Child Rights Governance

Save the Children is committed to ensuring that all rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), its three Optional Protocols and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) are fulfilled. We implement child rights governance (CRG) projects in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia, where our overall approach is to ensure improved accountability for the rights of the most deprived children in crises.

Girls' Education matters. We are campaigning for girls access to education in Somalia. Save the Children staff during the launch our Every Last Child Campaing. Photo Mowlid Mudan | Save the Children

Child Rights Governance focuses on strengthening the governance infrastructure that needs to be in place to effectively make all rights for all children in all circumstances a reality. It is about supporting a vibrant civil society pushing children up the political agenda and holding states to account for what they have or haven’t done to realize children’s rights. 

Child rights governance provides the basis for all the measures that governments need to take to turn children’s rights to survival, health, educa¬tion, protection and participation into practice. It is about building systems that in the long run will institutionalize children’s rights and make them part of children’s everyday lives. It is also about recognizing children as right holders and citizens by listening to their experiences and opinions and support their proposals and initiatives.

Save the Children in Somalia/Somaliland implements projects focusing on establishment and strengthening of independent national human and child right institutions that monitor, defend and advance children’s rights, supporting government institutions to put in place effective UNCRC General Measures of Implementation (GMIs), creating spaces for children to influence local and national governance to ensure their survival, learning and protection. Our CRG interventions also seek to influence increase and improvement of quality of public spending on essential services that have a high impact on children.

Since 2013, we have supported the government of Somaliland in developing legal and policy frameworks towards the advancement of children’s rights. Save the Children has provided technical support in development of the Child Protection Policy, the Alternative Care Policy, the Juvenile Justice Law, a National Plan of Action (NPA) for children and a comprehensive Child Act (CA). In 2015 we continued to support the Somaliland Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in finalizing the comprehensive Child Act and National Plan of Action for Children for approval by cabinet and parliament. Based on lessons learnt from the legal and policy formulation process in Somaliland, we are providing support to the government of Somalia, including Puntland, in developing Child Act and National Plan of Action for Children.

In 2015, 26 children’s groups were established in Somaliland (16 groups) and Puntland (10 groups), reaching 1,771 children (801 girls and 970 boys) through trainings on child rights and disaster risk reduction. Children in the intervention areas, through their child rights groups (CRGs), forums and networks, continued to claim their rights and hold duty bearers to account. We have also strengthened the capacity of the Civil Society Organizations Coalition in Somaliland to promote and advocate children’s rights. Following a child budget analysis and trends on the education sector study that was conducted in 2014, we continue to strengthen the capacity of the Somaliland Child Rights Forum in conducting child budget advocacy work and in monitoring the child rights situation, while equally influencing government to create an enabling environment for existence of institutions that deliver child rights.

In 2016, we aim to scale up our low-cost, high-impact interventions to hard-to-reach areas of the country, and to ensure that the most deprived children benefit from our well-tailored programs. We will continue to advocate with the government, donors, religious and community leaders, communities, and children as the key target groups for improved governance, accountability and resource allocation to children. Our efforts to improve child centered social accountability at national and local levels will be expanded, whilst leveraging our successes achieved in the past years in interventions that actively involve children in matters that affect them.  Backed by a clearly articulated global ambition for children for 2030 and thematic and country strategic plan, we will continuously seek to design programmes that ensure transparent, inclusive, responsive and accountable governance in Somalia/Somaliland.  We will continue to engage in partnerships and networks that can help advance our child rights governance agenda and enhance our learning and impact.