Children’s Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals
From a child rights perspective, it is both crucial and mandatory to give explicit attention to the specific situations, needs, rights, and roles of children in relation to sustainable development challenges and solutions. Children are particularly affected by sustainable development gaps, and many of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are relevant in this regard. In 2015, Agenda 2030 came about, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This document, the momentum around it, and the current efforts to monitor progress on it provide both an interesting complementary framework and a set of instruments for seeking the implementation in practice of important children’s rights. After a brief exploration of some concrete justifications for working with such a child-focused take on sustainable development, this chapter first outlines what a child rights-based approach to sustainable development entails in general terms. Then, the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and their accompanying targets – being the most current articulation of the global sustainable development agenda – will be screened for their child sensitivity and child rights orientation. This will be done through a text analysis which will shed some light on the potential of the SDGs for improving children’s lives and for realizing relevant children’s rights. The chapter will end with a brief examination of the prospects for implementation of the SDGs and some of the challenges expected therein.