The Child Protection Index is presented to European audiences

Photography credits: Silviu Ghetie

Children’s rights are formally granted by international documents – most prominently by the UNCRC, signed by all the countries in the region. But even after 25 years, these countries still do not fully comply with the standards they were bound to respect. We want to change that! Thus, with the Child Protection Index – a comparative policy tool developed by World Vision International in cooperation with ChildPact and implemented by local and national level civil society organisations – we look into the state of play of those UNCRC articles that are the most relevant for the vulnerable children in our region, gathering evidence to support our advocacy work.

The results from each country level index illustrate each government’s actions towards child protection through the lens of policy, service delivery, capacity, accountability and coordination.  This means that this instrument measures to what extend the governments adopted and put in practice relevant good policies that nurture children. The Index points out how each country performs across 626 indicators, adapted from the official UNCRC implementation checklist. However, the Child Protection Index does not measure the well-being of children directly, but it focuses on government policy, investment, and services related to child protection.

In the last months, ChildPact has been invited at two regional level events, in Geneva and in Tallinn, in order to present the preliminary results of the Child Protection Index. The first event, an International Exploratory Seminar entitled “Governance related to child protection and development from an interdisciplinary perspective” (9-11 March 2016, Geneva) was hosted by the University of Geneva and gathered academia representatives specialised in child protection from around the world.

The second event was the 8th Regional Meeting of the Children’s Rights Coalitions Forum in Europe (19-21 April 2016, Tallinn) gathered numerous child-focused networks from all over Europe and debated issues such as: External challenges and key policy issues for children faced by children’s rights coalitions within a European context (investing in children; protection of the family; child-protection decision making protection of migrants and child asylum seekers in Europe); Internal challenges faced by child rights coalitions: leadership capacity; communication for NGOs; operational management of coalitions; and explored the following issues through workshops: Using the UN human rights mechanisms to promote and protect children’s rights; Monitoring children’s rights through indicators – the Child Protection Index; Children’s Participation: how to integrate children’s participation in the work of the children’s rights coalitions.

During both conferences, ChildPact introduced the methodology of the Child Protection Index, the reasoning behind the creation of the measuring indicators, the experience of implementing the index in 9 countries in the region (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Georgia, Serbia, Armenia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovin), and the preliminary results prior to the data visualisation platform which is under construction. The audiences, formed by child protection experts and academia representatives, have fed in their valuable opinions and remarks, and applauded the initiative of ChildPact and World Vision of creating such a needed monitoring tool for child protection.