, New York

Vicky Colbert, Creator of the Columbian “New School”

Philip Cook, Director, The International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD), University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Joao Elias de Oliviera, Formerly, Ombudsman, Parana, Brazil

Martha Farrell Erickson, Director, Children, Youth & Family Consortium, University of Minnesota

Malfrid Flekkoy, Formerly the world’s first Ombudsman for Children (Norway)

Ulf Frederikkson, Education International – Brussels, Belgium

James Garbarino, Internationally renowned youth violence expert

Melanie Gow, World Vision and the Violence Against Children Caucus, Geneva

Andres Guerrero, Education Programme Officer, UNICEF, New York

Roger Hart, Director, Centre for Children and the Environment, CUNY, New York

Stuart N. Hart, Director, Office for the Study of the Psychological Rights of the Child, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Bill Myers, Internationally respected expert on Child Labor

Awa N’Deye Ouedraogo, Chairperson, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Burkino Faso)

Brent Parfitt, Deputy Ombudsman for Children, Province of British Columbia, Canada

Francisco Pilotti, Social Affairs and Education Unit, Organization of American States

Nandanna Reddy, Concern for Working Children, India

Benedito Rodgriques dos Santos, University of Goias and National Movement for Street Boys and Girls, Brazil

Maria Salazar, Columbia

Nicki Sanchez-Hood, Canadian Youth representative at pre Special Session meetings

Marta Santos Pais, Director, Division of Evaluation, Policy, and Planning, UNICEF, New York

Marilia Sardenberg, Member, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Brazil)

Lukas Scherer, Chairperson of the Education and Media Subgroup, NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Geneva, Switzerland

Katherine Vandergrift, Canadian Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

Eugeen Verhellen, Director of the Children’s Rights Centre, University of Ghent, Belgium

Rachel Yates, Save the Children UK

Networking in the NGO Community


The notion of networking is not new and is in keeping with the popular maxim which states, ‘there is strength in unity.’ Networking assumes that the parties involved wish to co-operate. Co-operation for realisation of a common goal very much depends on members’ commitment and agreement on the modality for achievement. The networking of international non-governmental organizations (hereafter referred to as NGOs) to participate in the drafting process and later monitoring and promotion of the Convention of the Rights of the Child has had a profound impact not seen before in human rights history. National NGOs not customarily involved in human rights have also joined forces among themselves and human rights NGOs to promote the rights of children and to hold their governments accountable in a manner laid out in the Convention. This paper discusses some of the complexities of NGO networking in child rights promotion, drawing on the experiences of several child rights networks (popularly known as national coalitions) and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, perhaps the largest international network concerned with promoting the Convention. But first, an introduction to both networks.

The NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Prior to having its present name, the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereafter called the NGO Group) was known as the Informal Ad Hoc Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was formed in 1983 by a group of international NGOs to participate in the drafting of the Convention. Subsequent to the Convention coming into force at the November 1989 session of the UN General Assembly, the NGO Group adopted its present name and has since grown in membership to its present total of 44 INGOs of various persuasions. The NGO Group’s stated mission is to facilitate the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Over the years the network has been a platform for action for its members, influencing mainly the UN system but also regional and national forums. Among its long list of accomplishments are:

    • Ongoing facilitation of NGO participation in the Committee on the Rights of the Child annual Theme Days designed to examine issues pertaining to the Convention;

    • Continued work in enabling national coalitions to submit alternative reports or commentaries to the Committee and attend the pre-sessions, thereby giving them the opportunity to influence outcome of the meeting between their governments and the Committee;
      Participation in several UN forums to promote children’s issues such as the ILO meetings leading up to Convention 182 coming into force. This convention addresses the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
    • Active participation in the Graca Machel Study of children in armed conflict and the creation of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers;


    • Creation of the Focal Point on Sexual Exploitation, a key player for promoting and facilitating information exchange and monitoring developments related to sexual exploitation of children world-wide;


    • Sustained and active participation in the UN Working Groups for the Optional Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict and the Optional Protocol on Sexual Exploitation of Children;


    • Participation and monitoring of other UN agencies concerned with internationally organised crime including the trafficking of children.


Hence the NGO Group has made significant strides at the international level in placing children’s rights as defined in the Convention on the agendas of various international institutions, particularly those within the UN system. As the NGO Group is a network whose work is guided by the voluntary contribution of members it has not only strengths but also challenges. Though the challenges have not prevented the NGO Group’s 45 members from carrying through important work, they nonetheless reflect the challenges most networks face:

    • Disparities in the interest and participation of representatives

    • Disparities in the degree to which member organizations are committed


    • Some members having greater influence than others


    • Funding and particularly lack of it, which poses limitations on accomplishments


    • A reliance on volunteer representatives, rather than full-time paid staff, which at times negatively affect the pace of work


National Coalitions

The ratification of the UN Convention by 191 member states prompted an unprecedented organisation among NGOs and other sectors within civil society to form national coalitions. For the most part NGOs have taken the lead in forming these networks to promote and monitor the implementation of the Convention. There are approximately 77 known national coalitions across the world:

    • 17 in Africa, mainly in the sub-Saharan region


    • 24 in the Americas, most in Latin America and only 3 in the Caribbean


    • 9 in Asia and there does not appear to be any significant pattern in the spread


    • 22 in Europe with approximately one-third representing Central and Eastern European states


    • 5 in the Middle East – Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Israel.


Possibly the greatest motivation behind the formation of these structures is the provision made in article 45a of the Convention which states:

‘The Committee may invite the specialised agencies, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other competent bodies as it may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their respective mandate.’

This article opened the gateway for NGOs, particularly those working with children or on children’s issues, to have a voice in the international arena not normally available to national organizations. Through a collective effort they could not only carry their concerns and recommendations beyond their countries’ boundaries but also receive targeted responses within the UN Committee’s Concluding Observations to State Parties.

National coalitions take several forms, usually determined by the national context and capacities of their membership. Nonetheless certain features seem to dominate:

    • NGOs predominantly constitute national coalitions with additional members, associates or observers from other sectors including government agencies ;


    • most had their genesis when it became necessary to draft an alternative report to the initial state report for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child 1


    • many have embraced promoting the Convention through public education and training;


1 The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is one of several treaty bodies within the UN Human Rights system. The Committee meets three times per year to consider the State reports submitted by various member states. NGOs are encouraged to participate in this process.

    • seek to influence the government at a variety of levels and employ several strategies, usually to realise legislative and policy reform;


    • many are issue-focused and therefore organise advocacy activities in accordance with thematic interests, such as child labour or refugee children ;


    • particularly in the third world, national coalitions serve as convenient donor recipients for international donors who do not wish to give assistance to individual NGOs ;


    • their relationships with governments are usually characterised as strained and at best tolerated on both sides of the fence;


    • after reporting process with the UN Committee is completed, most coalitions grapple with problems of maintaining an ongoing monitoring system and retaining members’ enthusiasm.


In a few countries such as India and Nepal several child rights networks exist. Some focus exclusively on the Convention while others take a thematic approach with the Convention as the subsidiary basis for their existence. This mix of thematic networks and national coalitions at times make delineation very difficult both for the outsider and the organisations involved. Not surprisingly in those situations it is common to find not only the same organisations but also the same people attending meetings. Some regions have sought to rationalise these networks with varying levels of success. In Central America for example, there appears to be an understanding among the coalitions in that region that co-operation takes place on a thematic basis. Hence NGOs that work on similar themes collaborate. This co-operation was reportedly quite successful for national coalitions in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the region in 1998. Through these thematic groupings they were able to make effective interventions at national and international levels, on behalf of vulnerable children. While this example shows the potentials for combining thematic interests within national coalition work, whether at regional or national level, such occurrences are quite rare.

The Organisation of National Coalitions

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is here to stay. However, the child rights networking community has yet to fully come to terms with this fact. Most national coalitions began ill prepared to stay the course for the long run. Consequently after reporting to the UN Committee many became dormant, not able to keep their members motivated and active. Some are contentious and strained since member organizations distrust or compete with each other, or personalities clash. Particularly in the developing world, national coalitions lose their vibrancy and attractiveness when external donors cease to provide funding. It seems therefore that issues related to coalition formation and sustainment need to be squarely addressed.

For several NGOs, membership to national coalitions meant assisting with drafting their Alternative Report2 and possibly subscribing to a few promotional activities. Their commitment was therefore tied to very specific tasks that did not necessitate giving more than the resources and time necessary for execution and completion. But long term commitment suggests that members must also have individual organisational commitment that goes beyond the enthusiastic staff member/volunteer or two. It demands that member organizations embrace the Convention in their mission or mandate, policy and programmes. In the United Kingdom the child rights organisation has initiated an interesting programme in that regard. NGOs are encouraged to ‘adopt’ the Convention. Adoption means that the organisation is prepared include the Convention in their overall work and use it to audit their policies and practice.

2 Alternative Reports prepared by national coalitions provide a unique opportunity of NGOs to raise their concerns and recommendations at an international level with a body within the UN system that has the legal authority to ensure the implementation of children’s rights.

Although all NGOs usually enter coalitions as members on an equal basis who are expected to fulfil certain minimum requirements, often most do not contribute in the manner anticipated. It may be useful therefore, to provide a range of options for NGOs to get involved with a time frame for review and recommitment. Few national coalitions have exploited the potentials of creating a range of status categories within the membership framework, such as associate, consultant, partner or observer. Instead of engaging all members on an equal basis when they are clearly not equal, the provision of these options would enable interested organizations to determine the best for their expertise and interests. Nor should membership be a fixed state, girded by several bi-laws, as is the case of some coalitions. Little is gained from creating an inflexible system. Instead, periodically members ought to be invited to review their participation and make a re-commitment on a basis that is feasible for both parties.

A natural consequence of these suggestions, if they applied, would be that member organizations must take a rational approach to making decisions about retaining membership or joining national coalitions. Hurriedly joining the group to produce an Alternative Report while permissible at the initial stage ought to move to a process of review and renewed commitment. NGOs must answer for themselves such questions as:

    • What are the points of convergence and divergence between the coalition’s mission and our organisation?


    • What are the implications for membership and what form should continued involvement take?


    • What and how much resource will the organisation commit to fulfilling these obligations?


Without a rational approach, coalitions seem to fall victim to participants representing themselves rather than their organizations. It should also be said that in a few instances, national coalitions also have individuals as members. Therefore, the notions of varied types of membership and review are also applicable.

Quite apart from these organisational issues there are other important questions pertaining to sustaining networks, that are worth discussing. The following questions are among those deserving attention.

Should institutional structures or goals define national coalitions?

Over the years several national coalitions have moved from being loose networks to formal networks, and in some instances eventually become NGOs with full legal status. The difficulty with this kind of evolution is that the coalition ceases to be membership driven. Members are more inclined to expect the coalition to define and pursue its work with minimal reliance on them, thereby weakening members’ stake and commitment. Secondly the costs associated with setting up and maintaining an agency could in some instances, compromise the coalition’s capacities for advocacy, monitoring and other programme work. As a membership network national coalition’s legitimacy comes not from registering with the requisite government bureau, but rather from the legal status and reputation of coalition members. However we are mindful that in some countries national coalitions have registered in order to be recognised as a legitimate human rights group.

The converse approach to determining institutional structure is one whereby the coalition’s goals and commensurate tasks define that structure. This approach may not necessarily add very much by way of institution building, but it does help ensure that the coalition will maximise its impact. The Venezuelan coalition appears to have this model, as the coalition is regarded as a platform for action. Membership is loosely defined allowing a wide range of players in civil society to enter and accomplish specific tasks compatible with advancing child rights. As a platform for action, participating organisations are likely to be highly motivated and committed at least for the duration of their project.

Should national coalitions be issue focused?

The experiences of several national coalitions suggest that without an issue or issues for advocacy, dynamism within the networks die. It seems that issues, such as child prostitution or children in detention, provide sufficient substance for NGOs to create and pursue meaningful action for change. The extent to which they are able to call public attention to these problems or persuade government officials to introduce regulations to further protect vulnerable children, not only give coalitions a public face but also a means of gauging progress and impact.

Traditionally coalitions have sought to monitor the country’s progress utilising the Convention as a whole or UN Committee’s Concluding Observations. This approach does not necessarily have a thematic focus. For many, this approach far exceed their capacities in data collection, economical and social analysis, and all the other technical resources needed for such purposes. There are a few networks that have designed and maintained effective methods for monitoring the implementation of the Convention and in particular the Concluding Observations for example COMEXANI in Mexico.

In adopting a non-thematic approach many coalitions attempt to monitor the state by seeking or accepting invitations to join government appointed multi-sectoral monitoring committees/commissions. However the difficulty with many such monitoring commissions is that they exist outside the state bureaucracy and lack the necessary legal or policy clout to ensure child rights protection. Depending on the nature of the association between coalitions and government, participation in these committees could negatively affect the coalition’s credibility as an independent ‘watch dog’ for children’s rights.

Should coalitions do service delivery work?

In the continent of Africa it is not unusual to find national coalitions in service delivery. Some NGO members having the same programme interests (for example health) found the coalition a useful avenue for co-operation. Through the network they were able to attract funding from large donors to do work at a scale that would not have been otherwise possible. However, for many NGOs unaccustomed to doing joint advocacy, service delivery not strategically employed, derails the process of influencing for lasting change.

Should national coalitions work towards mainstreaming child rights?

Child Rights is human rights for children. Like women’s rights, it gives greater recognition that children are human beings, fully entitled to enjoy all the rights of this status. A significant percent of NGOs that compose national coalitions are not human rights organisations, but instead child welfare organizations. Therefore the knowledge and experience in human rights within these coalitions are severely limited. It seems that since child rights is just one aspect of human rights; more could be accomplished by mainstreaming children’s rights into the wider human rights arena. Mainstreaming suggests that:

    • There would be a close association between national coalitions and human rights organisations;


    • national coalitions would expose members to other human rights treaties and treaty body mechanisms:


    • national coalitions would seek to submit reports to the other UN human rights treaty committees, providing them with the much needed child perspective.



The Convention on the Rights of the Child is here to stay. It is therefore imperative that the NGO community interested in children should find solutions for maintaining a dynamic role in the Convention’s promotion and implementation. The issues raised above draw attention to some of the critical areas that must be addressed for sustained participation by national coalitions and NGOs on a whole. The NGO Group for the CRC has an expressed commitment to support the creation and sustainment of national coalitions. The NGO Group wishes not only to encourage the debate necessary to find adequate answers, but also to enable a dynamic exchange among national coalitions that strengthens capacities and commitment of purpose.

Adopting a Child – What You Need to Know About the Procedure

Adopting a child is a big decision, and the entire process can take years to complete, so make sure this is something you’re ready for. Still, if you cannot have children any other way, adoption is an incredibly rewarding endeavor in the end. Besides allowing you to start a family of your own it also helps you give a child who might not be able to have one otherwise a real home. All the long-standing means to young child academy is the most effective opportunity of going all the means.

When you start the process of adopting through an adoption agency, you will most likely go through a thing called “home-study” This is a long process that involves a series of meetings with a social worker from the agency. During these meetings you and the social worker will talk and the social worker will assess your readiness to be a parent.

You’ll also have the opportunity to learn what is involved in being a parent and more about the adoption process. Some of the meetings with your social worker will take place in your home so that the agency can learn how suitable our home is (or is not) for raising a child. Home studies are good ways for the adoption agency to make sure that you and your future child are suited for each other.

Adopting a child is a complex process so you need to be ready if you want to take it on all by yourself. You need to make sure that you have all of the necessary resources for taking care of a child and that includes your having the time and financial stability to accept this huge responsibility. Often you will also need to be ready to help out a child who is labeled as “special needs” which typically means a child with either physical or mental disabilities. If you already have kids of your own you need to think about how this is going to affect them. Finally, you have to be ready to undergo the whole arduous adoption process, which many prospective parents find frustrating. There are lots of fantastic reasons for adopting a child but it really does take some time and work.

A high percentage of children who need homes are considered special needs children. This is an incredibly broad term and it can mean lots of different things.

For the most part it is assigned to children who suffer from mental, emotional or physical health disabilities or problems. It is also used for other things and can sometimes refer to even the age or the race of a child. Above a certain age, for example, a child may be given this label because it’s harder for older children to find families who want to adopt them. Some adoption agencies even label a child as “special needs” because he or she is of a minority race or ethnic background and it is harder to find parents who want to adopt those children. Male kids are more likely to be given the “special needs” label because there are a lot more of them who need to be adopted. Even when you know you want to adopt a child you can still get overwhelmed by the amount of red tape that is involved in the process. Do not freak out though, just take it a single step at a time. These regulations have been put in place to ensure that the adoptive parents are qualified and to make sure that the adoption itself is carried out correctly. If you stick with it and are truly ready to adopt a son or daughter, you will reach that finish line eventually. What You Have to do to Adopt a Child Deciding to adopt a child is a big deal and the process can take years to complete so it is important to make sure that you are ready to do it. All the same, for couples who are not able to have children in any other way, adoption is well worth the time and expense. Not only are you starting your own family, you’re helping a child find a loving home that he or she might not have been able to have otherwise. After completing as much research into adoption on your own as you can handle, you should ask an agency to handle the rest of it. Choosing an adoption agency is something you have to do carefully -it’s almost as important as choosing the child you’re going to adopt. For one thing, make sure the agency you’re working with is legal and has the necessary license to operate in its location. Most adoption agencies are fine but some are nothing but scammers who want to take advantage of your anxiety about and eagerness to adopt. You should also figure out at least a ballpark figure of how much the process will cost. Check out how long the agency has been operating. Finally, there might be some issues after you’ve adopted a child so make sure that your agency offers post-adoption services to new parents. There are lots of factors to think about when you are trying to decide whether you want to adopt a local child or to pursue an international adoption. One reason that some people choose an international child is that they’re worried about the mother changing her mind and deciding to take the child back. This doesn’t happen all that often but that doesn’t change the fact that most of the time a birth mother is given a window of opportunity for changing her mind about things. This becomes almost impossible when you adopt a child internationally.

For one thing, most of the children being adopted are orphans and even if they aren’t, the parents almost never try to get their kids back. Paperwork and finances are only a small part of adopting a child. It is also an important requirement to meet and spend real time with the child before you make your final decision about adoption. The time you spend is usually distributed over a few weeks or, sometimes, months. Not only will this help you decide about adoption as a whole, it will help you decide about adopting this specific kid. It is a very important part of the process for everybody but it is particularly important for first time parents who will get some experience spending time with the person they are hoping to adopt. You, your partner, your social worker and the child all need to be on the same page to make sure that the adoption is in the best interest of everybody involved. Even when you know you want to adopt a child you can still get overwhelmed by the amount of red tape that is involved in the process. Do not freak out though, just take it a single step at a time. These regulations have been put in place to ensure that the adoptive parents are qualified and to make sure that the adoption itself is carried out correctly. If you stick with it and are truly ready to adopt a son or daughter, you will reach that finish line eventually.

Easy methods to help you save an important marriage

Each individual marriage possesses his own disadvantages. If a person states that they’ve got hardly ever battled into their marriage, in that case which is wrong. It truly is verified of which every husbands and wives contain temporary disagreements. Yet acquiring issues does not always mean that your particular marriage was at possibility, that primarily is the reason why both of you care and attention in addition to enjoy one another a great deal to position troubles for another person. Nonetheless, should the struggling with turns into a standard along with the bond that may well be a beneficial time and energy to check into what the heck is taking effect.

Activities from repeated disputes in a marriage may possibly suggest we now have additional damage that is hidden below the surface area. It’s extremely easier for someone to wobbly the view of the fundamental graphic on marriage mainly because of the chaotic pursuits from existence. It is recommended aware of please take a take a step back to evaluate the circumstance by an outdoor observe while this goes on in order to know how to save a marriage.

Studies have shown of which break up is now hence well-known in comparison to satisfied weddings. It is extremely shocking of which marriage no longer is a typic any longer inside the community. For those times you think about several recommendations in addition to suggestions of methods saving the marriage that are going to be from assistance and may wind up owning the most effective marriage.

Of saving the marriage, normally placed the marriage prior to your youngsters. It might audio uncomplicated to point out however it is very difficult for several husbands and wives. If infants can be found in the actual existence of numerous individuals, that they just ignore the marriage while keeping focused read more about they. A solid marriage may benefit they in comparison to a busted marriage. It is because you happen to be supplying your youngsters the chance of staying all over mother and father who definitely are satisfied as well as beneficial heroines. This won’t contain a expense. This means you mustn’t normally feel unhealthy if you want to go forth for the time while not your youngsters included in reconnecting the actual marriage.

Another new matter you need to try to save you the marriage is always to stability your existence in addition to deliver the results. In the event that your work is taken your main point in time, perhaps you can quickly wobbly niche involving the profession plus your marriage. Your employment could take usually you can commit to your spouse which usually most often is often very destroying with your marriage. At present, both males and females are generally people on this. It may be most effective referred to as staying committed with your task. The only technique to keep up this is certainly leave job at the workplace spot. To perform this is certainly as a result of ensuring you happen to be additional ordered to ensure you conclude the only thing that is predicted people at the workplace and look at for your individual existence.

Cruising to undertake saving the marriage is actually watching the requirement of your significant other inside the marriage. Do they must be helped or even recognized? Discover the couples must have are generally plus your marriage will probably end up being the top since you have normally imagined.

Hormonal imbalance in women – What to do next

We have gotten a new confession: It was not previouslywhich I was enslaved by all the things I always teach contrary to – caffeine, sugar, dairy, and alcohol – because of, a hormonal imbalance in women.

During Harvard School Of Medicine, I became practiced this article the callous and dogmatic quest for medical information was noble, regardless of whether it designed refusing rudimentary own personal needs. I gladly toiled 100+ hours a week for a few years. I declined toilet breaks, sleep and even food. I presented one thousand new borns. I removed reproductive glands equipped with non-invasive surgical treatment. I carried out 400-500 hysterectomies. I observed up to 30 individuals daily in the office for a decade.

So how did that ultimately really make me feel? Stressed. My adrenal system did not take care of the demand. I had worked myself into adrenal deficiency.

I have been conditioned to slash matters now I understand as being vital and non-negotiable: regular sleep; use of natural and organic, whole-foods, thoughtfully consumed contemplative strategy concerning a loving connection with your partner in life.

I kept going for a long time, running on fumes and adrenaline, right up till I crashed and burned. My own previous approaches originated me down in a extensive disorder at thirty three-post partum depression, disproportionate gain in weight, volatile bloodstream sugar, heavy coffee routine and happily, my personal road to choosing my personal path out of my personal mess grew to become my personal concept. The actual root cause of my personal problems? I stressed out my personal adrenals,the stunning special spheres that lay on the top among the renal system, and convey the key bodily hormones of anxiety: cortisol and DHEA. I made an incredible amount of these bodily hormones, almost definitely for long periods. Precisely what does hormonal imbalance in women appear to be? You will feel fatigued and yet restless. You require sugar and carbohydrates, much like a drug addict. You sprout a muffintop.

In this case, as soon as your adrenal glands have toiled extremely hard for extended periods, they quit delivering the stress bodily hormones. The adrenals burn out, and you really feel depleted. Most likely disheartened -not significantly needy- far more low grade misery a-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed-all-day-ness. Like you could not take care of one more oz of anxiety. You desire to stay at home every last weekend viewing the television. You desire to roll into a ball and hide.

5 years the particular, my wonderful husband has reported my personal daily return back from my personal common female gynecology clinic by doing this: You might get back home and smile wanely – fill your vino glass and move upstairs to have a heated bathe before you actually could perhaps in fact manage spending time considering the kids. After the bathe, you might have one more vino glass when you cooked dinner. We would actually eat late, place the kids to bed, and you would most likely retire for the night the next you allowed your head to sink into the pillow. You might arise angry without being delighted bracing for another day of up to 30 individuals

Immediately as soon as that lovely picture in ’06, I split totally free of common medical clinic for ladies. I lowered my personal hours from twelve hours daily to six. I transported the kids to school and brought them home, daily . I get plenty of exercise a number of days per week.I obtained support to ensure that I conceivably could perhaps actually eat and offer spectacular, natural and organic supper to my loved ones and to myself I little-by-little relieved myself on a very personal level and rose coming from a abyss I’d personally made for me personally.

In spite of everything, now and again I slip. A week the particular, a buddy was furnishing me a therapeutic massage.

Your superficial muscle groups feel happy. Normal. However, when now and again more deeply, I’m sure that your intrinsic muscle groups, these stabilizers, for example your erector spinae, have become tight.

Which probably was approximately right. On the outside, I seem to seem like I have my personal act altogether. Yet , not, inside, I’m just not aligned correctly with my personal concept. At the time that occurs, I have mastered how to get involved noticeably earlier, prior to when the devastation occurred.

I in many instances see women at my medical related clinic who definitely are with a identical disorder . You continue together with their activity and youngsters and the handsome husband and elderly parents, and appear to be as if they are barely holding it altogether. Some people choose substances, such as caffeine consumption, sugar and carbohydrates and beer to heighten a person’s green energy and vibe. And still these kinds of false stamina never in the end offer these individuals. They’re fatigued. Most people won’t make love. It ordinarily will not seriously feel rightly blissful. They wish to exist totally, however far more rather than not, they believe excessively bombarded. In many cases it happens to be pre-menopausal or sometimes perimenopausal that causes an ideal storm: put stressed adrenals along with hormonal imbalance in women, waning androgens, and is not a surprise mothers (myself on a very personal level included) will end up on their sad knees.