Child rights‐based

6 principles / PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE Programme

Children have rights – interrelated and mutually reinforcing – and civil society, including families, have obligations to respect and facilitate their realisation.

Understanding the principle

According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by almost every country in the world, every government:

  • Fulfils rights – adopts all necessary measures, including legislation, policies and resources, to ensure that rights are realised;
  • Respects rights – does not act in any way which interferes with children’s rights;
  • Protects rights – takes action to ensure that children are protected from violations of their rights by other people such as discrimination, exploitation or violence.

A child rights‐based approach to programmes or projects involves taking action to address the fulfilment of, protection of or respect for children’s rights. It means describing situations not in terms of children’s needs, but in terms of the obligation to respond to the fact that they have rights. A rights‐based approach involves taking action, including empowering children and their families, to hold governments to account for commitments they have made on those children’s behalf.

Why to have child rightsbased approach

  • All children have to be protected from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
  • Governments have undertaken clear commitments to fulfilling child rights and to ensuring the greatest possible protection to children in all situations from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
  • There are many regional and international instruments which reinforce the CRCsuch as the European Convention on Human Rights, the Hague Conventions on Inter‐country Adoption, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, etc.

Programme design and implementation

A child rights‐based project or programme might involve elements of any or all of the three following types of activity:

  • Tackle violations and gaps in the realisation of rights;
  • Strengthen the systems, structures and mechanisms;
  • Strengthen capacity.

Monitoring and evaluation

It is a vital part of any programme approach by which it is possible to assess if the programme has achieved the outcomes that it set itself. The process can also reflect the other principles: participation, non‐discrimination, best interests of the child, building on strength and doing no harm.

More on principle: Principle 1 Child rights-based

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