The United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child persistently recommends data collection on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Conscious of the importance of statistical data in this area, the Belgian National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) issued 40 National Child Rights Indicators in 2016. Whilst the main objective of this endeavour was to better the implementation of children’s rights in Belgium by monitoring their effectiveness, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable children; an important finding was that these children often “escaped” every form of data collection. Either because they are not targeted by existing surveys, or because no study really explores their particular situation(s). Lack of information is however also a source of information. If “what gets measured, gets done”, the opposite could also be true.
In order to (partially) address this lack of data, the NCRC is currently carrying out two specific surveys. Based on the existing Child Rights Indicators, this research aims to assess the effectiveness of children’s rights for (i) children in migration and (ii) children placed in youth protection insititutions.
These two specific surveys will however not suffice to fill all gaps. This first experience could thus allow to fine-tune the methodology in light of forthcoming research. As data is still lacking with regards to other groups of children as well (children in their early childhood, disabled children, …), these could be the focus of complementary investigation.