3. Tips for civil society engagementAll around the world, civil society actors play a crucial role in promoting the national-level implementation of international human rights norms, including child rights. Whatever the focus of their work – monitoring, advocacy, individual assistance, etc. – civil society actors are often able to get “close to” an issue and the people who are affected by it. This puts them in a good position to understand what barriers exist with respect to the full realisation of particular rights and to provide useful information on the impact of laws, policies and practices. Such insights can, in turn, help international monitoring bodies such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child to engage in an effective and well-informed dialogue with States about the implementation of their international obligations.
Indeed, the Committee is reliant on NGOs, NHRIs and other civil society actors to provide it with independent and credible information in relation to various aspects of Article 7, and the lack of such information makes it difficult for the Committee to make in-depth recommendations to States. Civil society actors also play a crucial role in transmitting information, standards and interpretations of rights across mechanisms. For example, CRC Recommendations to a given State Party on the lack of safeguards against statelessness, can be fed by NGOs and NHRIs into the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process , resulting in other States making recommendations to the State under Review that draw on those made by the Committee.
As shown in the CRC reporting process diagram of Child Rights Connect below, the reporting process of the Committee on the Rights of the Child is a cycle of many stages with which civil society can engage. At its culmination and following the consideration of State Party reports, the Committee adopts “Concluding Observations” in which it points out positive achievements and raises concerns about any issues arising in the State in respect of the rights protected under the CRC. The Committee also makes recommendations on how these concerns are to be addressed and compliance with the Convention can be improved. Civil society actors are able to enter the cycle at any stage, and add value. Read on about how to engage here .