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|Swaziland: Children participate in the Life Skills through Sport Programme, which uses games to teach children about health|
Special attention accorded to children under international treaties has led to a significant paradigm shift in relation to their position in society and roles and responsibilities towards them. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reinforces the fact that children are subjects of rights. The provisions of the Convention create accountabilities to duty bearers, particularly the State to ensure adequate and timely implementation of its provisions for the advancement of the rights of the child.
General Comment 5 of 2003 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child dealing with “General Measures of Implementation of the Convention” outlines a number of measures such as legislative, policy, institutional, budgetary and statistical actions which countries must undertake for the effective implementation of the CRC. This is based on the foundation that ratification of the Convention creates accountabilities to children to protect, respect and fulfill their rights.
The broad strategies for effective implementation are contained in the CRC itself as well as other treaties and related instruments. The first point of reference is article 4 of the CRC which calls on States Parties to “undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures” for the implementation of rights recognized in the Convention. The interconnectedness of these measures and the importance of holistic approaches in relation to their implementation are clearly set out in the article.
On the basis of concern that implementation of the CRC tends to be checkered in a number of countries, UNICEF is embarking upon a process of evidence gathering on the state of Implementation of General Measurers as outlined in the General Comment. This covers a general assessment of the extent to which governments are meeting all obligations under General Comment 5, while at the same time assessing the effectiveness of public sector organizations to respond to their child-related mandates. This latter emphasis comes in the wake of an urgent need for the public sector to be fully equipped to deal with renewed efforts of accelerated implementation for sustainable development emerging from the post MDG 2015 agenda.
The results will be used to inform UNICEF's programming at global, regional and country levels, through the identification of specific gaps in capacities and outcomes will be of benefit to public, private sector and non-Governmental actors in various countries in their efforts at improving the situation of children.
For additional information visit UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre's "Public sector reform for children: Governmental structures and processes".
General Comment 5
Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment #5, General measures of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child - 2003