Dignity and justice for every child
On the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UNICEF reminds all that the Universal Declaration is a commitment to universal dignity and justice.
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 December 2008 – When children suffer injustices like abuse and exploitation, it violates their fundamental rights as human beings.
Every child’s rights are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that has its roots in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Human Rights Day marks the commemoration of a historic milestone 60 years ago, where the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UDHR to affirm that all human beings are born free, and with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms.
“Children are human beings too, and the subject of their own human rights. Their rights are founded on the principles of non-discrimination, protection of their best interests, their right to life, survival and development, as well as respect for their views,” said Mr Youssouf Oomar, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia.
While the world has seen dramatic gains for children in the last two decades, universal fulfillment of children’s rights is still a distant dream in many parts of the world. Many children still lack access to healthcare and education while being exposed to violence, abuse and exploitation, especially where there is inadequate political, legal and societal commitment towards strengthening the protective environment for children.
“Children, especially girls, are those least able to stand up for their rights, even though the UDHR and the CRC belongs to each and every one of them. Thus, it is the responsibility of adults everywhere to ensure that their attitudes and actions do not violate the rights of children,” declared Mr Youssouf.
“It is often those who most need their human rights protected, who also need to be informed that the Declaration exists -- and that it exists for them,” echoed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his statement for the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR.
The 60th Anniversary, celebrated from 2007 to 2008, provided an occasion to build up the political will to ensure that these rights are a living reality for every human being and child – that these rights are known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.
The fulfillment of every human being’s rights is essential to a life of dignity and achievement of justice. As a signatory to the UDHR and the CRC, Malaysia has made a commitment towards ensuring that every person and child in the country can rely on just laws for his or her protection.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
ABOUT Human Rights Day 2008
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
ABOUT UNICEF and children’s rights
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
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Human Rights Day 2008
Video PSA - Every Human Being Has Rights
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu speaks out for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. View
Every Human Has Rights
Resources - CRC
For Young People
Newsline - Rights