Yuri Kolosov, Russia
Member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN)


1. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was established in 1991 in accordance with Article 43 of the Convention. It´s task is to examin the progress made by state parties to the Convention (181 parties as of December 6, 1995) in realizing the obligation of the Convention.

2. Over 60 national reports have been submitted by the committee so far and about 40 of them have been examined by the Committee experts (10 persons).

3. Many states have adopted special laws or codes on the rights of the child.

4. Most other states have amended the existing laws and administrative rules to reflect the provisions of the Convention.

5. Many countries have established monitoring and coordinating mechanisms at the national level, inter alia, ombudspersons.

6. Many national reports refer to the existing difficulties in the process of the actual implementation of the Convention, most typical of which being budgetary restraints, the ongoing economic liberalization, administrative decentralization, transition to the market economies, etc.

7. The committee compiled guidelines to the state parties on how to structure their initial reports. In 1996 the Committee will adopt guidelines for periodic reports to be respected by the state parties every S years.

8. The 4 main principles to be respected by the state parties in their overall activities related to children are:

* non-discrimination (art.2) best interests of the child (art.3) the right to life, survival and development (art.6) the views of the child (art. 12)

9. The issues which are in the focus of the Committee when the reports are examined: general measures of implementation

* definition of the child

* general principles

* civil rights and freedoms family environment and alternative care

* basic health and welfare

* special protection measures (refugee children, armed conflicts, juvenile justice, exploitation, minorities).

10. Some typical deficiencies in the implementation process:

* paternalistic approach rather than the recognition of the child as a subject of rights

* Iack of alternative measures instead of deprivation of liberty of juvenile offenders

* Iack of special training of all those working with children (teachers, medical personell, judges, police officers, social woorkers, etc.

* economic exploitation in the informal sector

* slow activities in raising public awareness of the rights of the child Yy

* Iack of program in implementing the participatory rights of children ~

* deficiencies in the legislation relating to the age levels reflecting gradual attainment of the legal capacity by the child

* negligence of the interest of the groups of children in need of special protection measures

11. What can be done?

* special national policies
* national plans of action
* international co-operation
* Technical assistance on the part of the UN bodies and specialized agencies.

The CONVENTION on the rights of the child

Checklist for the CONVENTION in education, culture and communication

General situation of public education
* Has progress been achieved in realigning the education system in conformity with Convention principles?
* Are parents, the primary educators of the child, properly consulted and their co-operation invited?
* Have levels of investment in education been maintained or improved in accordance with national needs? Is the education of vulnerable groups receiving adequate funding? Are there reliable statistics on school enrolment and drop-out rates, disaggregated by age, gender and origin?

Access to education
* Is there good quaiity education accessible to all children, especially girls, in all areas?
* Are the school buildings, facilities and materials adequate?
* Are support services available such as health coverage, textbooks, schooi meals, scholarships, transport?

Quality of education
* Is there on-going training of teachers and administrators with enhancement of their status? Is the actual learning achievement of children adequately and continuously monitored?
* Is the core curriculum relevant and of high-quality?
* Is there integration of lifeskills, ethical and social principles across school curricula, and in particular, education on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Cultural and leisure activities for children
* Do public authorities encourage culturai activities for children?
* Are all children guaranteed the right to recreation, play and access to cultural activities?

Communication and information
* Do children enjoy freedom of expression, information from many sources regardless of frontiers and access to high quality educational television and children's literature?
* Are chiidren protected from exposure to excessive violence or intolerance in the media?





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