General Comment No. 7

Indicator Set 2: A Positive Agenda

General Comment No. 7 (article 5) calls on States parties to construct a Positive Agenda to help realise rights in early childhood, especially for children below the age of eight (article 4). GC7 obliges States parties to assign resources to develop and implement a country-specific Positive Agenda accompanied by a Comprehensive Policy Strategy (CPS) for young children. Both the Positive Agenda and the Comprehensive Policy Strategy should be prepared with the consultation of all relevant stakeholders and should be approved by parliament or the legislature.

The Positive Agenda should promote the GC7 principles that view children as rights holders and as active participants in their development. At the same time, it should challenge traditional views of young children as passive objects of care and need. In each country, the Positive Agenda can support the development of intersectoral planning to achieve the following goals: 

  • Support the holistic development of all young children
  • Support and train parents and caregivers in their duties
  • Provide suitable education or training on child rights (for young children, parents and all relevant professionals)
  • Support age-appropriate rights-based practice in all relevant professional spheres
  • Develop policies and practices that address the rights of young children, particularly those in marginalised groups

These goals might be achieved in various direct and indirect ways. For example, they could be achieved directly through policies in the areas of education or health or indirectly through policies on environmental, housing or transportation issues.

States parties also could achieve such goals by developing public-private-civil partnerships and networks that have clear goals to deliver results based on the Positive Agenda.

Besides supporting these goals, the Positive Agenda should identify the specific issues that require attention in a particular country, and the measures needed to address those issues of concern and to realise the rights of marginalised groups within the population of young children (GC7 para. 36).

Developing and implementing a Positive Agenda thus assists States parties in two particular ways. First, it helps with the analysis of problems and challenges. Second, it provides a framework to implement solutions to those challenges. In this way, a Positive Agenda guides States parties in the effective allocation and use of resources obligated under article 4 of the Convention.

Key Question: With respect to obligations under article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, what resources have been allocated to develop, implement, assess and report on the impact of a Positive Agenda on the realisation of child rights for all young children and particularly those from marginalised groups?