UNICEF and EU presented innovative “Child Rights Toolkit: Integrating child rights in development cooperation” providing practical guidance how to operationalize a rights–based, child–focused approach to development programming, budgeting, policy–making and law making. UNICEF, European Union and Latvia holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, share a strong commitment to ‘promote all human rights in all areas of external action’ and to integrate children’s rights into all operational development cooperation activities.
UNICEF and EU presented innovative “Child Rights Toolkit: Integrating child rights in development cooperation” providing practical guidance how to operationalize a rights–based, child–focused approach to development programming, budgeting, policy–making and law making.
UNICEF, European Union and Latvia holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, share a strong commitment to ‘promote all human rights in all areas of external action’ and to integrate children’s rights into all operational development cooperation activities.
H.E. Maira Mora, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, stressed that “there is no child–blind projects. All projects, whatever their thematic is, do have a negative or positive impact on children — it is important to sensitize development actors working in sectors that may appear not traditionally or obviously connected to child rights, such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, private sector and environment. The toolkit that we are presenting today, provides set of instruments to do so”.
The Toolkit contains more than 80 innovative and easy–to–use tools in eight thematic modules covering child rights in development programming, child participation and impact assessments, child rights in governance, in crisis situations and budgeting. It deliberately looks beyond traditional child focused sectors (such as nutrition, health, and education) and includes practical guidance & readymade tools for different sectors and stages of the programming cycle
“Children are central to development. They are the greatest drivers for change in society and gains achieved by investments in children far exceed those in other areas”, said UNICEF Representative to Belarus Rashed Mustafa Sarwar. “Without considering children across all sectors, when designing policies, approving budgets or programing development aid, we are likely to fail our objective of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, prosperity and peace. To achieve sustainable, inclusive and rights based development outcomes, children must be our highest priority and our first call on our resources. There is clear business case that investments in children today yield long–term returns and benefits not only for children and their families, but also for economies and societies in general.”
The Child Rights Toolkit comes at a critical moment. In the context of the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and as we prepare for a post–2015 world, business as usual is not enough. We need new ways of engaging partners and building political space for children, focusing in particular on the most affected and most disadvantaged children.
H.E. Mr. Mihails Popkovs, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Latvian republic to the Republic of Belarus, noted: “Year 2015 is the European Year for Development. Speaking about development, i.e. about the way our countries will live and develop in the nearest and more remote future, we cannot omit the topic of human development, establishing efficient education system, implementation of social protection policy and ensuring favourable environment for development and growth of the younger generation. In this context, the launch of the Child Rights Toolkit: Integrating Child Rights in Development Cooperation is of a paramount importance as it focuses attention of the government and the society on very tough but extra topical issues of child protection, rendering support in preparation for the adulthood, in becoming productive members of society. In other words, this toolkit covers all aspects of creation of favourable settings for children’s wellbeing and development.”
The Toolkit has been designed for development professionals working in bilateral and multi–lateral donor agencies and is expected to be useful also for governments and civil society partners engaged in the design or implementation of development programmes in order to effectively guarantee child rights.
It can be obtained free online in English, Spanish and French versions (http://www.unicef.org/eu/crtoolkit/).