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20 November - World Children’s Day

KYIV, 19 November 2012 – Over 2 billion children live in the world, and 8 million of them are little Ukrainians. Each has the right to education, the right to health and care, the right to a name and a nationality. Each child has the right to be protected from harm and should grow up in a family environment. These rights are among the ones set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989. Since then, each year 20 November is celebrated as World Children’s Day.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes one set of fundamental rights for all children and young people. It was ratified by 193 states, all countries of the world, except the United States and Somalia.

By signing the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, Ukraine has made a number of commitments to improve the wellbeing of children - particularly. On 27 February 1991 the Convention was ratified by the Parliament of Ukraine decree №789XII (78912) and it came into force for Ukraine on 27 September 1991. Also, in 2003 and 2005 respectively two Optional Protocols to the UN CRC - on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict - were ratified by the Parliament of Ukraine and became an integral part of Ukraine national legislation.

Ukraine has made a steady progress on protecting rights of children, such as reduction in child mortality, an increasing number of children being cared by a foster family not in residential institutions, a decline in child abandonment at birth, and many others. Nonetheless, there are still remaining issues which threaten protection of children’s rights, particularly socially vulnerable children. Still too many children are growing up in state institutions, or even living on streets, without family care. Children are at risk of being infected with dangerous diseases due to low immunisation coverage. The risk to contract HIV for young people in Ukraine is still high. Iodine deficiency disorder is widely prevalent hampering children’s IQ development. Children still suffer from violence and abuse, including sexual exploitation which is one of the worst forms of violence against children.

UNICEF has recently signed the Country Programme Action Plan 2012-2016 with the Government of Ukraine. We render our full technical assistance for the Government of Ukraine to overcome those critical issues by implementing the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child in the most effective way in cooperation with civil society groups.

“Only joint efforts of Government, civil society and international organisations, business, community leaders and every Ukrainian will ensure full implementation of child rights in Ukraine according to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child,” said UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo. “I believe Ukraine can become a Champion for Children in the world!” she added. Full text of the Convention in Ukrainian and English: http://www.unicef.org/ukraine/ukr/media_10621.html UNICEF cartoons about children’s rights: http://www.unicef.org/ukraine/media_11136.html

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About UNICEF: UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF celebrates the 15th anniversary of their presence in Ukraine this year. It opened its office in Kyiv in 1997 following the conclusion of the Basic Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and UNICEF. Later, it was ratified by the Parliament of Ukraine providing the basis for relationship and cooperation between the Government of Ukraine and UNICEF aimed at improving the lives of children and families throughout the territory of Ukraine. More info at: www.unicef.org.ua. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information, please contact:
Veronika Vaschenko, UNICEF Kyiv, vvashchenko@unicef.org, Tel: +38 044 254 2450, mobile: +38 050 388 2951

 

 
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