Protecting the rights of the child in the Sustainable Development Agenda

On the annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Defence for Children International co-sponsored a statement on the Protection of the rights of the child in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Please find the statement hereunder:

Child Rights Connect and the co-signing organisations would like to highlight five approaches to be followed by States to ensure that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda fully respects, fulfils, promotes and protects children’s rights. These principles must be reflected in any discussion of this Council.

First, the 2030 Agenda is firmly “grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, [and] international human rights treaties”. This clearly means that by fulfilling their obligations under international human rights law, including international children’s rights standards, States will contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, for children and for all.

In turn, it is crucial that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as a whole, integrates a children’s rights based approach and is in compliance with, and promotes, protects, fulfils and strengthens the realization of the rights of the child.

While some goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda directly refer to children, it is clear that all goals of the 2030 Agenda are relevant to all children’s rights and impact their realisation. Limiting the attention to goals explicitly mentioning children, or girls or boys, would drastically narrow the scope of the 2030 Agenda and limit the realisation of the rights of children in all their aspects.

Second, the Leave No One Behind Pledge clearly grounds the implementation of Agenda 2030 in the principle of non-discrimination (article 2 UN CRC). We call on States to uphold the Leave No One Behind Pledge and to ensure that reaching the goals of the 2030 Agenda for the most deprived children are central to its implementation, and that all children have the opportunity to survive, learn, thrive or again be empowered.

Third, civil society including children are a key component to a successful and children’s rights-based implementation of the 2030 Agenda. States must put in place specific mechanisms at all levels and ensure an enabling and safe environment for their meaningful participation. UN human rights mechanisms should hear children’s views on the respect of their rights in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Fourth, investment in children is one of the key elements for achieving all goals of the 2030 Agenda respecting and promoting children’s rights. We call on States to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by equitable and effective public resource mobilisation, allocation and spending of sufficient public resources.

Finally, we call on Member States to adopt robust accountability mechanisms for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and to use existing human rights mechanisms in synergy in order to be accountable to all, including children for the realisation of their rights.

Join statement: Child Rights Connect and ATD Fourth World, African Child Policy Forum, Child Helpline International, Defence for Children International, ECPAT, Edmund Rice International, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Eurochild, FICE International, Franciscans International, Geneva Infant Feeding Association, International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates, International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE), International Council of Women, International Federation of Social Workers, International Social Service, Make Mothers Matter, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes International Federation, Women’s World Summit Foundation, Children’s Rights Alliance for England*, Humanium*, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)*.

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