This set up is phoney!

 On the formation of a new “Children First”

 Children First would soon be completing four successful years of campaigning to defend children’s rights. Children First has now become a renowned institution for the promotion and defence of the universal rights of children. Children First has an extensive organisation with offices, members and activists in a number of countries and enjoying a credible reputation amongst the NGOs.

 From the very beginning, Children First considered itself a non-political and non-partisan organisation. The aim and efforts of the founders of the Children First (Mansoor Hekmat and Soraya Shahabi) was to found an organisation dedicated to the unconditional defence of the children’s rights and a vehicle for all the children’s rights activists, with different political affiliations, to join forces and carry out their activities more effectively.

   On 24 October 2004, a number of the activists of the Children First, mainly from our Sweden branch, posted an statement on their website announcing their departure from Children First and the formation of a new organisation. (They have used the name of “Children First” in their English version of their statement and its Swedish equivalent but used a slightly different Farsi version).

 Naturally people can voluntarily join and leave from Children First. And furthermore we have always welcomed the formation of new organisations dedicated to the promotion of children rights. But since this new organisation in its founding declaration and subsequent documents have portrayed a distorted version of the facts and events we find it our duty to inform the public of the true course of the events. Children First has made public the archive of the documents supporting our claims.

This new organisation was formed after failed attempts to take over the Children First and failed “coup” attempts against the leadership of the Children First. They have also illegally used the English and Swedish version of the Children First’s name.

On their Swedish website this new organisation has posted the founding documents of the Children First signed jointly by its founders Mansoor Hekmat and Soraya Shahabi, omitting the names of the authors and the founders of the Children First. Lastly, they have appropriated the Swedish name of the Children First and its website in Sweden and to crown all this they have decided to organise a conference a week prior to our planned conference to create maximum confusion and disruption.

Appropriation of the names, documents and good reputation of an institution for whatever purpose has nothing to do with serving the cause of children. If this newly established organisation intends to promote the rights of children there is no need for deception and sabotage. Behind such misconducts lie the petty sectarian and material interests.

 We intend to expose such obvious fraudulent behaviours and take every possible legal actions to stop it.


Children First – Secretariat

8 November 2004