NAIROBI, KENYA, 20 November 2009 - UNICEF today welcomed the announcement by the Somali Transitional Federal Government that it intends to become a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This declaration coincides with global commemorations on the 20th Anniversary of the Convention.
By declaring its intention to comply with the high standards set by the CRC, the Transitional Federal Government commits itself to ensuring children’s rights in the country. Adherence to and application of the Convention will be of crucial importance for the children of Somalia, who are gravely affected by the ongoing conflict, recurrent natural disasters and chronic poverty.
“This commitment by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government comes at a crucial time, when no child in central south Somalia has had the experience of living in peace” said Rozanne Chorlton, UNICEF Representative to Somalia. “UNICEF is fully committed to supporting the process of ratification of the Convention and the development of a roadmap for its implementation.”
“While Somalia has become one of the most difficult places for a child to grow up in, it is encouraging to see this commitment to rectify the situation. We hope to see tangible results for Somali children who have long borne the brunt of years of conflict and denied even their most basic rights.” added Ms. Chorlton.
Somalia is one of only two countries in the world which have signed but not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In May 2002, the previous Transitional National Government (TNG) deposited Somalia’s signature on the CRC with the Secretary General of the UN. The Transitional Federal Government’s (TFG) ratification of the CRC will have far-reaching future implications.
Additionally, authorities in Somaliland and Puntland have already declared their intention to incorporate the principles of the CRC in their respective legal systems and have addressed specific child rights in legal instruments, such as the 2008 Somaliland Juvenile Justice Act and Article 19 on Children’s Rights in the Puntland Constitution.
The declaration by the TFG will build on ongoing initiatives to establish a legal framework for children’s rights in all of Somalia.
For more information please contact:
Denise Shepherd-Johnson, UNICEF Somalia, ,
Tel +254 722719867
Iman Morooka, UNICEF Somalia,
Tel +254 714606733
CRC @ 20