Watchlist’s Partnerships Program supports local civil society organizations that monitor and report on grave violations perpetrated against children in situations of armed conflict. The Partnerships Program is also a tool for training local non-governmental stakeholders on the UN-led 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM), and for institutional learning and advocacy on MRM implementation. Together with our partners, Watchlist continuously searches for best practices in terms of implementing the MRM.
Watchlist’s Partnerships Program supports local civil society organizations that monitor and report on grave violations perpetrated against children in situations of armed conflict, and advocate for an appropriate response to their needs. Our goal is to ensure that local child rights defenders are well-equipped to participate in the UN-led MRM. Since 2005, Watchlist has supported projects in Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Nepal, Nigeria, and Chad.
While the MRM is a UN-led process, the mechanism requires the participation of civil society to work well. Local civil society actors act as first responders to child rights violations. They enjoy the trust of local communities. They are present in places inaccessible to the UN, and they will remain active after the conflict has ended. But, local civil society actors also face challenges. Some NGOs are reluctant to report on abuses out of fear of retaliation. Others may lack the technical and financial capacity to do so. Or, NGOs may not see the benefit of reporting to the MRM if there is little perceived return in terms of a response on the ground. Drawing on its continuous analysis of partners’ experiences, Watchlist developed practical guidance for civil society actors on how to meaningfully engage with the UN-led MRM and uses it for field-based trainings.
In order to advance technical debates and influence targeted policy outcomes, Watchlist produces periodic think pieces, accompanied with recommendations, on the field-based implementation of the MRM. We use our publications as tools for institutional advocacy. We broadly disseminate our publications with relevant policymakers at the UN, including its Member States and agencies, and more broadly among practitioners working on child protection worldwide.