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Foundation module 2. Child rights-based approaches. Section 1 Introduction to rights Section 2 The CRC Section 3 Child rights-based approaches Section 4 Child rights monitoring. Section 1 Introduction to rights Key learning points

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Foundation module 2

Child rights-based approaches

Section 1

Introduction to rights

Section 2


Section 3

Child rights-based approaches

Section 4

Child rights monitoring

Section 1

Introduction to rights

Key learning points

  • All people have basic rights to which they are entitled without discrimination.
  • Human rights have been given legal status through the adoption of a series of treaties and other international instruments.
  • The relationship between duty bearers and rights holders is a key element of rights-based approaches.
Investing time in understanding what a right is helps distinguish rights from needs.

It’s not rights or needs, it’s

rights = needs + obligation + accountability


Section 2

The UN convention on the rights of the child (CRC)

Key learning points

  • The CRC and its optional protocols offer the highest standards of protection and assistance for children of any international instrument.
  • TheCRC is based on the following general principles -non-discrimination-the best interests of the child-the right to life, survival and development-the right to be heard.
  • The CRC offers potential for the protection of children in emergencies because of its near universal acceptance and non-discrimination principle.
  • In addition to the CRC, many other legal instruments guarantee children’s rights in development and emergency contexts.

Article 2


States parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.


Article 3

Best interests of the child

In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.


Article 6

Right to life, survival and development

States parties recognise that every child has the inherent right to life, and, shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.


Article 12

Participation (the right to be heard)

States parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.


Key child protection articles in the CRC


  • 9 Family separation.
  • 10 Family reunification across borders.
  • 11 Illicit transfer of children.
  • 16 Right to privacy, honour and reputation.
  • 19 Protection from violence, injury, abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation.
  • 20 Alternative care.
  • 21 Adoption.
  • 22 Refugee children.
  • 23 Children with disabilities.
  • 24 Harmful practices.
  • 25 Periodic review of alternative care.


32 Economic exploitation.
  • 34 Sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • 35 Abduction, sale or trafficking of children.
  • 36 Other forms of exploitation.
  • 37 Juvenile justice and protection from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • 38 Protection in armed conflict.
  • 39 Recovery and reintegration.
  • 40 Children in conflict with the law.
Section 3

Child rights-based approaches

Key learning points

  • Child rights-based approaches use the CRC as a starting point, particularly its four general principles, with the aim of securing long-term, measurable impact on children’s lives.
  • Child rights-based approaches can and should be applied in emergency settings.
Section 4

Child rights monitoring

Key learning points

  • State parties to the CRC are obligated to report on progress they’ve made towards its implementation, which can provide useful material for advocacy or situation analysis for those countries under review.
  • Reporting to the committee provides NGOs a unique opportunity to bring concerns about the status of children to the international legal body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the convention.
  • The UN Security Council responds to grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict situations.