Jargon of the week: **Harmonise**

Have you ever come across the word “harmonise” and wondered what singing has to do with children’s rights? Well you’re not alone.

When found within a children’s rights context, the word “harmonise” is often used as a legal term to refer to changing national laws so that they comply with international treaties.  For example, you might run across organisations interested in “harmonising national laws with the CRC”. 

The lay understanding of the term, however, can be much less precise.  If you're addressing a broader audience, you might want to avoid the temptation to “harmonise national legal acts with the CRC,” and instead try “bringing national laws in line with the CRC” or “amending national laws to comply with the CRC”.

If you're describing a situation that doesn't have anything to do with the law, you should change courses altogether - for example, rather than "harmonising action plans", you can be much clearer by saying that you are "agreeing on a course of action."


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