Child Protection Expert Working Group Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey (September 2011)

Child Protection Project

Child Protection Expert Working Groups

The Child Protection Model Law has been presented at expert meetings in each region of the world to identify issues of concern and discuss suggestions for improvement. The debates at each regional expert panel have contributed to the revision and expansion of the model law.

In April 2010, the first regional expert working group meeting was held in Singapore, for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, bringing together experts from 11 APAC countries, representing government ministries, NGOs and academic institutions.

129experts representing 114 organizations from 43 countries participated in the expert working group process.

The second regional expert working group for the greater Middle East region was held in October 2010 in Alexandria, Egypt. The second expert working group brought together nearly 40 child protection experts from 10 countries in the Middle East and North Africa to discuss and comment on the revised draft model law. Experts included representatives from the League of Arab States, the General Secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, universities, law schools, NGOs, and media, as well as judges and lawyers.

MENA Child Protection Expert Working Group Meeting (October 2010)

In June 2011, the third expert working group meeting was convened in San Jose, Costa Rica for Latin America and the Caribbean. This working group consisted of 21 experts from 9 countries in the region representing national child protection agencies, regional and international organizations, and NGOs from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.

The European expert working group meeting was held in Valencia, Spain in July 2011. This group consisted of 24 experts from 10 countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

A special expert meeting was held in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2011 to focus on child protection case law and best practices from around the world along with discussion of the model law. This working group consisted of 21 experts from 11 countries including Australia, Belgium, Costa Rica, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The sixth and final expert working group meeting was held in April 2012 at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia for the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada and several U.S.-based NGOs that focus on child protection in Africa. This working group consisted of 16 experts including law professors, attorneys, NGOs, and government representatives.

In January 2013, the Child Protection Model Law was presented to the distinguished members of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child during its 62nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland. In early 2013 ICMEC and The Protection Project also began coordinating with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in anticipation of presenting the Child Protection Model Law at the 129th Assembly of the IPU in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2013. Dr. Mohamed Mattar, Executive Director of The Protection Project and ICMEC Board Member, presented the Child Protection Model Law as part of a panel discussion of the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights; this was the first time since 2001 that the IPU Assembly considered the rights of children. We estimate that nearly 300 Parliamentarians, representing 100 countries, attended the session.

Dr. Mohamed Mattar presenting on the "Role of Parliaments in Protecting the Rights of Children" (photo courtesy of the IPU)

In June 2014, ICMEC and The Protection Project, in collaboration with the League of Arab States, held a symposium on “Arab Model Laws: The Concept, Successful Models, and an Agenda for the Future” in Casablanca, Morocco. The symposium was attended by delegates of the Arab League and representatives of the Ministries of Justice of Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen. The event offered a tremendous opportunity to reach countries throughout the Middle East region and to provide the Child Protection Model Law as a tool to help countries create or improve child protection laws.