Reporting on violence against children: a thematic guide for non-governmental organisations reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Reporting on violence against children: a thematic guide for non-governmental organisations reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Reporting violence against children to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

These guidelines are designed to help non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to include comprehensive information on the incidence of violence in their reports to the Committee. They were developed further to the UN Secretary General's Study on Violence Against Children which, while highlighting the prevalence and the devastating impact of violence on boys and girls globally, also emphasised the importance of continued action, by all those concerned, including governments, international or regional organisations, local authorities, communities, and civil society organisations.  

Key steps for reporting on violence against children to the UN committee on the rights of the child that are highlighted include:

  1. Be informed of recent developments on the follow-up to the UN Violence Study (see Further Information on the right hand side) and be familiar with the procedures and timeframes of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
  2. Clarify definitions of violence against children, your objectives and your priorities
  3. Plan your data collection, report structure and drafting
  4. Ensure, value and anticipate child participation and make your experience part of the broader framework

Some of the main difficulties encountered by NGOs in the past when preparing reports on violence: 

  • lack of legal background- although this is less often the case than a decade ago, child rights NGOs sometimes lack competence in legal analysis because their constituency is from the education, health or social sectors rather than the legal field 
  • lack of access to government reports and processes- the situation in the country may be such that contacts with the government are neither easy nor recommended when intending to write an alternative report 
  • safety risks for children or adults to report on violence- whether through interviews, questionnaires, or testimonials, informants may be at risk of reprisal from State agents, public entities, or private persons 
  • many forms of violence against children are not viewed as serious issues, or even as violent acts Indeed, some forms of violence are more discreet or socially accepted than others.
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.