Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA): Getting it RIGHT for our Children and Young People
NICCY’s aim is to safeguard and promote the rights of children and young people and in so doing, to have regard to the UNCRC - the most inclusive Human Rights Instrument. CRIA is an approach which embeds children’s rights considerations at the outset of developing legislation, strategies and policies. Applying the CRIA Framework and Tool will help avoid / mitigate any negative impacts at the earliest possible stage. At NICCY we are keen to see this incorporated into practice and are content to support / advise on this, following our ongoing dissemination programme with Northern Ireland Departments and Agencies.
We have the following links:
- Common Framework of Reference - can be found here
- CRIA Template - can be found here (pdf) and as a MS Word file here
- ENOC Position Statement for reference can be found here
NICCY is a member of the European Network of Ombuds’ and Commissioners for Children (ENOC). ENOC’s 24th Annual Conference theme was ‘Child Rights Impact Assessments’. NICCY along with a number of other members of ENOC, worked extensively in the year prior to the Conference on this and the 2020 Position Statement and Common Framework of Reference on Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) were unanimously adopted by the ENOC General Assembly held on 18 November 2020.
We have since disseminated this to our respective Governments and Legislatures so that our Ministers and Departments take further the necessary steps:
‘to use Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) and Child Rights Impact Evaluation (CRIE) processes to help embed children’s rights in law, policy, budgetary allocation, and other administrative decisions; and promote and support its use among all public bodies.’
Members’ recommendations are ‘intended to ensure governments comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and other international human rights treaties as they affect children and young people.’
We are happy at NICCY to advise on and support the implementation of CRIA in Departments’ work. We have been engaging with every NI Department to disseminate and embed CRIAs into practice and have also engaged with relevant authorities which we are happy to progress with others. Should you wish us to deliver an information seminar please contact our Chief Executive Mairead McCafferty via email@example.com in the first instance and we will progress.
CRIA: Procedural Standards
- The UNCRC and its Optional Protocols should be used as the framework for assessment and evaluation.
- To be carried out across government, not just children’s departments.
- Consider direct AND indirect impact on children.
- Identify different impacts on children when compared to adults, or different groups of children.
- CRIAs should be carried out as early as possible and CRIE after an agreed time, following implementation.
- CRIAs should be evidence based, with input from children.
- Provide recommendations to ensure compliance with the UNCRC and consider how decisions may progress the realisation of children’s rights.
- Publish assessments and evaluations.
 ENOC is is an association of independent children’s rights institutions (ICRIs) and has a membership of 43 Bodies across 34 Countries.