The implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) can only happen if children’s rights are seen as a package and all rights are taken into account in all actions.
This is what Child Rights Connect means with child rights mainstreaming, the systematic application of a child rights approach to everything we do. This involves different actions:
- Referring to the CRC, its Optional Protocols and other international human rights instruments;
- Recognizing that children are a distinct group of rights holders;
- Empowering children to know, exercise and claim their rights;
- Strengthening the capacities of States, as duty bearers, to fulfil their obligations to ensure the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all children’s rights, including accountability and access to justice;
- Recognising children as key actors of civil society and oftentimes human rights defenders with a specific right to be heard and participate in public affairs.
Child Rights Connect advocates for child rights mainstreaming to be an integral part of the human rights-based approach, to go hand in hand with gender mainstreaming and intersectionality and treated as everyone’s responsibility. It should take place at all levels, from local to global, and across sectors.
Without child rights mainstreaming, some rights end up being overlooked, partially realized or even violated. An emblematic example is the lack of child participation when decisions affecting children’s lives are taken without their views. Whether intentional or not, the lack of child rights mainstreaming in decision-making processes results in the violation of Article 12 of the CRC (right to be heard).
Child Rights Connect empowers its members to mainstream child rights within their own programmes and to advocate for child rights mainstreaming with their governments. We also advocate for the UN to put child rights at the core of its actions, across the three pillars (human rights, development, and peace & security).