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Early Childhood Rights Indicators: A Guide for Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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Early Childhood Rights Indicators
Subtitle: 
Research Brief - 2012

Publication Date

January 1, 2012

"Working with representatives from UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other international partners, HELP has developed an Indicators Framework for monitoring rights in early childhood. This Framework is intended to assist the 193 signatory countries to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in meeting their obligations."

Because signatories to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are required to submit regular compliance reports, this list of indicators was developed to provide a framework for reporting. The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), as part of the Global Knowledge Network for Early Childhood Development (ECD) (GKN-ECD), initiated the Early Childhood Rights Indicators Project. Working with international partners, they have developed the GC7 Indicator Framework that can assist countries in meeting their obligations under the UN CRC. "Over the longer term, HELP’s vision is that the Indicators Framework becomes the internationally-sanctioned mechanism for meeting obligations to submit periodic reports to the CRC."

"With the approval and guidance of the UNCRC, agreement was reached that the Indicators Framework should be piloted in a low, middle and high-income country to ensure its effectiveness, viability and universality. Following pilot testing of the Indicators Framework in the United Republic of Tanzania (September 2009 - April 2010), an electronic version of the Framework was developed to increase the efficiency of the data collection and reporting process. The electronic version (E-version) of the Framework (translated into Spanish) was pilot tested in Chile (May - Dec 2011). Data collected from these two pilots (in low- and middle-income countries, respectively) demonstrate that the process of implementing the Indicators Framework more widely could have a significant impact on social awareness and in building child rights capacity as a precondition to improving early child development outcomes."

The indicators are listed as follows:

GC7 INDICATORS and key questions

  1. "Dissemination of GC7: What measures have been taken by your government to disseminate and promote a rights-based understanding with respect to young children and to assess the impact on knowledge and practice of such “dissemination” processes?
  2. A Positive Agenda: What resources have been allocated to develop, implement, assess and report on the impact of an approach with a Positive Agenda on the realisation of child rights for all young children and particularly those from vulnerable or otherwise excluded groups?
  3. Human Rights Training: What resources have been allocated to the development, delivery and impact assessment of specifically targeted good-quality human rights training through professional organisations, educational institutions, parenting information, or other organisations and media?
  4. Data Collection Systems: What resources and measures are in place to ensure that your government develops and implements suitable data collection systems that can provide disaggregated analysis on the impact of services on the development of all young children across social groups? What resources and measures are in place to promote and support good-quality multidisciplinary research on issues affecting the development of these young children?
  5. Birth Registration: What measures are in place or what progress has been made towards implementing or analysing the success of a free-of-charge, non-discriminatory and accessible birth registration system intended to encourage the maximum levels of child registration as soon as possible after birth?
  6. Participation in Family Decision-Making: What measures are in place to provide parents and caregivers with information which supports child participation in household decision making, promotes respect for evolving capacities as an enabling principle, and assesses the impact of such programmes?
  7. Violence Against Young Children: What measures are in place to support parents and other caregivers in preventing violence or abuse towards young children, to hold perpetrators accountable, to facilitate the recovery of affected young children, and to ensure adequate recording of the prevalence of violence or abuse and the impact on prevalence of any preventive measures?
  8. Basic Material Needs What measures are in place to assess the basic material needs of young children? Further, what measures are in place to provide for those needs and to assess the effectiveness of these measures in meeting the needs of both the general population of young children and those in excluded or vulnerable categories?
  9. [topics:]
    • A. Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding
    • B. Access To and Use of Health Services: What measures are in place to support both the understanding and capacity of parents, particularly mothers, to promote the beneficial practice of breastfeeding and the appropriate use of complementary feeding? What steps have been taken to ensure equitable access to health services of equal and sufficient quality that ensure both the young child’s right to life and health and support to parents and caregivers in their primary responsibilities?
  10. Age-Appropriate Health Education: What programmes are in place to ensure that young children have access to age-appropriate health education and to assess the preventative impact of such programmes on health-related behaviours and specific health outcomes?
  11. Provision of Early Childhood Education and Care Services: What services are available to further the educational rights of young children and what measures are in place to ensure quality standards in materials and service delivery?
  12. Educational Provision for Vulnerable Young Children: What measures or initiatives, specifically targeted at vulnerable or excluded populations, are in place to ensure equality of access to quality educational services in early childhood, and what impact have they had?
  13. Knowledge of Rights and Capacity to Support Their Realization: What measures, initiatives and resources are in place to ensure the provision of human rights education for young children in formal and non-formal settings, particularly to support the capacity of parents and/or caregivers in their role as first educators, and to assess the impact of such initiatives?
  14. Play, Leisure and Rest Opportunities for Young Children: What measures are in place to provide for the young child’s right to play through access to adequate and appropriate play opportunities and spaces, to participate in the design of such spaces, and to challenge discrimination against excluded populations?
  15. Inclusive Policy and Provisions for Vulnerable Groups: What measures are in place to investigate and challenge the root causes of discrimination against young children and to ensure that young children from vulnerable populations are given equality of access to services of equal quality?"
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