In 1990, Lebanon signed an international covenant regarding children's rights known as the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Conceived in the spirit of respect for universally recognised human rights, this Convention is the result of more than a decade of long discussions and reflects a compromise between different legal systems and cultural traditions. The unprecedented number of ratifications of the Convention made by countries from all regions of the world (in fact only two countries failed to ratify it, namely Somalia and the United States) confirms the solemn political commitment expressed by States Parties to effectively realise the rights of the children in an atmosphere of dialogue and solidarity as well as to adopt all necessary and appropriate measures to that end.

Following its approval, a lot has been done to publicise and disseminate the legal scope and symbolic value of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, day to day experience shows that there is a considerable gap between the legal dimension and reality. Since the Convention recognises the child as an individual with rights and responsibilities, action must therefore be taken to guarantee the effective exercise of the child's rights and, at the same time, to obtain a political commitment from governments regarding their implementation.

To implement the rights of the child as stated in the Convention, the combination of official and non-governmental monitoring mechanisms (national and international) helps ensure that goals are being reached and that legal rights and duties of all relevant parties, including children, are recognised, understood and enforced.

Since the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, by Lebanon, without any reservation, on the 14th of May 1991, the Lebanese government has presented its initial report in 1995 submitted in 1999 its first periodic follow up about the progress made on the implementation and the enjoyment of children's rights in its country. Non-governmental organisations are also invited to submit a parallel report in conformity with the guidelines set by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Viewed in this light, the Lebanese Forum of NGOs, an umbrella association composed of ten non-governmental organisations distributed through out the Lebanese territory, has set a permanent monitoring mechanism entitled Child's Rights Monitor. This Project aims at helping NGOs monitor children's rights and implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Lebanon by establishing a platform for coordination that will, at the national and regional levels :

- Provide information about the Convention and the Committee on the Rights of the Child

- Provide guidelines in view of helping NGOs write their report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in accordance with article 45 of the Convention

- Establish a set of baseline data regarding children's rights in Lebanon in accordance with the guidelines of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

- Elaborate a permanent report regarding children's situation in Lebanon, based on the compiled data

- Establish a virtual library (bibliography) on the subject of children's rights in order to facilitate the exchange of information and documentation

- Provide a mailing list of participating NGOs