Exploring the use of child rights approaches in the children’s sector
We have now entered the second year of our three-year funded project by the Baring Foundation to build the capacity of voluntary sector organisations to use children’s rights approaches in their advocacy, policy and public affairs work. We have conducted 17 interviews with child rights experts across the UK and Europe, including from organisations such as the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and Barnardo’s.
We have also interviewed individuals from organisations who less commonly use children’s rights approaches, as well as individuals from homelessness and mental health charities, to inform the next stage of this project, which will focus on these sectors. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations highlighted significant child rights breaches in these areas.
Although we found that there is an appetite across the children’s sector to better make use of children’s rights arguments, increasing anti-human rights rhetoric, as well as a lack of confidence and knowledge of the value of children’s rights approaches, emerged as common barriers to using such tools to lobby and influence decision makers, the media and general public.
We will be discussing these findings with experts at a roundtable on 7th June. We’ll also hear from the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) about their work around using human rights approaches in mental health and Unicef UK on using children’s rights arguments in policy and public affairs work.
The findings will be used to inform a series of briefing papers and seminars over the next two years of the project, which will build the capacity of professionals in the homelessness and mental health sectors, to increase the use of children’s rights approaches in their policy, public affairs and advocacy work.
We have also recently published the second briefing in this series on the UN Committee’s Concluding Observations in relation to the General Measures of Implementation (GMIs). The GMIs set out what is required of governments to ensure that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is fully implemented. Download the briefing here.
Please get in touch with Natalie Williams, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Advisor, if you would like to know more: NWilliams@crae.org.uk