Strengthening Child Rights Governance And Accountability

Breaking the intergenerational poverty trap is key to South Africa getting back on track, securing the development of its children, and for fulfilling its commitment to realise children’s rights. To achieve this, government must adopt and implement a developmental child care and protection system that empowers families and caregivers to provide nurturing care to secure their children’s development.

This requires deliberate state-wide and multi-sectoral child-centred planning, provisioning, and accountability. This in turn will only be possible if South Africa has a strong national child rights governance system.


To strengthen the national child rights governance system to ensure state-wide prioritisation, action and accountability for the provision of services and support to guarantee that all children, especially the most vulnerable, receive the nurturing care required to survive, develop to their full potential, be protected and participate in all decisions that affect them.

Specifically, to ensure that the public system of governance through which decisions are made as to the allocation, and accountability for use of resources recognises and advances children’s rights as a national, rights-based development priority.

Thus, the goal is to ensure a national child rights governance system that:

  1. Is led and championed at the highest political level by the President, Premiers and Mayors
  2. Explicitly recognises children’s rights as a national development priority in all leading national development plans with associated government-wide mainstreaming responsibilities
  3. Is coordinated and supported through an effective office or department of the rights of the child institutionalized within the Presidency, Premiers and Mayoral Offices
  4. Is supported by appropriate systems to mandate, support and ensure planning, provisioning, and accountability by all organs of state for realising children’s rights
  5. That is inclusive and participatory to secure the meaningful engagement of the children’s sector.


To facilitate, coordinate and support evidence-based advocacy by coalition members at global, regional, and national levels for strengthening the national child rights governance system through:

  1. Regular monitoring, documentation, and reporting on the status of the child rights governance system and progress in advancing the rights of children to equality and to develop to their full potential
  2. Assessment and advocacy for improved compliance of national planning documents, frameworks, and institutional arrangements with child rights governance requirements and indicators
  3. Facilitating coordinated knowledge of, and participation in child rights treaty and development body processes.

Strategic Interventions

Our child rights governance objectives and goal will be pursued through the following strategic  activities:

  1. Development of a national child rights monitoring, reporting and follow-up framework.
  2. Child rights monitoring, documentation and publication of regular reports on improvements in the child rights governance system, the situation of children and reductions in the proportion of children at risk of poor development outcomes.
  3. Assessment of national and departmental strategic and planning documents, frameworks and institutional arrangements for compliance with child rights governance requirements, including for example:
    1. The Medium Terms Strategic Framework
    2. Parliaments annual oversight / strategic plan
    3. Departmental annual plans
    4. Institutional structures and arrangements supporting government-wide leadership, coordination and accountability for child rights governance and attainment of targets.
  4. Facilitating coordinated knowledge of, and participation in treaty and development body processes, including:
    1. Securing treaty body observer status
    2. Treaty and shadow reporting
    3. Participation in committee state party reporting, ad hoc treaty body and related working group proceedings.
  5. Follow-up communications and advocacy to ensure that concluding observations are widely known within civil society and government, and are addressed through government’s planning and oversight processes.
  6. Facilitating and coordinating national, provincial and local advocacy for child rights governance and system’s strengthening.