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Human rights of children. Implementation and monitoring through participation

Research project P4/27 (Research action P4)

Persons :

Description :

The present interdisciplinary research hinges on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other legally binding human rights instruments, as well as non-binding rules. The various sub-studies, each with its own specific objectives, are linked by the one chief objective, "the advancement of an efficient and effective implementation and monitoring of legal means with the intention of promoting and protecting fundamental human rights for children on both a general and individual level".

Put simply, this study continues to seek the best ways to guarantee and enforce children's rights. What are the needs and the sticking points? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions to be fulfilled? What are the indicators of effective and efficient enforcement of children's rights? What strategies can we envisage? In other words, what are the essential quality requirements in legal protection of children's rights? Previous research has shown that (provisionally) 5 mutually dependent elements are vital when it comes to protecting rights. These are:

1. having rights;
2. being informed of one's rights;
3. being able to exercise one's rights;
4. being able, if necessary, to enforce one's rights;
5. having something or someone who can act in your interest.

Throughout this research, the project participants will test these elements and their mutual connections against both existing theoretical knowledge and a number of practical achievements.

The partnership is a continuation of an earlier collaboration in fundamental academic research into human rights. The partners will further probe the research topic, stressing the interdisciplinary aspect of the research. This cooperation should produce the expected added value inherent in the interaction of several branches of the law and several academic disciplines.

Concretely, the research centres will focus on several topics: participation, human rights education, prevention, legal protection, juvenile protection/juvenile criminal law, enforceability of economic, social and cultural rights, and human rights in federal states. Although the study concentrates on the implementation and monitoring of children's rights, attention will also be devoted to the exemplary value of this subject in the debate on human rights in general.

Better knowledge of the fundamental world-wide issues involved in implementing human rights in general and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in particular is a potentially useful instrument when it comes to developing policy responses to the problems established. Research should contribute essential factual knowledge useful in implementing efficient national and international programmes for improving the legal protection of children. The knowledge generated by this research should in all events prove useful in the continuous development and improvement of existing national and international monitoring procedures in the field of human rights.

Documentation :

From standard setting to implementation ... and vice versa? : towards a coherent analytical framework for the interdisciplinary research study "Human rights of children. Implementation and monitoring through participation"  Cattrijsse, Lieve - Delens-Ravier, Isabelle - Hanson, Karl ... et al  Brussels : OSTC, 2002 (SP1088)
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