Based on decades of leadership and persistent advocacy for children’s rights, Gertrud Lenzer, professor of sociology and director of the Children’s Studies Center for Research, Policy, and Public Service, recently returned from Geneva, where she was invited by the United Nations to participate in a working group on children’s rights.

Lenzer was representing the Children’s Studies Center, one of only three nongovernmental organizations to be invited to appear before the 18 members of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. The committee will articulate a list of issues that will be forwarded to the U.S. government for consideration in advance of the meeting of the committee in January 2013 with members of the U.S. government to discuss the Periodic Report of the United States of America (January 22, 2010) in an official session in Geneva.

“It is certainly an honor for the Children’s Studies Center,” Lenzer says. “It is wonderful for Brooklyn College to be involved in these important treaty obligations.”

After receiving a $50,000 grant from the Oak Foundation, the Children’s Studies Center conducted research to determine whether New York State was in compliance with a treaty dealing with the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Their report does not offer recommendations but notes where there may be loopholes in state law.

Lenzer presented findings from the center’s research to the U.N. committee in Geneva last month.