Our first presentation was titled “Making Rights Real: Children’s Rights in Policy and Practice,” lead by Howard Choo, Australian Policy and Advocacy Lead at Save the Children and 54 Reasons. Howard discussed the importance of adopting a child rights approach in advocating for policy reform and system change to uphold children’s rights across Australia. He emphasised the significance of viewing children as rights holders and valuing their participation in decision-making processes.

The presentation showcased Save the Children’s organisational journey in implementing child rights principles through their “Child I View” Practice Framework. The session provided practical insights on how a child rights approach can lead to improved outcomes, better service delivery, and a holistic approach to children’s development.

Access the recording here!

Key Messages

  1. Child Rights Approach: Howard emphasised the importance of adopting a child rights approach in advocating for policy reform and system change. Children’s rights, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), should be at the forefront of decision-making and services to ensure children’s wellbeing and development. Centering children’s experiences and voices, policy and service delivery can lead to improved individual outcomes and system-wide change, bridging silos and focusing on holistic child development.
  2. Valuing Children as Rights Holders: Shifting from a passive needs-based paradigm, a child rights approach views children as rights holders with entitlements to safety, education, and participation. This approach helps build trust between children and adults, allowing for a better understanding of children’s needs, and ensuring that children are seen, heard, and valued.
  3. Children’s Participation as a Fundamental Right: Children’s participation in decision-making is a fundamental right that needs to be respected and supported. A culture of children’s participation leads to improved outcomes, better safeguarding, and mutual respect between children and adults.

Why is this relevant for the sector? The presentation encouraged the audience to prioritise child rights, to actively involve children in decision-making, and to create a culture of listening and learning from children’s perspectives. The goal is to build a society where all children can reach their fullest potential and experience their rights fully. By centring children as rights holders and valuing their participation in decision-making, the sector can create a better world for children, breaking down silos and improving outcomes.


Speaker – Howard Choo
Howard is the Australian Policy and Advocacy Lead at leading child rights organisation Save the Children and 54 reasons. Howard is responsible for advocating for policy reform and system change to uphold children’s rights across Australia across portfolios and systems where children face the greatest challenges in accessing their rights. Howard previously held senior leadership roles in policy development and reform at the Victorian Department of Premier & Cabinet and the Department of Education. He is also the Chair of the Board of the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC), the peak body representing school-age students in Victoria and a student-led organisation supported by an adult Board.

Get in touch

Want to learn more? OPEN can help!

Get assistance !



Join the OPEN community - It's Free