Child Rights Governance Global Theme

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.

Millions of children around the world do not have what they need to survive and thrive because governments do not prioritise them, do not listen to them, and are not held accountable when they fail them. 

In many countries, inadequate national data systems mean governments do not know what the needs of children are. Every year, millions of births are not registered, meaning that those children lose access to all basic services. The unregistered children are even more vulnerable to discrimination, social exclusion, and abuse, therefore there is a need to ensure that governments collect disaggregated data. Data collection is equally important for other vulnerable groups like disabled, transgender, girls and indigenous/ethnic/caste-affected children. Furthermore, even though most states have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are still 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 prioritise children, even though 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 opportunities.

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 while engaging and consulting children to make recommendations to governments and other actors on how they could improve the child rights situation in their countries through legislative and policy changes.

Our vision is a world where good 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 new area of work for CRG. With the goals adopted, we will concentrate on indicators, ensuring child-friendly accountability mechanisms to monitor implementation, and financing to realise this ambitious and exciting 2030 agenda. Over the course of the next 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:

  • No child dies from preventable causes before their fifth birthday
  • All children learn from a quality basic education
  • 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:

Photo: Save the Children

Published 2016-02-04

Child Rights Governance: Thematic Plan 2016-18

Child Rights Governance Analysis Tool

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