The KidsRights Index is based on five domains: the right to  life,  health,  education,  protection and  the enabling environment for child rights. Domain 1 to 4 are based on the quantitative data published and regularly updated by UNICEF. Domain 5, the ‘Enabling Environment for Child Rights’ - or Child Rights Environment in short reveals the extent to which countries have operationalized the general principles of the CRC (non-discrimination; best interests of the child; respect for the views of the child/participation) and the extent to which there is a basic ‘infrastructure’ for child rights policy, in the form of enabling national legislation; mobilization of the ‘best available’ budget; collection and analysis of disaggregated data; and state-civil society cooperation for child rights).
The scores on Domain 5 are derived from the Concluding Observations adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. These Concluding Observations finish off the state reporting procedure under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and represent the Committee’s views on the level of realization of children’s rights in a particular country. The KidsRights Index reflects the latest Concluding Observations available in the year proceeding the publication of the Index.
In line with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child takes into account the development level and/or implementation capacity of those states parties. The Concluding Observations, and thus also the findings of the KidsRights Index in Domain 5, are therefore relative to the country’s situation.
For example, according to article 4 of the CRC, states have to mobilize ‘the maximum extent of their available resources’. This may have different actual implications for some states as compared to others. For example, a highly developed country can be expected to mobilize more resources than a least developed country. Accordingly, in situations in which relatively limited means are available to implement the CRC, political will to genuinely prioritize children’s rights by allocating the maximum/best available budget can make a significant difference. Likewise, well-resourced countries might nevertheless have failed to adequately address discrimination of children or may not have been active on gathering disaggregated data on the situation of (particular groups of) children in that country.
Also, the CRC Committee tends to assess a state more strictly over time, for example because previous Concluding Observations were not acted upon.
In total, the KidsRights Index includes 13 quantitative and 7 qualitative indicators which, insofar as they are available, are systematically and similarly rated for all countries. The KidsRights Index also signals whether data are missing. These five domains cover as many aspects of children’s rights as possible for which reliable and comparable data is available. The KidsRights Index is a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators that measure quantifiable indicators, the right to education and the right to life, as well as the more qualitative indicators, such as non-discrimination and child participation.