General measures of implementation


When a State ratifies the CRC, it becomes obliged under international law to implement its provisions.

This is enshrined in Article 4 of the CRC.

In September 2003, the Committee on the Rights of the Child published its General Comment no.5 on general measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This was important because it outlines broad ways in which the Convention can be implemented.

It says: “Ensuring that all domestic legislation is fully compatible with the Convention and that the Convention’s principles and provisions can be directly applied and appropriately enforced is fundamental.” You can read the rest of the General Comment here

The Committee’s reporting guidelines arrange the Convention’s articles in clusters, the first being on “general measures of implementation”. Article 4 is grouped with article 42 (the obligation to make the content of the Convention widely known to children and adults) and article 44, paragraph 6 (the obligation to make reports widely available within the State).

In addition to these provisions, other rules for general implementation are set out in article 2.

Article 3, paragraph 2, also talks about protecting and caring for children, noting that the rights and duties of parents, guardians, and people responsible for the child must also be taken into account to achieve this. Read the rest of this article

This page gives an overview of the different general measures, including a brief description and links to other relevant sources of information.

  • General Measure of Implementation 1:
    The process of law reform


States parties should review national legislation and ensure that national laws are compatible with the rights set out in the CRC. Additionally, States are urged to review and withdraw any reservations made on Convention articles and to ratify other relevant international instruments such as the two Optional Protocols.

A more comprehensive list of international instruments can be found in annex I of General Comment no.5.

  • General Measure of Implementation 2:
    Development of independent human rights institutions for children


The establishment of independent human rights institutions for children should not substitute, but rather be complementary to self-monitoring governmental institutions. The Committee elaborates on this issue in its General Comment no.2 on t he role of independent national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. For more information on General Comment no.2 click here.

These institutions should be geared towards promoting and safeguarding the rights of the child. Increasingly, states are establishing independent human rights institutions for children – either separate children’s ombudspeople or children’s rights commissioners, or focal points on children’s rights within general human rights commissions or ombudsman offices. In Europe, children’s institutions from twelve countries joined forces to form the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) in 1997. By 2007, it had grown to include 32 institutions in 23 countries. More information can be found on the ENOC website.

  • General Measure of Implementation 3:
    Development of comprehensive strategies or agendas for children


In order to promote and protect the rights of the child at all levels, States parties need to develop a comprehensive national strategy for children based on the CRC. The strategy must set realistic and achievable targets and must include adequate allocation of human, financial and organisational resources.

  • General Measure of Implementation 4:
    Development of permanent governmental coordination mechanisms


Full implementation of the CRC requires effective coordination both horizontally between government agencies and departments and vertically across different government levels, from local, regional to central, but also between the government and the private sector.

Different governments have found different ways to ensure the coordination of child rights, for example by appointing a Commissioner, or by delegating the responsibility to a Council, or specific government department.

  • General Measure of Implementation 5:
    Systematic monitoring – data collection and evaluation


Two kinds of monitoring can be distinguished: the first is the monitoring of violations, the second is monitoring the implementation of the Convention.

The Committee encourages States to use different methods for the collection of qualitative and quantitative date. These can include interviewing children directly and asking them for their opinions and views. However, it is important that data are not only collected, but also properly evaluated and the outcome used to influence policy.

  • General Measure of Implementation 6:
    Allocation of resources for children (budget analysis, etc)


States are expected to allocate a budget for children “ to the maximum extent of their available resources ”. Steps should be taken at all levels of Government to ensure that economic and social planning and decision-making and budgetary decisions are made with the best interest of children as a primary considerations and that children are protected from the adverse effects of economic policies or financial downturns.

  • General Measure of Implementation 7:
    Education, training and awareness-raising on the CRC


Awareness raising on the CRC should be geared towards adults and children alike. The text of the Convention should be widely available and be presented in understandable language, e.g. by publishing a child-friendly version of the CRC. Additionally, State reports submitted to the Committee should be easily and widely accessible by the general public.

As part of the process of creating awareness, children need to learn about their rights and the CRC. This should be incorporated into the school curriculum at all stages.

Furthermore, education should extend to training and capacity building of personnel working with children. These include child psychologists, teachers, health and social workers, the police and others.

  • General Measure of Implementation 8:
    Collaboration in the process of implementation with civil society including children


In its general comment no.5 the Committee says that “Implementation is an obligation for States parties, but needs to engage all sectors of society, including children themselves. NGOs, the media, civil society and in particular children and young people should participate and be directly involved in the process.



Committee on the Rights of the Child
General Comment no.5 on General measures of implementation (2003)

Committee on the Rights of the Child
Overview of all General Comments

European Network of Ombudspersons for Children

Fact Sheet no.10 (Rev1) The Rights of the Child

UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
The General Measures of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – The Process in Europe and Central Asia.