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Monitoring and Demanding Child Rights with Children

Monitoring and reporting on progress in the implementation of children’s rights is an important part of creating accountability for children’s rights. Save the Children is committed to supporting children exercising their active citizenship to effect social and political change.

Save the Children’s objective for Child Rights Monitoring is improved accountability of states and other key actors for their commitments and obligations to child rights.

Children and civil society’s voices as well as their attempts to hold governments to account, is being challenged by restrictions to civic space. Many children across the world are not enjoying their civil rights and freedoms due to unequal access to birth registration services and lack of protection of their civil rights and freedoms in law and practice. Children are often excluded from formal participation and accountability mechanisms by legal impediments, such as national elections. It is crucial to push for more child led social accountability initiatives.

At the international level, States are held accountable by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC reporting) and the Human Rights Council (Universal Periodic Review reporting) to whom they submit reports on their performance and whom provide recommendations to the countries at the end of the reviewing process.

By preparing so-called ‘supplementary’ reports civil society can provide a complementary and critical view to governments’ own reports. It is a key priority of Save the Children to make sure children’s views are included in these reports.

Save the Children supports civil society, including children’s groups, to get involved in advocacy to follow up on the recommendations and to monitor implementation.

Over time the reporting processes has created important leverage for political and progressive change. Other international  regional bodies also play an increasingly important role in terms of monitoring and supporting the implementation of national child rights obligations. For instance the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the European Union, ASEAN in South East Asia and SAARC in South Asia.

Other actors than the state and civil society play important roles in pushing for and being accountable for child rights. Save the Children works to increase private sector accountability for child rights with a focus on UNCRC General Comment 16 and the Child Rights Business Principles.

Photo: Mariluz Aparicio Vásquez / Save the Children

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