Monitoring Children's Rights

Intense political, social and scientific efforts to improve the position of children are converging rapidly, centered on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is therefore reasonable to assume that there is broad consensus in the international community on how to take the position of children in society seriously. Despite the unique success of the Convention, the situation is such that it forces us, as a matter of urgency, to explore, develop and implement guarantees for effective monitoring of the implementation of the Convention's provisions. In the end, rights are only effective when implemented. This book, containing the contributions made and discussed at the European Conference on Monitoring Children's Rights (organized by Ghent University's Children's Rights Centre in December 1994), presents the results of interdisciplinary research into monitoring to a wider scientific forum. Several monitoring issues are tackled, with particular emphasis on the reporting system: what should be reported (the content of the reports) and who should report (the more formal and procedural aspects of reporting)? Apart from a suitable monitoring mechanism, there is also the self-executing force of the Convention, making it directly enforceable in national courts. Ongoing and dynamic monitoring can be a powerful impetus to making systematic progress in this area. The debate on monitoring the Children's Rights Convention may in this way expand into an attractive and exemplary debate on human rights conventions in general. This book will therefore not only meet the requirements of all those working in the field of children's rights, but can also provide appealing material for all those involved in the field of monitoring human rights.