The right of all children to be heard and taken seriously constitutes one of the fundamental principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the right of every child, without exception. Children thus have the right to participate in every decision-making process that may affect their lives, no matter if it is at local, national, regional or international level. At the international level, the involvement of children in the work of the United Nations Committee on Children’s Rights (CRC) has particular relevance. Among others, in the reporting process of States parties’ implementation of the Convention and its Optional Protocols. With regard to this reporting process, the CRC says that States parties have an obligation to ensure that children are encouraged and enabled to participate in the preparation of the State reports to the Committee .
To enable children’s participation in the reporting process, a key point is that they need to be informed on specific children’s rights recommendations for their State, as listed in the Concluding Observations (COBs) issued by the CRC at the end of the State’s children’s rights examination. The COBs as such are however drafted in technical, complex language, not adapted to children. Child Rights Connect also gives the important advice to translate the concluding observations into the national language(s) and produce simplified and child-friendly versions as a way to show State commitment and transparency to the CRC reporting process and to ensure the dissemination and understanding of the COBs to the wider public and children.
Therefore, at the end of Belgium’s last review by the CRC in 2019, at the initiative of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child – Belgium , a project was launched aimed at developing a child-friendly version of the latest COBs: Fight4YourRight (#F4YR).
The objectives of the project
Making the Concluding Observations more accessible as to:
• Foster their dissemination;
• Make them better known and increase their use by children, governments, (child rights) professionals and the population in general;
• Provide children with the necessary tools to contribute to the monitoring of the implementation of Belgium’s children’s rights obligations;
• Provide children with the necessary tools towards informed participation and for their opinions to be taken into account more frequently.
Interested in the different phases of this project?
This interactive timeline will give you a good overview and will be regularly updated during the project. So don’t hesitate to come and have a look now and again!
Any questions? Contact info at ncrk-cnde.be