The Commonwealth Children's Interest Group
CFAB is one of the founders of the Commonwealth Children’s Interest Group (ComCIG). Both our CEO Carolyn Housman and Trustee David Jones are among the conveners of this group, with CFAB acting as Secretariat. The inaugural meeting of the group occurred on the 28th February 2023.
Joined by 18 Commonwealth Accredited Organisations to date, the aim of this group is to position the Commonwealth as a leading advocate on childcare and protection reform and provide an outlet for the development of partnership-working between Commonwealth governments, the Commonwealth Secretariat and civil society organisations.
With a large percentage of the Commonwealth population aged under-18, it has never been more vital to form a unifying position in the Commonwealth to consider the needs of children and to protect the many children of Commonwealth families who cross international borders. The Commonwealth is uniquely placed to protect children, due to its diversity and shared inheritance of language, culture and law, but also its concern for those in situations which make them vulnerable. It serves as a catalyst for new forms of friendship, co-operation and common action. Given that all Commonwealth countries are signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, this group is an important step forward in upholding those rights.
This new group will be working to bring forward children’s rights and protections on the international Commonwealth stage, focusing on advocating for policies to improve children’s safety and wellbeing. It seeks to collaborate both within the Commonwealth, including High Commissioners, and with international organisations, such as the International Social Service, UNICEF and Plan International.
ComCIG hopes to drive the broad goals and initiatives of the child protection sector, which are to focus on systems building and strengthening, and on scaling up to improve the reach, quality and impact of child protection prevention and response programmes within regional, country and local contexts.
In February 2023, the ComCIG steering group were heavily involved in the organisation of the Commonwealth Secretariat Roundtable: Activating the Kigali Declaration on Child Care and Protection reform. This e-event was attending by circa 100 Commonwealth actors ranging from high commissions, government representatives, and civil society organisations. Presumed the first of a series of webinars furthering this area, this Roundtable discussion raised awareness for the Kigali Declaration, allowed for the sharing of best practice on child care and protection reform and outline the roadmap for the implementation of the declaration ahead of the next CHOGM in Samoa 2024. Click here to find out more.
For further information, please contact Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) at firstname.lastname@example.org