General Comment No. 7

Indicator Set 15: Knowledge of Rights and Capacity to Support their Realisation

The Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees the participatory role of children in exercising their rights. However, listening to children and considering seriously their opinions is not yet an integral part of many governmental and non-governmental organisations and practices in communities in general. Even adults who recognise and understand the underlying principle of this participation in theory may experience some level of unease when putting this into practice. Therefore, one way to safeguard this participatory nature of the CRC is to educate rights holders about their rights. This indicator is designed to monitor whether or not State parties are carrying out this education. It is intended to assist governments in meeting the call in General Comment No. 7 para. 33 to ensure human rights education (HRE) for children in home-, community- or centre-based programmes. Also, obligations under this indicator reference article 29 of the CRC, which defines the aims of education. Such education requires that State parties provide information on the rights of young children to their parents and caregivers, so they can exercise their rights and responsibilities. The question of parental involvement means State parties must also ensure adequate and appropriate support (article 18) for the capacity of families to fulfil these obligations. For this reason, in addition to HRE resources, this set of indicators raises questions of social welfare (article 26) and standards of living (article 27). In other words, it provides an opportunity to look more closely at one aspect of HRE by asking for information on the effectiveness of HRE in promoting knowledge and understanding of human rights among young children and their families or other caregiving environments. As you verify the existence of a policy, the availability and provision of suitable resources, budgets, policy, and so on can be explored. At the same time, please do not overlook evaluations of the impact on levels of knowledge.

Key Question: With respect to articles 18, 26, 27 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 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?