Promises for children
There is growing recognition that advancing child rights is critical for improving the quality of people’s lives and accelerating progress. Significant improvements in the well-being of South Asian children have in fact contributed a large share to the region’s overall progress in human development.
All countries of South Asia have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC). Commitments and pledges to promote child rights and the wellbeing of children have also been made at many regional meetings of South Asian countries. These include the SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangements on the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia, 2002; the Rawalpindi Declaration on Children of South Asia 2002; and the Colombo Resolution on Children, 1991. The decade from 2001 to 2010 is being observed as the SAARC Decade of the Rights of the Child.
Such commitments are laudable in themselves and important indicators of the value these countries place on their children, and their vision of the future. Nevertheless, the region as a whole is far from translating these commitments into reality and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.