CRC: Guidelines for Child Participation in CRC Reporting

Summary: This is an analysis of alternative reports that have included children.

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This is an analysis of alternative reports that have included children. It responds to the gap in information concerning children’s involvement in the reporting process, and hopes to promote and strengthen children’s meaningful participation within this area. In addition to the analysis, an outline of each report is also included within this document, along with six brief recommendations for those who wish to include children’s participation in future reports.

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Since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, the Committee has actively encouraged and supported the participation of NGOs in monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the CRC.4 Moreover, the Committee has also encouraged children’s participation in the reporting process. Children have access to the Committee on the Rights of the Child either through adult-led non-governmental organizations that report to the Committee, or through their own child-led organizations.

57. The Committee recognises the importance of child participation in the work of the Committee and encourages children and youth representatives to submit information in the context of periodic reviews and stresses in particular their important role in advocating for and monitoring of the implementation of the concluding observations at the national level.

58. The Committee remains committed to exploring means of furthering participation of children in the work of the Committee, and in particular encourages more participation of children during pre-session country briefings with civil society representatives.


Children's participation in the reporting process

In response to the Committee’s recommendations, World Vision Canada initiated a research project to systematically analyse children’s participation in the reporting process, and to develop a set of comprehensive guidelines in order to assist those who wish to facilitate children’s participation in the reporting process.

While children’s participation in the reporting process is not yet common practice, there is increasing interest in and support for children’s participation, either independently,
or through participation in adult-led NGO alternative reports.

For instance, some adult-led child rights organisations have taken the initiative to consult with children in the process of preparing shadow/alternative reports. There are also examples where children have taken the lead to organise their own reports and communicate directly with the Committee. Some governments have also taken the initiative to include children; however, for the purposes of this report the focus will be on NGOs and child-led organisations.

Ways in which children can participate

Children can participate at many stages of the alternative reporting process. Below is a list of stages that children can be involved in:

  • consulting from the very beginning, and having input to the strategy
  • giving input to the design of the research methods
  • assisting in collecting research information
  • participating in responding to the questionnaires/surveys/interviews
  • participating in analyzing the research results 
  • participating in the preparation of the report
  • meeting with representatives from the government to present the results of the report
  • participating in the pre-sessional meetings with the Committee on the Rights of the Child to present the report
  • participating in the session to observe the government’s report to the Committee
  • designing, implementing and participating in follow-up meetings with NGOs and/or the government to discuss the Committee’s Concluding Observations
  • participating in evaluating the reporting process, including evaluating their own participation and the support they received
  • designing follow-up projects in regard to the outcomes of the meetings with the Committee

Key documentation

Angola / Belgium / Cambodia / Colombia / Denmark / Egypt / Ghana / India / Jamaica / Japan / Kyrgyz Republic / Latvia / Netherlands / Sweden / Uganda / United Kingdom

Tools and guidelines for participation

Owner: Jennifer Millerpdf:



Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.