Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA)

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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:


NICCY is a member of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC is is an association of independent children’s rights institutions (ICRIs) and has a membership of 43 Bodies across 34 Countries.).  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.’

Specifically this includes:

10. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Introduce a statutory obligation at the national and devolved levels to systematically conduct a child rights impact assessment when developing laws and policies affecting children, including in international development cooperation;

(b) Publish the results of such assessments and demonstrate how they have been taken into consideration in the proposed laws and policies.

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 in the first instance and we will progress.

CRIA: Procedural Standards

  1. The UNCRC and its Optional Protocols should be used as the framework for assessment and evaluation.
  2. To be carried out across government, not just children’s departments.
  3. Consider direct AND indirect impact on children.
  4. Identify different impacts on children when compared to adults, or different groups of children.
  5. CRIAs should be carried out as early as possible and CRIE after an agreed time, following implementation.
  6. CRIAs should be evidence based, with input from children.
  7. Provide recommendations to ensure compliance with the UNCRC and consider how decisions may progress the realisation of children’s rights.
  8. Publish assessments and evaluations.

Online Training Resources

NICCY have developed two online training modules to support learning on children’s rights, your role on supporting children’s rights and the importance of acknowledging children’s rights when delivering policies, strategies, legislation and services. These modules are for people who work with children and young people or whose work impacts children and young people.

These resources are free to use. Click here for more information.