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The theory of child rights monitoring

Basic principles and methods of child rights monitoring

1.1. The concept, goals and objectives of child rights monitoring

There are a number of definitions of “monitoring” as a type of sociological research:

– Monitoring (precautionary, protective) – a system of regular measurement of changes taking place in society or its subgroups, provided that the same sampling principles are regularly applied to data collection.

– Socio – political monitoring – constant systematic collection of information in order to monitor and control the development of any socio – political phenomenon or process and its forecasting.

– Case – study – the study of individual cases of the phenomenon under study and their intensive analysis, including interviewing the individual, studying documents of his life or case, the analysis of the social situation in the world of the problem and formulating basic conclusions and recommendations to address the problem. problems.

Human rights monitoring can include all these concepts and use all these research methods in various combinations. The most famous of its definitions:

– Monitoring / verification / supervision – an active and interactive process in society aimed at improving the human rights situation in general, which may involve 2 tasks:

* Diagnostic monitoring – solving the situation, the reasons for its existence and prescribing the necessary measures.

* Human rights development challenges based on situation analysis to anticipate, mitigate and address the situation in this area.

– Human rights monitoring is a planned, systematized, conducted according to the adopted scheme of research of the selected area of social reality in order to achieve change without violence.

– Monitoring means the systematic collection and processing of information on the observance of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens by all state bodies, public structures, self-governing bodies of citizens, enterprises, institutions, organizations and officials. Information on respect for human rights should be used to make decisions on improving compliance with human rights law, developing new legal acts, informing the public about the situation in the field of respect for certain human rights in a particular region of the country.

Thus, the monitoring tool in the field of ensuring and respecting the rights of the child helps to assess the fidelity of public policy, to identify the picture of law enforcement activities of state bodies, violations committed by them, and the reasons for their dissemination.

With the help of monitoring, the most gross and widespread violations of children’s rights can be identified and measures taken to remedy the situation; it is possible to reveal problems in the legislation or shortcomings in the organization of activity of bodies, both central, and local level.

Monitoring of children’s rights is:

First, in a strictly thought-out active collection of data on the nature and extent of violations of children’s rights in a particular area. The monitored violations can be caused both by the legal norms (including various tools and instructions on their execution), and by application of the specified norms;

Secondly, in the processing of the obtained data and their comparison with the standards established by the constitution, ratified international treaties and domestic laws – in accordance with the hierarchy of legal norms;

Third, in identifying the causes of human rights violations in this area and providing instructions on what changes should be made to remedy the status quo;

Fourth, in the collection of materials necessary for further action (legal, political or public) to implement systemic change;

Monitoring in the full sense of the word can be considered the whole set of the above components. Monitoring makes it possible to verify the correctness of existing perceptions (based on perceptions, newspaper materials, etc.) that violations of children’s rights are allowed in any sphere of public life, to gather evidence of such violations, as well as arguments and data confirming the need for further action.

The main goal of monitoring is to improve the situation with children’s rights.

The purpose of monitoring is to identify the picture of observance of all categories of children’s rights, namely: observance and protection of their personal, socio-economic and cultural rights. The ultimate goal of monitoring, along with the provision of broad information, is to develop sound recommendations for ensuring the observance and protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the child.

To achieve the above goal, the monitoring system is endowed with the following specific functions:

-function of monitoring the practice of observance of children’s rights;

– the function of promoting the formation of long-term state policy in this area;

-function of control over observance of the legislation;

-function to assess the progress made in this area;

-function to identify problems that exist in this area;

– the function of publishing information about positive and negative experiences.

Monitoring objectives:

* Active, planned collection and processing of the most comprehensive data on the state of compliance of the child in a particular area to analyze the situation

* Comparison of the actual situation with the legislation adopted in the state, norms of international law and the experience of its practical observance in this field

* Identify the causes of violations and find reasonable solutions to change the situation

* Accumulation of materials needed for further activities in the chosen direction.

Key principles of monitoring:

* Activity and accuracy of collected information, its verification and reporting

* Confidentiality of information and sources

* Objectivity and impartiality

* Attention to the physical and social safety of victims, witnesses and other sources

Monitoring functions:

Cognitive function – diagnosis of the situation (diagnostic monitoring) – is carried out in cases where we do not know exactly which violations of children’s rights prevail, the degree of their violation (for example, monitoring of children’s rights to education)

The function of supporting actions for the benefit of society – gathering arguments to convince of the need for change – to pass information to higher authorities or partners – is carried out in cases where we know exactly what violations of children’s rights we want to prevent (monitoring the working conditions of children’s medical institutions)

Preventive function or observation, control over certain activities, when the presence itself as a way of influencing (monitoring the educational process, monitoring the employment of college graduates, etc.)

Sometimes ongoing monitoring can combine different functions (eg, diagnostic and preventive at the same time). This largely depends on the methods of action chosen for a particular monitoring. For example, if we use diagnostic monitoring of individual educational institutions when monitoring the right to education, we also provide a preventive function.

What can be monitored for a child’s rights?

* Observance of one specific right (to education, work, etc.)

* Observance of the rights of representatives of a certain group (minorities, children with disabilities)

* Observance of all or selected group of rights of persons who are in closed and open isolation institutions (hospitals, boarding schools, educational colony)

* Observance of the rights of the child by state institutions that have the authority (education, labor, justice, prosecution, internal affairs)

* Implementation of any law important for the rights of the child (new law “On guarantees of children’s rights” or “On prevention of neglect and juvenile delinquency”)

Thus, the tasks of the system of monitoring the rights of the child include:

– Identification of violations of children’s rights to take action to prevent and eliminate them;

– Analysis of the interaction of state bodies between themselves and the public sector in the field of ensuring the observance and protection of children’s rights;

– Informing the public about the state of affairs in the field of protection of children’s rights.

1.2. The main stages of monitoring the rights of the child and their content

Due to their age, children may be less able to protect themselves from violations of their rights or even use their remedies. In addition, certain situations or circumstances may pose a much greater threat to children than to adults; in fact, there are violations, the victims of which are children. In some situations, children may be involved in criminal activities, even if they have not committed any offenses themselves. This often happens to homeless children.

There are a number of factors that significantly increase the vulnerability of most children and lead to even more serious violations of their rights. Such factors include: insufficient access to education and health care, family breakdown, and others.

When planning monitoring, do not forget that most of the time and energy should be devoted to the preparation of monitoring. It usually takes a few weeks, and preparation can take many months. The stage of data processing and report preparation is often longer than the research itself. And all this time, at all stages of work, it is necessary to remember the purpose which was set, and in achievement of which monitoring should help.

Having clearly defined the objectives of monitoring, it is possible to start the concept of monitoring, which reveals the related stages of monitoring.

Monitoring stages:

– Preparation of monitoring

– Monitoring

– Use of monitoring results

The first stage of monitoring begins with a preliminary analysis of the situation

1. Preliminary analysis of the situation

Preliminary analysis of the situation is to search for information from relatively easily accessible sources in order to get a general idea of possible problems and the situation in this area. Information can be obtained in the process:

– Interviews with experts (scientists, representatives of specialized non-governmental organizations, lawyers or other persons who have dealt with or are dealing with this problem);

– Group interview of persons related to this topic, who see it from different points of view (officials, apparitions, representatives of non-governmental organizations, etc.);

– Preliminary analysis of international and domestic law;

– Analysis of the results of research conducted by various institutes and universities;

– Analysis of the results of other research or control conducted by various organizations – governmental, non-governmental or international;

– Analysis of the press, conversations with journalists working in this field;

– Analysis of citizens’ complaints received by various bodies;

– Visiting institutions (school, hospital, orphanage, etc.), which will better understand the issues and develop a concept of monitoring;

– Assessment of own capabilities – it depends on the choice of current or precedent research topic, where there is power to help solve it.

Preliminary diagnosis gives us general information about the rights of the child, a person in this area. Sometimes it also allows you to hypothesize the causes of violations. Thanks to the acquired knowledge, you can develop operational goals and establish the order of their achievement. In addition, it is possible to determine the nature of relevant political, social and legal actions and begin to plan and implement them. It will depend on the results obtained whether it is possible to dare to conduct monitoring.

Preliminary analysis of the situation – it depends on the choice of research topic, the most relevant for the region (usually many such topics). At this stage, it is useful to assess their own strengths and capabilities of opponents and allies, external factors and the calendar of political events. From the very beginning, you need to decide – for what the study will be conducted, and how you can then use its results (For example, we need to draw attention to the problem, either the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is preparing to consider the Government’s Report on Compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, or we want to change the law).

2. Formulation and choice of research task

The task for the study identifies the area to be explored to obtain the information, facts and incidents necessary to achieve the goal. Among several tasks, one is usually chosen.

This takes into account:

Mandate – who are we? – National Institute for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Ombudsman, MP, public organization.

Relationships with government agencies – whether there is access to the research site (educational institutions, orphanages), what are the guarantees of implementation of recommendations, whether it is necessary to look for allies, partners and additional skills in the field of research – monitoring experience, expertise, clear understanding what we plan to explore and why.

Monitoring planning – having identified the topic of monitoring, it is necessary to specify it, to decide which method to act (case studies, sociological research, socio – political monitoring).


Monitoring of a specific right

(For example, the right to education) – based on the proposal or certainty where this right can be violated and by whom: educational institutions, boarding schools, actions of bodies (official, teacher), or based on frequent complaints of citizens about the violation of this right. Narrowing the topic – monitoring compliance with the right to education in schools in the region.

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