Ensuring children not left behind

Guidance Note: Ensuring Children are Not Left Behind

Children are central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the key to sustaining progress beyond 2030. In line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) that follow-up and review processes at all levels will “be open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people” and “have a particular focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and those furthest behind”,1 children – including those from marginalized and vulnerable groups – must be considered and included in Voluntary National Review (VNR) reports and processes.

This Guidance Note provides specific recommendations to Member States on how to include children’s rights, including children’s participation, in VNRs at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). It follows the general structure of the Secretary-General’s updated voluntary common reporting guidelines for VNRs2 (the Guidelines), which were most recently updated in November 2019. It also provides examples of good practices from other VNRs from 2017-2019. In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, this paper defines “children” as people below the age of 18.