Child Rights Governance

Child Rights Governance, CRG, is one of five global themes prioritized by Save the Children to deliver its new strategy. The other areas are Child Protection, Child Poverty, Education and Health.

Around the world, millions of children continue to suffer widespread and severe violations of their rights. Many of the problems children face today can be attributed to poor governance, which is characterized by corruption, lack of capacity or political will, illicit financial flows (mainly through tax evasion and avoidance) and insufficient budget allocations.

Photo: Save the Children

In many countries, inadequate national data systems mean governments don’t know what the needs of children are. In addition every year, 50 million births are not registered, meaning that those children lose access to all basic services. These stateless children are even more vulnerable to discrimination, social exclusion and abuse. Furthermore, even though most governments have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there might still be national laws which contradict the Convention and perpetuate violations such as child marriage and low ages of criminal responsibility. Many governments do not have a resourced national strategy for how to implement the Convention or lack independent complaints mechanisms for children and families who have become victims of child rights violations.

The budget is a good indication of what governments plan to do. All too often governments fail to priorities. Children have a right to their fair share. We will advocate for increased and improved government spending to help children survive, be healthy, learn and be protected from violence. We know that weak tax collection systems and tax evasion makes it hard for some governments to raise enough money to give all children equal opportunity. 

From the library:

Child Rights Governance: Thematic Plan 2016-18

Save the Children is committed to ensuring that all rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and its Optional Protocols are fulfilled – now, in times of crisis, and in the future, for all children includin

CRG policy work aims to positively influence and determine the decisions and actions of the state and key actors to ensure all children’s rights are fulfilled in all circumstances. In all countries - whether low, middle or high income - it is important to strengthen the voice of children and of child-focused civil society to demand that children are prioritized in policy, planning and resource allocation.We will contribute to policy development by exposing rights violations and negative trends and making recommendations to governments and other actors on how they could improve the rights situation in their countries.

Our vision is a world where accountable, responsive, inclusive and transparent governance assures the rights of every child and where every child can have a voice in governance.

Our goals are that all states meet their obligations to monitor and implement children’s rights. A strong civil society, including children, holds states and the international community to account for children’s rights.

Photo: Poulomi Basu/Save the Children

The SDG goals and Save the Children’s breakthroughs

Work on The Sustainable Development Goal 16, its targets, indicators, the SDG accountability and financing of the goals has presented a whole new area of work for CRG. With the goals adopted, we will concentrate on indicators, ensuring a child friendly accountability mechanisms to monitor implementation, and financing to realise this ambitious and exciting 2030 agenda. Over the course of the next few years, Save the Children will be strengthening our partnerships, scaling up our advocacy work and increasing our cross-thematic work in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contribute to Save the Children’s 2030 breakthroughs:

  1. No child dies from preventable causes before their fifth birthday
  2. All children learn from a quality basic education
  3. Violence against children is no longer tolerated

Children’s rights to survive, learn and be protected are enshrined in international law. Success in advancing CRG is crucial to realizing Save the Children’s breakthroughs on survival, learning and protection from violence. CRG identifies and addresses the systemic, underlying and/or structural aspects that enable or hinder the realization of these rights. By addressing a lack of open, inclusive and accountable governance for child rights and a lack of resources to fund obligations to children, CRG helps to remove these obstacles and create conditions for long term sustainable change.

Our priority areas

Childs Rights Governance will work closely with Health and Nutrition, Education, Child Protection and Child Poverty colleagues in using international and regional monitoring and reporting mechanisms to raise violations of children’s right and national advocacy to follow up on recommendations. We will also work collectively to remove financial and discriminatory barriers to survival, learning and protection.

We have agreed to focus our child rights governance work on three sub-thematic areas:

Published 2016-02-04

Child Rights Governance: Thematic Plan 2016-18

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What is Child Rights Governance?

Child Rights Governance aims to support and if necessary put pressure on states to put in place the system necessary to make rights realities and facilitate a vibrant civil society (including children) able to hold them accountable when they fail to do so. We aim to raise the issue and status of children in all societies to ensure that they are treated as the citizens of today not just tomorrow and in doing so push children and their rights up on the political agenda.

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