Introducing the Implementation Handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child – and “The Checklists”

Summary: These guidelines published by UNICEF on the
use of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child are reproduced only in part.

Separate links to each of the articles and
the "checklists" from the Handbook.

The Implementation Handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, now in its second edition, is a practical tool for to assist in
understanding the implications of each article of the Convention of the
Rights of the Child. It is a recommended programming tool to any
institution, governmental or non-governmental, that is involved in child
rights work.

The section on each article in the Handbook is structured to include:

1. a concise summary of the article’s implications and its
relationship with other articles;

2. relevant extracts from the Guidelines for Initial Reports and the
Guidelines for Periodic Reports prepared by the Committee on the Rights of
the Child;

3. detailed consideration of the background to and implications of
individual elements of the article;

4. occasional boxed examples from States Parties’ Reports and
other official reports and recommendations (the Handbook has not
attempted to analyze reports and other information provided by non-
governmental organizations). These boxes are not intended necessarily to
denote good or best practice, but to illustrate and illuminate issues raised
by the article. The examples used have not been evaluated, and may not
even describe current practice;

5. a concluding “Implementation Checklist”: this emphasizes that
the articles of the Convention are interdependent and identifies other
closely related articles. The Checklist poses questions designed to be used
to investigate progress towards implementation.

The checklists are a tool to assist in understanding and exploring the
implications of each of the articles in the CRC. The checklists draw from the
developing global knowledge base about children’s rights and provide
insights into the interventions which may need to be considered.

To quote from the manual:

“The Checklists have no official status. Each Checklist has been drafted to
help all those involved in implementation – Governments, UNICEF and
other United Nations agencies and international bodies, NGOs and others –
to investigate the implications of the article for law, policy and practice
and to promote and evaluate progress towards implementation.

The Checklists concern implementation, not reporting. They should not be
confused with the official Guidelines for reporting prepared by the
Committee on the Rights of the Child to advise States Parties in the
preparation of Initial and Periodic Reports under the Convention (relevant
extracts from these Guidelines are included under each article in the

Each Checklist includes a reminder that no article should be considered in
isolation – that the Convention is indivisible and its articles
interdependent. The Checklists emphasize that in implementing each
article, regard should be paid to the “general principles” highlighted by the
Committee on the Rights of the Child and that other articles which are
particularly closely related should be identified.

Each Checklist starts with a standard set of questions about general
measures of implementation for the article in question: have the
responsible government departments and other agencies been identified
and appropriately coordinated, has there been a comprehensive review
and adoption of an implementation strategy, budgetary analysis and
allocation of resources, development of monitoring and evaluation and
necessary training and so on. Further questions relate to the detail of

The questions are drafted so that they can be
answered “YES”, “NO”, “PARTIALLY” or “DON’T KNOW” (insufficient
information available to assess implementation). Answering “yes” or “no”
to the questions which make up each Checklist does not necessarily
indicate compliance or non-compliance with the Convention.

The Checklists can be used as the basis from which to develop more
detailed and sensitive checklists for national or local use. Beyond the
basic “YES”, “NO” or “DON’T KNOW” answers, the questions provide a
framework for collecting together the relevant information to build up a full
analysis of and commentary on implementation.

So if the answer to a Checklist question is “YES”, a summary could follow
of the relevant law, policy and practice, and references to more detailed
information which confirms the realization of the particular right for all
relevant children. If “NO”, an outline of the situation, and a summary of
action required for compliance could be made. The answer “PARTIALLY”
would be accompanied by information on the state of implementation, and
on further action required. If the answer is “DON’T KNOW”, there could be
a summary of available information and an outline of the gaps in
information which make it impossible to determine the state of
implementation of the particular right.”Owner: Rachel Hodgkin and Peter Newell



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