|A woman and children sit in a railway station in Bangladesh. UNICEF's field work around the globe helps the organization monitor the progess governments make in implementing the Convention.|
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first human rights treaty that grants a role in its implementation to a specialized United Nations agency—UNICEF. The Convention assigns UNICEF a legal obligation to promote and protect child rights by supporting the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Specifically, article 45 gives UNICEF responsibility for:
UNICEF field offices often take part in the different stages of the process. They assist States in organizing major consultations prior to drafting their reports and participate in the Committee's review of submitted reports, including working with States to identify implementation strategies in response to the Committee's recommendations.
In providing support to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF field offices often help ensure that voices that too often go unheard are reflected in the information before the Committee. They do this by facilitating wide-reaching consultations at all levels of society, making oral presentations or submitting written reports on the situation of women and children and encouraging non-governmental organizations to submit their own reports to the Committee as a supplement to government reports.
UNICEF has also begun to develop indicators to assist States in monitoring their progress in implementing child rights standards. As part of this work, UNICEF has created a number of databases that focus on lessons learned. In addition, UNICEF is collaborating with Childwatch International, a network of NGOs that conduct research on children and child rights, to involve governments and civil society in a process of monitoring States' implementation of the Convention, with an eye to balancing universal rights with national and cultural concerns.