Child Rights Monitoring

Problems that are unmeasured are often left unsolved

A small girl looking through a paper tube
UNICEF/2017/Georgiev

The challenge

When children are left behind because of where they live, their ethnicity, the wealth of their families and their abilities, the impact on the quality of their lives can be profound. To improve their outcomes and to allow them to thrive, these children need policies and actions that are based on facts.

There is a need for comprehensive and comparable data on children in the country, and to support its more effective use -  currently available data is almost without an exception underused in the design of child-related policies. This is a serious concern as policies that are not based on facts and reforms that are not data-driven can be ineffective, mis-directing resources away from their real, evidence-based needs of children.  

Turning the attention to the seemingly invisible

An unmeasured problem remains unresolved. For children, problems that are not registered, or in any way captured by official data, leave them with a greater risk of being left behind. Hence, it is imperative to establish monitoring systems that encompass all children, regardless of the place where they live, their ethnicity, the economic status of their families or their abilities. If their situation is known and understood, action can be taken to make it better.

 

 All children deserve their rights to be fully respected

The lack of a more robust monitoring of children’s rights in the country prevents us from shedding light on children who cannot obtain identification documents, or those who cannot access basic health services, or to the girls who become wives and mothers before they become adults. 

Loopholes in the protection and realization of the child rights also let that those who disrespect them or violate them remain unsanctioned, thereby effectively endangering children’s overall wellbeing and development. Advocates for protecting and promoting children’s rights need to be better organized and coordinated, complementary to each other, make a better use of data for advocacy and be in better communication with relevant state institutions.

The solution

Ensuring that the rights of children are voiced, protected and fulfilled requires for a solid support system including various actors – line ministries, the Ombudsman, active civil society organizations (CSOs) and other associations dedicated to promotion of children’s rights – and legislation that unambiguously incorporates the international conventions on human rights.

For UNICEF, this translates to action across a breadth of sectors and actors, with emphasis on enhancing the monitoring capacities and generation of quality data. It implies commitment to development of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, including tools for more systematic data collection, analysis and improved use of disaggregated data.

UNICEF works towards deepening the knowledge and honing the skillset of state institutions and civil society organizations to monitor child rights, to apply stronger data collection practices and be able to conduct meaningful analyses that produce valuable insights for strategic decisions and effective policy reform.

We foster partnerships with local institutions, Civil Society Organizations and private companies, as well as with the European Union, the World Bank and other organizations, to promote cooperation and to seek support for activities aimed at making a societal change by promoting child rights in the country.

Only a well-functioning, robust child rights monitoring system that provides, reports and acts on consistent, credible data can help ensure that for every child, there is a fair chance!