Challenges and opportunities to reinforce children’s rights through the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda

Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child, 18th session of the HRC, March the 6th

The reinforcement of the 2030 SDGs Agenda provides a system of follow up and accountability checks, even though there are still some difficulties between the States and not everyone has submitted the national plan for the implementation. According to Mr. Rodolfo Succar, Defensoría de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes de la Provincia de Santa Fe- Argentina, change is still possible because it depends on the application of laws. Public policies for children, monitoring of the mass media as opinion makers and monitoring of the juvinile criminal system can be a social investment made to be by States to keep the situation under control, gather data and plan the interventions. The gathering of data is, in fact, necessary to analyse the context and the individuals’ history, to create a matrix for the prevention and monitoring of future situations. It has to be kept in mind that not always the answer is the one anticipated but the system allows ridefinition and filling in the gaps.

In any case, the participation of the children is considered fundamental for the good realization of the SDGs, from the enjoyment of rights to the consideration of the child as an actor of the change as suggested in the 2030 Agenda. This tool is considered by Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization and Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, as a path for prevention and protection from violence against children. The 2030 Agenda is considered by the panelists as a roadmap for the creation of an historical breakthrough in the protection of children. What is necessary is a strong leadership able to promote sustainable development in every situation and in each country, through the promotion of participation. A strong accountability is the basis for the measurement of the national reviews and implementation, together with data gathering that is still lacking in this area.

Furthermore, the participation of children as agents of the change is one of the funding principle of the Agenda. Informing, forming and mobilizing citizens, in Ms. Marie-Chantal Coulibaly, Citizen Voice and Action Coordinator, World Vision Mali, is in fact the final purpose and tool of the 2030 Agenda. If the citizens are not informed of the rights they detain or the instruments they can appeal to there will be no empowerment and no dialogue.

The interventions of all the single States and NGOs suggest a general commitment to the SDGs with some questions on the good practice raised by some countries. The issue of the implementation of the SDGs in developed countries or areas afflicted by conflict was raised by different representatives and the help of the developed countries was asked, in terms of sponsoring rights and donations to sustain the programs in action. Some States furthered the question of the most untouched issues as child pornography or poverty, child marriages and abuses, conflicts, health access, malnutrition, both in developing and in developed countries. With the support of NGOs, the general attitude is towards the embracement of the 2030 Agenda and promotion of effective ameliorations.

The panelists suggest the commitment of the States in raising verifiable and comparable data to allow the organizations to create ad hoc projects. Furthermore, the investment of the government in the key areas of education and empowerment is stressed and, most of all, the necessity to build a dialogue between the children and the governments. A safe environment in which children can learn, discuss, dialogue, grow and rethink the projects addressing the issues most concerning as poverty, education, bulling, family and the spaces in the city. The best interest of the child and their integral growth should be always the compass regulating the actions of the States.

A strong legal framework is certainly necessary but it is not sufficient, there must be monitoring mechanisms that continuously investigate new paths and fill in the gaps.

In conclusion, cooperation is certainly necessary, political will and action are at the core of the improvements, together with the coordination between national and international instruments. The definition of clear language, data gathering and mobilization of the civil society are fundamental. From the 44 Reports expected from the States no direct reference was made to children. This is symptomatic, according to Ms. Santos Pais, of a reality not focused on the children’s rights nor interested in their opinion. The situation must change, efforts need to be made not only in the creation of a strong and effective legal system, with monitoring mechanisms and verifiable activities, but also in the practical application of the 2030 Agenda.

Beatrice Bilotti

 

15.00 18.00
18th meeting
Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child

Challenges and opportunities to reinforce children’s rights through the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda

  Chair: H.E. Mr. Amr Ramadan, Vice-President of the Human Rights Council

Moderator: H.E. Mr. Peter Sørensen, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva

  Panellists:

•          Mr. Rodolfo Succar, Defensoría de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes de la Provincia de Santa Fe, Argentina

•          Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization

•          Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children

•          Ms. Marie-Chantal Coulibaly, Citizen Voice and Action Coordinator, World Vision Mali

A/HRC/34/RES/7/29, A/HRC/34/RES/31/7, A/HRC/34/NI/9, A/HRC/34/NGO/8, A/HRC/34/NGO/39, A/HRC/34/NGO/113, A/HRC/34/NGO/160

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