Child Rights Monitoring
© UNICEF Bulgaria/2014/Emma Liubenova
The rights of all children are guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). However, it is critically important that their implementation is being monitored.
The process of monitoring has to be related to all relevant rights and areas, as well as to the factors of age, gender, territorial region (city/village), nationality, social status, ethnic origin, language, religion, physical abilities (or disabilities), etc.
The goal is to collect enough information in order to make informed evaluation whether there are violations when it comes to children’s access to their rights, or if there are cases of discrimination when implementing the relevant topics of the Convention.
Quality knowledge of the situation of children is a crucial prerequisite for planning of support and implementation of activities for strengthening the national capacity and improving the realization of child rights – which is a main goal of UNICEF.
Strengthening the systems for monitoring of child rights is a crucial part of the mission of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Bulgaria is making efforts to guarantee the basic rights of most children in the country – and yet, the access to some rights is very limited for particular groups of children. Further development can be achieved through efforts that target the root causes for child rights violations – mostly connected to poverty and predominant social attitudes. The lack of reliable information and data which need to be collected regularly and to be comparable, is a serious barrier towards the realization of the rights of every child. In this regard, the final observations and recommendations from 2008 by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child towards Bulgaria clearly focus the attention towards the dire need of systematic collection and analysis of data, as well as the establishment of an independent body for child rights monitoring, strengthening the role of the Ombudsman and support for State agency for child protection. Civil society organization also need to gain broader prerogatives so that they can make evaluations and boost child rights in areas beyond the ones which are already being addressed.
Still, there is no independent agency with a mandate to carry out monitoring activities and to popularize the rights of the children. Additional efforts are needed to provide an accessible mechanism that would allow children and their representatives to file complaints.
What are we doing:
:: Partnerships for strengthening of the national systems for data collection and analysis
:: Strengthening the child rights monitoring systems on national and local level;
:: Generation and dissemination of information for the situation of boys and girls, especially those who are socially excluded;
:: Support for the creation of an independent system for child rights monitoring with the capacity for regular collection of data regarding the situation of children;
:: Further strengthening of the capacity of Government institutions, local authorities, civil society, the Ombudsman, Parliament and research organization in their role of bodies which are bound to monitor child rights;
:: Awareness raising about child rights;
:: Implementation of monitoring and evaluation of the national and local programs for children;
:: Preparation of reports about the level of implementation, with special focus on the most vulnerable groups;
:: Sharing of good practices in Bulgaria and abroad.