The Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature on the 20th of November 1989. The rights of the child have always guided the work of Maria Montessori. AMI aims to mark the 30th Anniversary of this milestone by producing a declaration and a global Montessori book, highlighting the work of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and Educateurs sans Frontières (EsF).

What you can find on this website
What the Convention is and how it relates to the work of Montessori.
What Educateurs sans Frontières does and how you can help us in our outreach work.
How you can take part in this initiative in 5 simple steps.
How to get in touch and share your ideas with us.
The history of Child Rights and how Montessori advocated for children during her lifetime.
How Montessori teachers, parents and children can learn more about the Convention and discuss these rights.
Inspiring examples of people bringing children's rights to the forefront.
Reflecting on the legacy of Maria Montessori and exploring innovative application of Montessori principles and practice in today's world
We, participants of Educateurs sans Frontières, strive to promote the rights of the child throughout the world, irrespective of race, religion, political and social beliefs and in particular Article 30 of the Convention.

We recognise and will support the capacity of each and every child to grow to their full potential.

We draw our inspiration and commitment from the work of Maria Montessori, and from the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We recognise that many children still suffer deprivation, discrimination and exclusion and as a consequence lack the opportunities to grow to their full potential.

In co-celebration with the 30th anniversary of the Convention, and in recognition of its ratification by nearly every country in the world, we commit to promoting the rights of ALL children as articulated in the Convention within the communities in which we work; we commit to creating environments in which all children with whom we work will have the possibility of participating and developing their own understanding of their rights, in part through making available to them child friendly versions of the Convention.

To visualise the importance and raise awareness on the Convention, we aim to create the Montessori Book for Children's Rights, produced by the children of the world, demonstrating what the different articles of the convention mean to them. Every child can participate in the creation of this digital book.

"Directing our action toward mankind means, first and foremost, doing so with regard to the child. The child, that 'forgotten citizen', must be appreciated in accordance with his true value. His rights as a human being who shapes all of mankind must become sacred, and the secret laws of his normal psychic development must light the way for civilisation".
Maria Montessori
Education and Peace
Meet our team
Edwina Mulcahy
Literacy and Children's Publication Expert
Edwina is an AMI Primary and Elementary qualified teacher, and has worked in London and Dublin, with children from the ages of 18 months to 12 years. She also graduated from University College Dublin with a first class honours Masters of Education. Her M.Ed. included modules on Social Justice in Education, Children's Rights and Participation, Philosophical Perspectives in Education and Children's Literature. During her Masters, she worked, in an outreach capacity, as a Literacy Coordinator in a DEIS school in Dublin (DEIS is an acronym for Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools). Edwina is now a researcher for University College Dublin, as part of Children's School Lives (CSL) - the first ever national longitudinal study focusing on children's lives in school in Ireland.
Fay Hendriksen
Educateurs sans Frontières and Funds Development Manager
Fay studied International Relations and obtained a Masters in Conflict Resolution. Afterwards, she spent four months in Nicaragua providing vocational training. This experience made her increasingly aware of the importance of quality education in order to develop independent, socially engaged individuals. Fay's responsibilities at the AMI office in Amsterdam include coordination of Educateurs sans Frontières and Funds Development.
Philip O'Brien
AMI President
Philip O'Brien is the President of Association Montessori Internationale. Formerly he was Executive Vice President for Communications Advocacy and Development at the Elizabeth Glaser Foundation. Before joining Elizabeth Glaser, Philip worked for UNICEF in a number of positions and roles, including Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe, and Director of Private Partnerships and Fundraising. He has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, US and Europe. He holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Wales, Swansea, UK.
Elske Voermans
Educateurs sans Frontières Coordinator
Elske Voermans has a bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies and a master's degree in International Development Economics. She worked in Greece for three years, in an intercultural makerspace where residents of the nearby refugee camps could express their talents, learn, and make the items they need in their daily life. During her time in Greece, Elske also designed and carried out a practical and project based science programme for the adolescents living in the refugee camps. Her interest in education, as well as in human rights and development, are a good match for her role as Educateurs sans Frontières coordinator at AMI.
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