This website was developed by Youth Policy Labs and provides an easily accessible overview of the Concluding Observations of the UN’s reporting on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and, in some cases, contextualization with current policy events.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. But its implementation is still not complete. And if you don’t flip through 3,000 pages of statements, you won’t learn much about implementation in individual countries. But we believe that the situation of children’s rights should be simply accessible to many people. So, we have rifled through the latest Concluding Observations per country of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and made selected findings, which paint a nuanced picture of the situation in almost every country, available for everyone on this website.
You will find here comparative information on all countries that have signed the Convention and reported the state of their implementation process since 2012, as well as an overview of the recognitions of the Optional Protocols. In addition, an overview of the current situation is provided for each country, as well as in-depth summaries for various selected areas of the Convention.
Unfortunately, we have to make it clear that the length or detail of the concluding observations says nothing about the state of the country. When little data is submitted, the report is much shorter and suggests fewer changes than in comparable countries, but hardly indicates that it is due to too little information rather than too little potential for improvement.
The Violence section covers the implementation of the prohibition of Corporal Punishment and outstanding violence problems such as child soldiers. In the paragraph on Gender equality, the situation of women and girls and their reproductive rights is discussed and information on the implementation of the rights of intersexual and transsexual children is presented. The chapter on Discrimination and Exclusion names all discriminated groups mentioned in the report per country. It focuses on the situation of children with disabilities, migrant, refugee, asylum seeking children and children affected by racism, as well as indigenous children and children belonging to a marginalized group.
As climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity, we have also looked up how its consequences for children are being thematized in the Concluding Observations, as well as mentions of environmentally destructive companies, possible consequential violations of human rights and the unleashing of environmental hazards. Information about Child labor and the exploitation of children by companies can also be found here. Handling and progress of digitalization as well as the situation in juvenile justice systems are listed in the summaries.
Two another investigated topics are health care systems, including treatment for mental illnesses, and free accessibility of the education system.
Unfortunately, the implementation of the Optional Protocols as well as some individual rights of the Convention did not find a place in the fact sheets.
This much can be revealed: There are important improvements to be made in every country, and the work on implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child must continue worldwide.
While browsing through the countries, you will notice that global inequalities become clearly visible. While children in Oceania often don’t even have 20 years left until their livelihoods will sink into the sea, and children in (former) civil war countries have no safe access to drinking water, let alone education or health care, children in Asia often suffer from extreme pressure to perform, and the most common cause of death among children is suicide.
But of course, these are not the only findings – click through the website and see for yourself!