Every child has fundamental rights in terms of healthcare, education, justice and social protection for example. The Defender of Rights defends and raises awareness of these rights.
Children’s rights are recognised by the law and enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). In France, the Defender of Rights is the UN-designated organisation for ensuring these rights are respected. There is a twofold mission underpinning its action: to protect and promote the rights of the child. It particularly ensures that “the best interests of the child” are respected, i.e. that the interests of the child are considered to be of paramount importance and to take priority over all others. Moreover, the Defender of Rights ensures that children are not discriminated against and that they are able to take part in decisions and initiatives concerning them.
Aided by a deputy who is the Defender of Children, the Defender of Rights takes action when a person refers situations to it where the rights of the child or his or her best interests do not seem to have been respected.
You can contact the Defender of Rights if you feel that the rights of a child are not respected or that a situation calls into question its interest. A child or adolescent can contact the Defender of Rights himself.