Thursday 12 March 2015

Investment in children - a key child rights issue

Oral statement made on the occasion of the Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child on the topic of Investment in children 

(UN Human Rights Council 28th session, 12th March 2015)

Mr President,

This statement is made on behalf of the “Groupe des ONG sur la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant” and 10 NGOs.[1]

As highlighted by panelists today, the realization of children’s rights as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child costs money. Child-related laws and policies will remain empty promises unless accompanied by child-sensitive, equitable and sustainable public resource mobilization, allocation and spending.

Regardless of their income status, States need to mobilize sufficient domestic resources to realize children’s rights, including through progressive and effective taxation, and where necessary within the framework of international cooperation.

The realization of children’s rights without discrimination requires political commitment to equitable budgeting with priority given to the most deprived and excluded girls and boys.

In making fiscal and budgetary decisions, the best interest of the child should be a primary consideration. States should translate this principle into practice by conducting child rights impact assessments of their fiscal policies, budgeting and spending.

States should also take a life-cycle approach to budgeting, taking into account the specific and evolving needs of children of all ages and in all contexts in these processes.

States need to produce comprehensive and disaggregated data on children to inform planning and budgeting decisions. Allocations to children should also be made visible in budgets to enable stakeholders inside and outside of government to know how much is going to children and to ensure that children get their fair share.
 But it is not only about more money, it is also about ensuring that available resources are well spent. Transparent fiscal processes where citizens, including children, can participate throughout the budget cycle based on access to budget information is crucial to ensure accountability and to fight corruption. Children’s participation in these processes not only constitutes their right, it can also assist States to spend resources better.
In conclusion, we would like to ask the panelists for their views on how the UN and Member States, including through the Human Rights Council, can support States to invest more and better in order to realize children’s rights.

Thank you.

[1]  African Child Policy Forum, ATD Fourth World, Child Rights Coalition Asia, Groupe des ONG pour la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant, Defence for Children Costa Rica, Eurochild, International Baby Food Action Network, International Council of Women, Redlamyc, Plan International and Save the Children.  

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