CENTER OF PUBLIC POLICIES AND HUMAN RIGHTSPERU EQUIDAD
REPORT OF CONSULTANCY CONTRIBUTION OF LATIN AMERICA TO A GENERAL COMMENT OF THE 4TH ARTICLE OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
JORGE OROZA MANRIQUE Contributions of Rodolfo Mendoza R. Lima, December 2012
Presentation……………………………………………………………………. 3 Introduction.……………………………….……………………………………..4 I. Specific proposals on contributions for a General Comment to the 4th article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for the States Party…………………………..……………………….............................8 General Measures for States…...........……………………………………….10 II. About the contributions of the Non-Public Sector………………………..23 III. Of the Multilateral Credit Institutions………..……...…………………….26 IV. Of the International Cooperation ………………….……………………..26 V. Different opinions...………………………………….……………………..27 VI. As a summary...............................................................................……..29
PRESENTATION The Center of Public Policies and Human Rights Peru Equidad is an institution that is working, with the auspice of Save the Children Sweden, on the subject of investment promotion in childhood in different countries of Latin America (LA) in the last years. Nowadays, together with the Regional Technical Group for Latin America, Save the Children and the Global Movement for Children Chapter of Latin America and the Caribbean, have worked on the elaboration of this document that is named “Aportes de América Latina al Comentario General del Artículo Cuarto de la Convención de los Derechos del Niño” (Contributions of Latin America to the General Comment of the Fourth Article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child). The Regional Technical Group is a group of professionals of different countries of the Region that is encouraging a set of initiatives since 5 years ago in order to promote the greater investment in infancy. It analyzes, evaluates and makes contributions about this subject and tries to encourage the thematic development related to these activities. This document intends to fill a gap and start the fulfillment of an agreement of the World’s countries in the Day of The General Debate1 to clarify very well the scopes of the 4th article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and contribute with the elaboration of a General Comment to the Committee on the Right of the Child, so signatory States allocate the greater available budgetary resources that according the 4th article, it expresses as follows: “States Parties will adopt all the administrative, legislative and other measures to give effect to the recognized rights in this Convention. With regard to the economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties will adopt those measures until the maximum of resources that they have, and when it is necessary, inside the framework of the international cooperation”. In this way, the Center of Public Policies and Human Rights Peru Equidad pretends to make known less organized aspects, and a promotion dynamic of public policies; in this case, contributions to the Committee on the Rights of the Child that try to promote or improve the situation of boys, girls and adolescents of
Day of the General Debate of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Resources for the Child RightsResponsibility of States. September 2007.
the Region, through its inclusion in economic policy, and in particular to benefit greater wages of the public budgets to these populations. As well as improving the efficiency and efficacy of this investment.
INTRODUCTION Before we refer to what the contributions are to the General Comment on the 4th article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Previously, it is necessary to briefly refer to the General Comments or General Observations to the CRC. The General Comments constitute an authorized interpretation of the rights contained in the articles and dispositions of the CRC, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child is the institution in charge of watching over the promotion, interpretation and supervision of the established obligations in the CRC to announce General Comments with the objective to promote its implementation and guide States parties to fulfill their obligations. Therefore, the General Comments constitute invaluable contributions for the development and application of the international right of human rights. They are useful tools of analysis; they properly explain the conventional obligations acquired by States, and they can be used as a guide with regard to some specific situations. Besides, the General Comments are used to call the attention of States Parties about the lack of their reports and to give suggestions to improve the transmission of these ones.2 The General Comments help States Parties of the Convention and interested institutions to understand better their dispositions. In that way, they can be used as a framework for the presentation of the reports that belong to States. Moreover, the national courts can refer to the General Comments to clarify legislative dispositions; it can also be encouraged legislative changes and the discussion of specific subjects that head better the plenty application of the CRC. However, the General Comments do not impose, per se, international obligations. The CRC is the one that impose the international obligations to States that voluntarily ratify or agree with it. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, as a supervisor institution of the CRC, acts as supreme interpreter of its text and of the
EQUIDAD: “Los Niños Primero. Para que los niños sean siempre lo primero, los Estados deben dedicar hasta el máximo de sus recursos a garantizar todos sus derechos”. Lima, Perú. 2013
dispositions it has. In that way, it uses the General Comments to interpret certain standards when it considers necessary to do it. What does inclusion of children in economic policies, and in particular to budgetary dimension that must be considered as part as the obligations content in the 4th article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child consist on? In the 4th article of the CRC points the following: “States Parties shall undertake all appropriate administrative, legislative and other measures to give effect to the recognized rights in this Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake those measures until the maximum of resources they have, and when necessary, inside the framework of international cooperation”. In view of this declaration, in the Day of the General Debate about this article, in September 2007; it is suggested the necessity to elaborate a General Comment to specify and clarify about the availability of the budgetary resources, as well as the economic policies that can affect the availability of resources for boys, girls or adolescents. Thus, even the Committee on the Rights of the Child has repeated the importance of the greater budgetary wage of States in the fulfillment of their obligations. It does not have yet specific directions regarding to that, even more when the Committee has emphasized the importance of having a budget for childhood. It has not entered in specific considerations regarding to that. Why a new General Comment on the article 4 of the Convention related with measures of budgetary nature and of economic policy that are required to ensure the child rights? Usually, the budgetary and economic policies subjects have been more analyzed in the field of economic, social and cultural rights; basically, for the progressive nature of some obligations related with the implementation of these rights, also for the obligation that States have of implementing measures to set the rights fulfillment “until the maximum of available resources”. However, it is necessary to emphasize that the integration of measures in favor of the child rights in the budget should project beyond these basic obligations, because it will be always necessary to visualize in a more emphatic way what it is done in favor of childhood and adolescence, considering the special protection that correspond to these ones in the field of human rights. In this way, the fulfillment of the CRC imposes that some measures should be taken in all the fields of the
government to ensure that decisions of economic and social planning are adopted, as well as of budgetary decisions that have as priority the superior interest of the children, and that they are protected from the adverse effects of the economic policies and financial deterioration when they happen. This situation makes necessary a further clarification of the normative content of the obligations related to the measures of economic and budgetary nature that States Parties should adopt to set the human rights of the child and adolescent, in line with the legally binding obligations contented in the article 4 of the CRC. And this is the reason why the Committee on the Rights of the Child has considered pertinent to express a new General Comment that defines the conceptual framework of such obligations, and at the same time, give guidance about specific measures and actions required by States Parties to fulfill them. So, this document tries to give some contributions to the Region of Latin America and The Caribbean to the elaboration of the abovementioned General Comment. It is necessary to specify that the suggestions that are proposed are a result of the contributions of different institutions involved in the subject, as well as the analysis and thoughts of the author taken from a work of 6 years in the Region, in the promotion of the investment in childhood, in which the Center of Public Policies and Human Rights Peru Equidad and Save the Children have contributed and supported so hard in this laudable task. In the last years, it has been done approximately 17 national and regional workshops in Latin America analyzing and talking about the necessity of a greater investment in childhood. It has also elaborated a wide bibliographic review that has allowed to create a virtual library specialized in the subject that is available in our institutional web page. For the purposes of this document, it has also been considered the results of a regional survey to 117 persons that gave an opinion about that. In the first part of the document are presented some specific suggestions about the contributions for a General Comment to the 4 th article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for States Party; they include General Measures to be adopted by States. In the next section, it is considered the contributions of the Non-public Sector, next the suggestions for the Multilateral Credit Institutions, of the International Cooperation; a small paragraph of different or controversial Opinions about the participation of States on the management of Public Policies and finally, a brief summary.
SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR A GENERAL COMMENT TO THE 4TH ARTICLE OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD FOR THE STATES PARTY
A. Previous definitions: Investment and non-public expenditure Since the signature of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, States assume the commitments and responsibilities established there. That supposes to recognize childhood and adolescence as “individuals” of rights, and also it is established the superior interest of the child as criteria or fundamental parameter to decide on him/her. In other words, States should attend the superior interest of the child as a basic mechanism, fundamental (without exclusion from the others) that involves the fulfillment of their fundamental rights through quality and opportunity of social services, and also to clearly establish the priority in the use of public resources with the perspective of human development. Human development, process in which the opportunities of people are increased, in special of boys, girls and adolescents, requires an appropriate wage of resources that allows the people’s formation and development of a nation. Public investment constitutes in a bet for the exercise of citizens present and future, and not just in a public expenditure without more perspectives of development of its human capital. For that, it results fundamental the design of public policies oriented to childhood and adolescence that can be translated into plans, programs and projects that can be expressed in public budgets, and intended for covering the necessity of boys, girls and adolescents, and also the fulfillment of their fundamental rights. In this hope of development of a decent life for everybody, it is being promoted the basis, so the countries can develop abilities that allow, in a world each time more globalized, characterized by the development of knowledge, science and technology; to reach higher qualifications of its human capital. It means to give special attention to the plenty exercise of boys, girls and adolescents rights, in the aspects referred to their alimentation and nutrition, health and education, sanitation, protection, and in specific cases, the appliance of special programs, and also the development of their potentials as productive and creative people; it means the plenty exercise of their citizenship with principles and values in relation with a decent and creative work.
Childhood and adolescence are basic periods for this bet. Higher budgetary resources oriented to these human groups are constituted in an orientation to progress and development that requires clear policies and will to carry them out. In this regard, it results fundamental to promote higher inversion in childhood and adolescence, as well as the role that State must assume as a decision-making entity of public policies to its favor, and in consequence, as a giver of the necessary budgetary resources for its implementation, as well as the economic policy in general in the framework of the national economy management.
B. About the financing sources For States assume their role to give higher resources of public budgets to childhood and adolescence should count on necessary budgetary resources to completely fulfill their commitments assumed with these groups, as well as to set the human development of their habitants. Hence, it is necessary that States do greater efforts to send resources to boys, girls and adolescents, and if it is necessary, the tax reforms that allow them to have higher resources. It is not possible to reach the proposed objectives without budgetary resources to make them effective. If that is the case, the tax reforms should have a progressive nature; it means that the ones who have more should pay more. The more direct and equal mechanism is the modifications of the taxes, essentially of the direct taxes, the ones that will allow to reduce the permanent and even increasing inequalities that can be seen in the Region of Latin America and The Caribbean. With higher budgetary resources, by higher tax burden, such as an appropriate use and destination of the resources will be possible a higher availability and quality of public services delivery, doing a more equal society, less unfair and with higher equality in the acquisition of the benefits distribution of the Region’s countries growth. That supposes to count on resources coming from Tax Reforms and the struggle against endemic problems of the Region’s countries related to the tax evasion and avoidance, informality, corruption and others, in such way it can be possible to have minimum resources in the public budgets that can be of the order of 25% of the GDP value. For example, in the specific case of the www.inversioneinfancia.org
Education Sector, there is some agreement in some countries, in which at least, should be given the equivalent to 6% of the GDP. Additionally, it requires more contributions to Social Welfare. It means the functioning culture of States should be the one that counts on permanent and regular resources for boys, girls and adolescents, through long term policies and programs. Even, it can be suggested the consideration of national specific funds for investment in childhood; funds that can even promote the participation of private capitals. Of course, all this besides of what are the specific wages like for example, the ones that come from mining, gas, fishing canon or from any other mining activity, from which can be designated a percentage; or from the royalties, as some countries of the Region do, but to buy armament.
C. General Measures for States: The main principles that regulate States’ public policy in favor of boys, girls and adolescents, are supported in the international agreements that globally recognize their fundamental rights as the Convention on the Rights of the Child that establishes the commitment and responsibilities of the countries for the defense of their rights. In this regard, it is suggested the following general measures that should guide the States’ decisions for the truly commitment of the Convention agreements, without lessen other instruments of public policy that are directed to the same purposes:
1. Decision of States of investing in Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence and accept the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. States in their different levels should know the problems of childhood and adolescence, and assume the commitment that has been assumed in Agreements and International Covenants; like for example, the Convention on the Rights of the Child or the International Covenants on Civil and Political, and the Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights in defense of their rights. Because of that, States should elaborate Plans, Programs or Projects designed for the fulfillment of the rights of boys, girls www.inversioneinfancia.org
and adolescents of the country, and to give the necessary budgetary resources for their realization. For that purpose is necessary that States define their political leadership in regard to infancy and adolescence. The authorities and public servants are the ones, who are called to do this leadership to national, regional and local level, motivating a mechanism of recognition of rights, and a bet for social and economic development to medium and long term. That political leadership should start from the recognition of childhood and adolescence problems, as well as of the commitments assumed by State, to the international agreements of obligatory fulfillment, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, so in that way they respect and encourage the respect of their rights.
2. To consider in the elaboration of the Multiannual Macroeconomic Framework a specific chapter about the situation of boys, girls and adolescents. In the Multiannual Macroeconomic Framework allocates plenty of information of macroeconomic type that points the national and international context that allows elaborating the guidelines that, at the same time, allocate the resources of the Public Budgets. It shows indicators of the economic functioning of the country, projections or calculations about the course and destiny of the main macroeconomic variables, and an analysis of the economic information is done that allows making decisions about the budgetary wages. However, this instrument of economic research does not show an analysis of the social situation that affects the countries’ life; in special, of boys, girls and adolescents (BGA). Causes, factors or situations (favorable or unfavorable) of social life are not checked, so that they can relate with the elaboration of budgets. Basically, it provides quantitative information of the economic and financial situation of the country’s functioning.
In view of this incomplete information, unilateral, is suggested that States, with the macroeconomic information should give information, analysis and information about the situation of childhood and adolescence, in particular about the investment in childhood, in a way that the public policies decision-makers can decide better about the use and assignment of budgetary resources, using the people’s information; in this case of boys, girls and adolescents, of the society as a whole, and not only of the accounts and movements of the economic and financial resources of the country.
3. The formation of a Commission ad hoc that specifically considers the subject. With the objective to make known and be conscious about the importance of childhood and adolescence problems of what it means in the present and in the perspectives of a country’s development. It is suggested that States should form a Commission ad hoc that leaders the consideration of this subject. The necessity of motivate the subject in the national public agenda is recognized, for what it represents for a country in the present and future of its childhood. There cannot be development, if there are no men and women with full enjoyment of their basic rights, and with them, the ones of their family and children. For that, it is suggested that State leaders this Commission, what means or involves, the transmission of clear messages in favor of infancy and adolescence, and also to highlight the achievements that can be reached through the Plans and Programs directed to these populations. This Commission should motivate processes of discussion and conversation, include the subject in the national agenda, with the objective to accomplish the recognition of the subject’s importance, and also the commitments and obligations of the involved institution, as State as the families and the non-state sector of the society. It is suggested that this Commission is in charge of pre-allocating the resources of the budget for boys, girls and adolescents, and then States allocate them to the Sectors in charge.
4. The elaboration of the public budgets system. Because of the complexity, characteristics, way of elaboration and execution of public budgets in the Region, is suggested fundamental changes in the elaboration of the public budgets system, for that it is suggested that States make their public budgets including the mechanism of budget for results for boys, girls and adolescents, in a way that can be seen. It means that is necessary to change the way of elaborating budgets, eliminating the budget inertial, sectorial that automatically increases without application or use of basic information. Another mechanism to consider is the necessary articulation of each goal attached to a specific National Plan in favor of boys, girls and adolescents with the allocation of resources to a Budgetary Program. It means, the National, Regional and Local Plans that States elaborate in favor of infancy and adolescence should be made in concrete and measurable goals that can be seen in budget lines. These programmatic goals should have their own budgetary program that shows allocated resources for the achievement of the multiannual goals of each 5 years. In relation with the reports that States show to the Committee each 5 years, is suggested that should be considered the involvement of a representative of the Ministry of Economy in its elaboration, as well as present a specific chapter about the subject of Investment on Infancy. According to what is mentioned, is fundamental the regional and local governments commitment to elaborate a similar articulation in their respective budgets. In many countries of the Region, poverty, abandon, marginalization, situations that mainly affect childhood and adolescence, occur in the distant areas of the cities, that is why decentralized resources are required to assist these populations.
5. Analysis of the economic policies impact. Part of the process of the States governability is the political makingdecisions in which are included the economic policies. They have as objective to reach specific goals and achievements, in a way that the country’s economy directs to its stability or to motivate more productive, commercial activities or services in general, in response to possible recessive situations. However, States not always evaluate the impacts of continuing processes, and for that they only have information or favor the information of the main macroeconomic variables, in order to achieve or keep the macroeconomic balances of the nation, but in detriment of the evaluation of the social effects in its population. Because of this, it is suggested that States make periodic analysis of measures of adopted economic policy to evaluate their effectiveness and reach. This evaluation should have special attention, the possible effects in boys, girls and adolescents for their condition of underage population, without capacity of political pressure and without the right to vote. That requires mounting a system of information that allows the follow-up and evaluation of results and social effects of the policies’ measures. Additionally, it requires a system of follow-up of information, analysis of the situation, and evaluation of policies in general. At the request of third parties, it will be required before the enactment of economic policies. For that, it will be necessary to set obligatory subjects.
6. About budgetary extensions. Many times it requires counting on more resources of the Budget, because the demands or necessities of population almost always exceed the wages to assist the public services in favor of boys, girls and adolescents.
The reduced tax pressure, evasion and tax avoidance, as well as the development of activities in informal situation affects or keep a reduced availability of budgetary resources. It determines that not always can count on the necessary or sufficient resources to give a quality service, or that simply does not offer the services that State is in the obligation to offer, as services of public health, or educational services, or of protection to underage in risk, among the main. In that regard is advisable that State’s institutions committed with the rights of boys, girls and adolescents are aware, or do an adequate follow-up of the budgetary execution, so they can do deliberated actions of political incidence to have access to the budgetary extensions. States must try that resources allocated to childhood and adolescence have the nature of intangibles; it means they should be always considered in the current budget and in the following years. Even the greater resources that can be captured by budgetary extensions should assume that nature. Furthermore, it is fundamental to count on information about the budgetary execution, have diagnosis or identified problems that affect boys, girls and adolescents; in order to suggest proposals of political incidence in favor of childhood and adolescence. For example, one of them can be that a % of the national budget goes to the creation of and Multiannual Investment Fund in favor of childhood.
7. About Priorities The reasons for childhood and adolescence result as a priority, as in the institutional structures as in its participation of budgetary wages, firstly is because of the assumed commitments by States through the signature and ratification of international agreements done on a truly sovereign basis. One of the most important is the one that is related to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, one of the most ratified agreements of the world, and most rapidly accepted. It is binding, and suggests the unconditional defense of boys, girls and adolescents Rights, and its dispositions are developed through Childhood and Adolescence Codes.
Reasons of ethic nature also prioritize the attention on childhood and adolescence, because the protection to these populations has an effect on the construction and achievement of better societies in the future, based on values socially shared and directed to collective coexistence. Also, because it corresponds to the States’ objectives oriented to the achievement of social welfare, and to guarantee the rights of its population. Finally, because they represent an advance in the achievement of human dignity, the same that is constructed from the beginning of the human being’s life. There are also exist reasons of economic nature to prioritize the attention of boys, girls and adolescents rights, because to guarantee their rights means a very rentable investment to long term in economic terms. To prioritize expenses in these populations contribute to the generation of human and social capital that generally contribute increasing returns and higher rates of return; when invest on capacities produces better productive competences for the future. As note, centrally emphasizes the importance that States must prioritize the attention of the major investment to the early childhood, key period in the life of human beings because they are able to irreversibly processes of brain development, basic for their future performance not only with regard to the acquisition of knowledge but also the skills necessary to meet the challenges of working life. Similarly, in early childhood are consolidated affective aspects skills and behaviors that enable socializing citizenship and respect for the rules and duties. It is argued that this priority is done in a % of public resources allocated to this target public. This should be specified in each state or country. 8. About the use of public expenditure Public Social expenditure in favor of boys, girls and adolescents is fundamental for the proper exercise of their rights. The sectors directly involved in the attention of needs of this population are those intended themselves to as its target population. In this regard, States have to prioritize the allocation of budgetary resources to the main involved sectors; these have to have an active
role to lead and ensure the fulfillment of childhood and adolescence rights. The involved sectors are: Feeding and Nutrition. To the attention of childhood and adolescence survival, the health sector, as well as sanitation, water, etc. To the attention of development, the educational sector and sectors related with recreation, leisure and access to arts and culture. To promote citizenship, the sector related to the recognition of boys, girls and adolescents as citizens and subjects of rights, as well as the basic conditions for social life and the exercise of freedom, respect for difference, freedom information, expression, opinion, association and participation. For protection rights, it must be considered the participation of the State Sector to take care to prevent, treat and restore the violations of the integrity and dignity of boys, girls and adolescents.
9. About the Special Programs. When considering child rights approach is considered the rights protection, in which must include all institutions related to the provision and public policies linking to the childhood, at various levels of government. From this approach emphasizes attention through special programs, these must be regular, permanent, as well as organizations in charge of its administration. Each country will set the minimum amounts to be allocated to the following groups of vulnerable boys and girls: a. Children victims of sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. b. Children subject to physical and humiliating punishment. c. Street children. d. Working children. e. Children in conflict with the law. f. Children victims of bullying. g. Children with disabilities. h. Children from depressed rural areas. i. Children associated with gangs and other violent groups. www.inversioneinfancia.org
In this regard, States should develop and apply the right approach for the public investment in infancy protection, and design policies and national and local plans for the greater and best use of investment in infancy protection, in particular for more vulnerable children. Furthermore, States should finance the development of baseline studies, previous studies about the violation of human rights of people with disabilities, native people (especially boys, girls and adolescents) and afro descendants. With that, it can be done an appropriate follow-up to the attention of this group of boys, girls and adolescents, generally marginalized in the Region’s countries. 10. The need to improve the efficiency and efficacy of interventions. The limited availability of budgetary resources of the Region’s countries with respect to the growing public demand for more and better public services, suggests the challenge to increase to the top the levels of efficiency and efficacy in the realization of social public expenditure aimed to boys, girls and adolescents. This implies the States need to have skilled human capital necessary to carry out the public policies oriented to satisfy and meet boys, girls and adolescents rights. It means to have and put at the service of the policy to competent professionals, qualified managers, experienced promoters, and in general, from teams that allows achieving goals and expected results. To increase efficacy and efficiency also means the definition and approach of appropriate public policies with long-term prospects, multiannual that convene and involve to stakeholders. They also require the elaboration of systems of programming, realization, control and monitoring of each of the policies adopted in State’s interventions.
11. Measures that do not cause additional costs. In the same perspective that previous measure, it is possible to make some changes or take measures without implicate major additional costs to meet the target population. This requires of States, the need to analyze, evaluate and define changes in both the structure of the strategies of intervention, in which enables changes without additional costs, such as in the use of available resources, especially human resources, performers of policy. For that is necessary to adapt the levels of coordination as in the development of policies, plans or projects, as in the realization thereof. For example a multi-sector coordination committee should be compulsory and must have a binding opinion on the approval of the managing institutions. As noted beforehand, it is essential to have adequate control, follow-up and monitoring systems of policies that allow taking these kinds of decisions. In this regard is possible to mention as examples, measures that do not cause additional costs, the transfer of quotas of teachers of Educational Sector from regular basic education to early education as example, fundamental area to the development of boys and girls but where the presence of teachers is very limited, and they are replaced by persons without technical and pedagogical skills. Another significant measure, which does not require additional public resources but can be an important contribution, is the destination of the resources used for the purchase of arms in the region; to expand care to childhood and adolescence. In recent years there has been registering impressive arms purchase in the region, surpassing the 60,000 million dollars that could be used for boys, girls and adolescents, and to improve the quality of life of their populations. 12. Investment Indicators in Boys, Girls and Adolescents. States must measure and report on the greater wages of budgetary resources to invest on infancy and adolescence, for which before requires specific public policies in favor of this target population that incorporate programs and projects aimed to them. Furthermore, States should develop monitoring indicators not only of the fulfillment of policies, but also on the
progress in the wages of greater budgetary resources, and that the given amounts can be compared as part of the national public budget. The cost of specific public policies aimed to infancy and adolescence compared to the total cost of social public expenditure is a first indicator of the magnitude of the effort allocated in favor of boys, girls and adolescents with respect to social expenditure. However, it requires that States, the elaboration of more accurate investment indicators on infancy and adolescence, that are according to public policy developed in order to know not only the budgetary execution, but the progress made in the target population. Below, there are proposals of minimum indicator for what States can measure public investment on infancy and adolescence: a) % of the State budget to improve feeding and nutrition of children less than 36 months of age. b) Investment amount to reduce the incidence of low birth weight. c) % of the State budget to reduce incidence on Low Birth Weight. d) Investment amount to reduce morbidity in IRA (Infecciones Respiratorias Agudas - Sharp Respiratory Infections), EDA (Enfermedades Diarreicas Agudas - Sharp Diarrheic Diseases) and other diseases. e) % of the State budget to reduce morbidity in IRA, EDA and other diseases in certain percentage. f) Investment amount in reducing of Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality. g) % of the State budget in reducing Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality. h) Investment Amount in population to expand knowledge in Sexual and Reproductive Health and accessing to Family Planning Methods. i) % of the State budget aimed at population to expand knowledge of sexual and reproductive health. j) State investment amount in boys and girls with basic skills to conclude the II cycle. k) % of the State budget aimed to improving the Child Basic Skills to conclude the II cycle in certain percentage. l) Investment amount aimed to educational infrastructure of elementary and primary school.
13. About transparency and accountability. In order to achieve the goals set in public policies in favor of infancy and adolescence, States must have information systems that allow them measure the progress being achieved in a transparent way so that they can make improvements or changes in the realization thereof. The transparency of the information should also include the development of indicators of investment in infancy. The information systems must be public, friendly and easy to access, so that the interested can have access to timely and reliable information of the budget amounts allocated to childhood and adolescence, as well as information about the expenditures’ realization. This would be a clear sign and evidence of transparency in public management. Similarly, States should consider processes of accountability of public expenditure on Infancy Investment, through different ways in order to keep informed to the population, and to the interested ones in particular. These processes of accountability should be open, public and participatory. 14. Of the regular reports about investment on infancy. Similarly to how States Parties report every five years on progress and status of Boys, Girls and Adolescents rights to the Committee, it is recommended that States report about changes in public budgets mean greater investment in their favor and achievements in the goals.
The by-monthly reports should measure progress in the greater investments of the States in favor of infancy and adolescence. This is required to recompose the structure thereof; or just to be considered a special item dedicated to the investing in infancy of budget resources, confronted with the achievement of the goals, all of which must be considered in the National Plans of the childhood and adolescence of the States Parties. 15. About emergency situations. In emergency cases related to natural causes such as floods, droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, or other equally, States should give priority
attention to childhood and adolescence. The majority of the resources that are intended to serve and help in these cases should have as priority target boys, girls and adolescents, considering the respect to international standards on the subject. To face situations of recurring character as frost or floods, States should consider budgetary resources each year to avoid difficulties in addressing the problem. In these wages should allocate funds specifically, aimed to childhood and adolescence such as vaccines, supply, repair of child hospitals, among others. In cases or situations aggravated by excessive external borrowing or acquisitions of armaments with increasing public budget resources, States Parties must not fail to consider priority resources for childhood and adolescence, especially to meet requirements of health, supply, education, decentralization, among the most important.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE NON-PUBLIC SECTOR
In recent years has been noticing the increasing presence of the private sector in supporting to the governments in dealing with the public policies of social character. Especially the private entrepreneurs, dedicated to different areas of economic activity from the mining, until the marketing, services, financial, communication and construction. These healthy and beneficial meeting between the State and the public sector should be formalized, institutionalized and generate permanent spaces of help for the development of public policies in favor of Boys, Girls and Adolescents at the national, regional and local levels. The following are suggestions of the main contributions that corporate private activity could contribute as well as the civil society organizations as NGO or the same organizations of Boys, Girls and Adolescents.
16. Of the Corporate Social Responsibility. The commitment of the private sector should be directed primarily to its role in the reproduction of capital, labor and the distribution of wealth. In that sense, together with the State assumes the civil society and the Academy, responsibility on the training and consolidation of human capital of the countries. In this framework the Corporate Social Responsibility, involves active participation in public policies aimed to developing of the skills, recognition of the rights and creation of opportunities in favor of infancy and adolescence, as real condition of the creation and strengthening of human capital required for the economic growth of societies. This means that in their social role, must ensure economic investment in the processes of attention to Boys, Girls and Adolescents, helping to fund high impact positives practices, against poverty and inequality, family training programs aimed at these purposes, or fund formation processes of human talent with high-level specialists who systematize best practices and enable
the dissemination of these experiences in the countries of the region, among other possible social support practices. 17. Of Media The media has as social function to inform, educate and support the processes of social and democratic development of the countries. In that sense, they are entitled to support in the dissemination of public policies in favor of greater investment in infancy, as a mechanism of strengthening of rights, and bet for societies with present and future more decent, and a full development of citizenship and democracy. The media have to constitute required channels for report on progress and achievements in attention of problems of Boys, Girls and Adolescents; as well as contribute in the critical analysis of controversial situations. Likewise for the reporting and dissemination of problems and difficulties impeding improve about eliminating of factors that threaten against the free exercise of the Boys, Girls and Adolescents rights. 18. Of Academy The production of knowledge, reflection, critique, are own activities of the Academy, not only of the public, also from private, as a body of knowledge and academic training of the youth of States. Their important role must be referred also to the analysis of the childhood and adolescence problematic, but also understood as a social, ethical problem and country development. The Academy has to contribute with the creation of spaces for reflection, analysis, development of proposals for attention of the Boys, Girls and Adolescents rights. The contribution of the public academy should join with other bodies such as private companies, civil society organizations, the different areas of analysis and opinion, among others, in order to generate currents of favorable opinion on the subject of investment in infancy. Likewise resources received by the public academy as a percentage of the fee and royalties, should be oriented in a certain proportion to the development of specific studies in favor of Boys, Girls and Adolescents.
19. Of the organizations in favor of Boys, Girls and Adolescents. The civil society organizations who work in favor of children also have much to say in favor of greater investment towards them. The defense of their rights, the putting in agenda of the topic, the efforts to make them visible in public budgets should be your daily commitment. In this sense, they are entitled to be informed about the proposals for the budget wages, of plans for short, medium and long term in the fight against poverty and social inclusion, where boys and girls are the ones who suffer most; of develop adequate systems for tracking and monitoring of key indicators of investment and government expenditure, and including those of childhood and adolescence. If necessary, organizations of Boys, Girls and Adolescents should take action of incidence policy in order to consider the budgetary resources needed to address certain situations in favor of infancy and adolescence. It was also propose that these institutions should be funded by the State regularly.
20. Of the participation of Boys, Girls and Adolescents. The participation of Boys, Girls and Adolescents in the promotion and defense of their rights is fundamental not only for the purpose of considering more resources in public budgets, but also as a means of self-affirmation and political participation in favor of their rights. Boys, Girls and Adolescents are carriers of proposals and demands that have to be heard by society. Therefore, it is fundamental that the different institutions of society involved support and promote the widest possible participations of Boys, Girls and Adolescents in the process of preparing public budgets in order to have access to set out their requirements that enable greater public resources. This bet in favor of Boys, Girls and Adolescents should be given in recognition of its status as beings with capacities, dignity and able to develop approaches that democratize and expand opportunities for citizen participation. Possible proposals developed and achieved by Boys, Girls and Adolescents must be incorporated in the different bodies of the State, in order to materialize them, and achieve an active and conscious participation in participatory processes, and not only in the budgets. www.inversioneinfancia.org
OF THE MULTILATERAL CREDIT INSTITUTIONS By having the Multilateral Credit Institutions the function and objectives of provide resources to finance countries´ economic measures, as well as to promote programs and projects oriented to development, are important source of financial resources wage that under certain circumstances, constitute highly critical instances for financing and stabilization of the national accounts of the countries. In this regard, it is proposed that these instances of cooperation to financing and development of the countries take measures of compliance in providing loans to countries in favor or childhood and adolescence. Countries that require financial resources of these multilateral organizations will have to determinate a percentage of the amount of funding requested to direct them to Boys, Girls and Adolescents. Thus, highlights not only the importance of rights of this population, but also financial resources is allocated to their attention by States.
OF THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION As multilateral organizations, International Cooperation is an important source of financial resources for States. Have resources to finance development programs and projects, which are channeled to very low interest rates and in some cases with zero interest. For this reason, we propose that the institutions of International Cooperation in assigning resources for financing programs and projects for development, consider a percentage , which could be related to the value of GDP of the country concerned to be destined to Boys, Girls and Adolescents. States should make an effort on the location and identification of the target population in the most critical and needed areas of the country, in order to prioritize destination of resources, and to execute them with greater efficiency, efficacy and transparency of the limited availability thereof.
DIFFERENT OPINIONS Contributions still identified, are not without disagreements or conflicting positions than can generate discussions about certain proposals that have overtones of controversy.
1. One issue where there is not greater consensus, on the contrary, it generates further debate, is the question of the dilemma about the preferential use of budgetary resources to the population of early infancy (0-5) years, in detriment of the population elementary school or high school, or both. The proposed higher wages to early infancy is consistent with the essential character of the physical, emotional and social development of the people in that stage of life. While the attention to the older strata of boys and girls, in the case of food or nutritional programs are sometimes considered as non-priority, generating opposing positions for the wages of resources from the public budget. 2. In this regard, our opinion about the shortage of budget resources to serve both the school population to more than 6 years with food programs, or boys and girls less than 5 years is that you should prioritize early infancy care. We assume this position in the extreme case that there is not greater availability of resources; there is only face this dilemma. As already noted, the ethical, social and economic character of prioritize the provision of early infancy; it is assigned a special emphasis. 3. With regard to social programs executed by States to serve the poorest populations, in order to promote social inclusion, and within of them to Boys, Girls and Adolescents. Controversies, also, arise as to whether these programs must give cash to beneficiaries, or should give them food to help the family finances. In that regard, our opinion is that these Programs, who consider significance the help to poorest Boys, Girls and Adolescents, should make its support through giving cash rather than food. Experience and performance evaluation of these programs show that it is more profitable in a cost benefit analysis, giving money, or put another way, it is less expensive than providing food. When distributes food, transport costs, administration, staff, losses, among other factors, significantly increase the cost of deliveries in proportions ranging from 4-1, concerning the delivery of cash. 4. Another topic that generated big controversy is the concerned of the targeting of Social Programs versus universal thereof. In that regard the subject is quite controversial because what are at the roof are the full www.inversioneinfancia.org
rights of all Boys, Girls and Adolescents. It starts from the consideration that all are equal, and therefore all have the same rights. However, in countries where budgetary resources are scarce, and the levels of poverty and extreme poverty are high, together with young and very young people, there is no alternative that focus State interventions. In our opinion, it is required to plan, organize and develop appropriate Social Policy Programs, which enable the gradual inclusion in them of all Boys, Girls and Adolescents that require State assistance. Gradually, from the poorest to the least poor, considering also the already known problems of leaks, including those who are in need, lack of adequate controls, tracking, monitoring and output of the beneficiaries. 5. Finally, we have a controversial subject the proposals of use the funds of the Net International Reserves to have budgetary resources to serve the needs of poor Boys, Girls and Adolescents in an extremely poverty condition. On this, our opinion is that you cannot have resources that are not from the State to meet current expenses, though whether for social inclusion. Net International Reserves have another purpose. Likely aim to meet balance of payment difficulties, and are used to measure the potential possibilities of facing external crises countries. Therefore, our opinion is that it is not possible to consider proposals as indicated, to finance budgetary programs in favor of infancy and adolescence.
AS A SUMMARY: Latin American Contributions to General Comment from the 4 th article of the Convention on the Right of the Child are a first close proximity to comply with an agreement made in September 2007 under the General Debate Day of the Committee on the Right of the Child, annual event that seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the Convention. On this day the subject was: “Resources for the child rights – Responsibility of States”, investments for implementation of economic, social and cultural rights of Boys, Girls and Adolescents and International Cooperation. In this sense, this document presents proposals for States Parties that signed the Convention; take the performance of its obligations with Boys, www.inversioneinfancia.org
Girls and Adolescents through increased wages in their respective public budgets. It starts from the recognition that before expenditure governments investing in human capital, basis for the economic, social and cultural development of the countries. Equally, appeals for what State begins in their actions of understand the superior interests of the child as a basic mechanism to consider the fulfillment of their fundamental rights. Proposals presented to enable States to allocate greater budgetary resources, are in addition to those proposed about the participation of nonpublic sector that is private enterprise, Academy, media, organizations in favor of Boys, Girls and Adolescents and the same organizations of them. Also, it is suggested contributions of multilateral Credit Institutions to the region, as well as from International Cooperation. In all cases, the proposals are intended to promote increased resources in favor of childhood and adolescence. The suggestions consider in way significance the leadership of the own State, primarily responsible for the fulfillment of the rights of Boys, Girls and Adolescents as well as the various wages mechanisms: tax reforms, visibility of Boys, Girls and Adolescents in the public budget, ad hoc instantiation to favor, proper analysis of the impact of public policies, the proper use of public budget resources, care for Boys, Girls and Adolescents through special programs and transparency in management and public information. Regarding the contributions of non-public sector, considering the role that private enterprise can take on their active participation in public policyoriented to capacity building, through its supply of decent jobs, and in the recognition of rights and creation of opportunities of Boys, Girls and Adolescents. Also, media have to support dissemination of the public policies that promote investment in childhood and youth, and Academy, about creation of places for analysis and debate, as well as, on the development of policy for the development. With regard to organizations, which are in favor of Boys, Girls and Adolescents defending their rights, should be informed about the proposed budget wages, about plans to combat poverty and social inclusion (where the majority are Boys, Girls and Adolescents) and participate in political advocacy for greater budgetary resources in favor of childhood and adolescence. www.inversioneinfancia.org
The Multilateral Credit Institutions as bodies of International Cooperation can also add themselves to the support for more resources to Boys, Girls and Adolescents. The first, through conditions for public loans and second through attention to the most excluded or marginalized from the context. It is hoped that the suggested measures can be put and improved in the debate in such a way to consolidate a base document for the Committee on the Right of the Child (CRC) can develop finally. The General Comment referred to the 4th article Convention on the Right of the Child. In this sense, this document makes available to you this first approach about contributions to General Comment, as well as requests specific contributions to this text with a new alternative writing, if he sees fit. For this, you can use Equidad website www.inversioneinfancia.org, where you can find extensive information about the subject. Also we provide users briefs seeking to keep updated information about the investment in infancy, as well as the latest publications about the subject, through our virtual library.