Children and Governance

Governments are obligated to fulfilling the rights of children. This imposes three distinct obligations on governments: the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill those rights. This is the essence of good governance.

  • The obligation to respect child rights requires governments to refrain from interfering directly or indirectly with children’s enjoyment of their rights.
  • The obligation to protect children against abuse and exploitation refers to the governments’ duty to prevent, investigate, punish and ensure redress for the harm caused by abuses of their rights by third parties, such as private individuals or other non-state actors.
  • The obligation to fulfill rights necessitates that governments fulfill the rights of children, through the implementation of legislative, administrative, budgetary, judicial and other measures. Additionally, the obligation to fulfill child rights refers to the progressive realisation of rights, and includes governments’ duties to facilitate and provide for basic needs, particularly when children’s families are unable to do so 

This includes:

  • Financial accountability, which is about allocation, disbursement and utilisation of funds.
  • Performance accountability, which is about demonstrating and accounting for performance through implementation of initiatives in the light of agreed indicators- the  focus being service, output and outcome or result.
  • Political or democratic accountability involves policy making, political process and elections

The core of HAQ’s work is developing tools for monitoring State response and holding it accountable for its omissions and commissions in the realisation of child rights. It concentrates on:

  • Financial accountability through its Budget for Children (BfC) analysis
  • Performance accountability through its status of children reports.
  • Political and democratic accountability through its monitoring and analysis of parliamentary questions and debates.
  • Judicial accountability through review of case law and judicial interventions.