The Committee on the Rights of the Child, in its concluding observations to States Parties, consistently recommends that they should introduce child rights education for all professionals working with and for children. In its General Comment No. 5, General Measures of Implementation (CRC/GC/2003/5), the Committee ‘emphasizes States’ obligation to develop training and capacity-building for all those involved in the implementation process - government officials, parliamentarians and members of the judiciary - and for all those working with and for children. These include, for example, community and religious leaders, teachers, social workers and other professionals, including those working with children in institutions and places of detention, the police and armed forces, including peacekeeping forces, those working in the media and many others. Training needs to be systematic and ongoing initial training and re-training. The purpose of training is to emphasize the status of the child as a holder of human rights, to increase knowledge and understanding of the Convention and to encourage active respect for all its provisions’.
The Committee endorses the work of CRED-PRO in contributing towards the implementation of this obligation. In turn, CRED-PRO submits an annual report to the Committee on the work we have undertaken, and its impact and scope.
Nearly every country in the world has signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In so doing, they have committed to ensuring that those rights are respected for every child. If children’s rights are to be realised, it is necessary for the adults, with whom they have contact, to understand and respect those rights. For example, teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, lawyers, judges, police, residential staff, and early years workers all play a role in children’s lives. It is important that they are provided with training that equips them with the knowledge and capacities to fulfil their responsibilities towards children’s rights in their work:
However, to date, no countries are systematically providing child rights education for all professionals, and only limited resources and materials have been developed to facilitate this process. Child Rights Education for Professionals (CRED-PRO) was established in 2005 as an international initiative to address this gap.
CRED-PRO is currently focused on health and early child development professions/professionals and working through partnerships to develop and implement child rights education and practices in Latin America, South Africa, Tanzania, South/Central Eastern Europe, and Canada.
CRED-PRO is working in partnership with the Open University (OU), a distance learning institution based in the UK, to explore potential collaborations for strengthening child rights education in East Africa. This activity builds on CRED-PRO’s work in developing a curriculum for professionals working with young children in Tanzania, and the OU’s current extensive programmes to develop training for health, education and child protection professionals in the region.
The initiative, funded by the Oak Foundation in Geneva, involves: