Child Rights Governance

 

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children. We work in over 120 countries.

Our Child Rights Governance programmes aim to raise the issues and status of children in all societies to ensure they are treated as the citizens of today. In doing so, we push child rights up the political agenda.

 FULFILLING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS 

Children’s lack of power and their low social status are some of the factors that lead to children’s rights violations in Cambodia. Children’s views are rarely sought or considered in decisions affecting their lives, and society is largely unaware of the concept of children’s rights. Save the Children supports local and national level authorities to include children in decision making processes, and empowers children to raise their own voices and demand what they need from their government, communities and families.   

PROGRAMME GOAL 

Our goal is to build a child friendly society through strengthening civil society and working closely with the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase resources to address children’s needs.  

OBJECTIVES  

Advocate for the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase budget allocation for children; and promote quality public services through the implementation of the Social Accountability Framework (I-SAF). 

Support civil society organisations, children and youth networks to promote awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in communities, and ensure children are involved in local decision-making, including in the development, budgeting and monitoring of Commune Investment and Development Plans. 

Strengthen the Cambodia National Council for Children (CNCC) to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and support the Royal Government of Cambodia to establish an independent National Human Rights Institution with Child Rights Unit.  

ACHIEVEMENTS 

In 2016, our Child Rights Governance programme reached an estimated 436,875 children and their families. 

• Eleven target communes allocated an average 6% of their total commune budget to respond to citizens’ social service needs, including issuing birth certificates. 

• More than 350,000 people learned about their rights through Information for Citizens (I4C) awareness-raising sessions and community outreach.  

• More than 2,600 children and youth representatives participated in meetings with local government, including Commune Committee for Women and Children meetings, social service village mapping and Commune Investment Plan development, where they had the opportunity to speak out and advocate for children’s issues. 

MONITORING AND DEMANDING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS, WITH CHILDREN  

Save the Children supports young people to stand up for their rights, and those of the people around them. We support local civil society organisations, and the children and youth with whom they work, to participate in monitoring and fulfilling the rights of children and young people, and ensure that children and young people’s rights are taken into account during decision making processes that affect them. Children and youth are empowered to lead their communities in identifying and resolving child rights violations through participatory action research, and they are provided with technical and financial support to participate in local decision making processes.  

At the national level Save the Children is working with strategic development partners, including UNICEF, World Vision and Plan International, to strengthen the Cambodia National Council for Children in child rights monitoring and the development of a national plan of action for children. We support the Cambodia Children and Young People Movement for Child Rights (CCYMCR) to continuously gauge children’s concerns and communicate them to the responsible authorities. Save the Children is also advocating for the government to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to create a communications mechanism for children and other concerned persons to report complaints alleging child rights violations.  

PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN CHILDREN  

Save the Children is working with partners to achieve our ambition that all children, especially the poorest, benefit from greater public investment and better use of society’s resources in realising children’s rights. We promote child and youth participation in planning and budgeting at a local level, ensuring children are actively involved in identifying, discussing, and prioritising the initiatives and spending decisions that affect their lives. We strengthen the capacity of Commune Councils to work together with children to ensure their budgeting decisions reflect the real needs of children in their communities.   

We support children to advocate for budget transparency at NGO forums, creating opportunities for them to influence the Royal Government of Cambodia, to broaden public disclosure of budget information and to improve budget credibility and prioritisation of children’s issues. We are an active member of the Budget Working Group, which analyses government budget expenditure and advocates for increased investment in children.   

GOOD GOVERNANCE THAT DELIVERS CHILDREN’S RIGHTS  

We work with the Royal Government of Cambodia and civil society to implement the Social Accountability Framework (I-SAF), which empowers children and other citizens to monitor government service delivery, facilitates their engagement with local service providers, and enhances social capital and trust. We promote transparency and accountability, improve service delivery and ensure budget allocation is based on children’s needs in the local context. We work with children, young people and civil society to monitor the effectiveness of local administration. In parallel, we strengthen the capacity of schools, health centres and commune administration offices to improve service provision and public financial management.  

PARTNERS 

Budget Working Group, Cambodia Children and Young People Movement for Child Rights, Cambodia National Council for Children, Cambodian Cooperation Committee, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation, National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development (NCDD), NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child, NGO Forum, Phnom Srey Organisation for Development, Plan International, UNICEF, Wathnakpheap, Women Organisation for Modern Economy and Nursing, Working Group for Partnership in Decentralisation, World Vision. 

DONORS 

Danish International Development Agency through Save the Children Denmark, European Union through Save the Children Norway, Japan Social Development Fund through World Bank, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation through Save the Children Norway, private donors through Save the Children Hong Kong, Swedish International Development Agency through Save the Children Sweden.