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Universal Children’s Day: A wake-up call on child rights violations

ACCRA, 21 November 2016 – Despite enormous progress realized for children since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989, the rights of millions of children are being violated every day, UNICEF underlined today as it marks the Universal Children’s Day.

With conflicts, crises, and crushing poverty putting millions of children’s lives and futures at risk, protecting child rights is more urgent than ever. It’s a critical key to building stronger, more stable societies,” said Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF Ghana Representative. “We need to stop these violations by investing more in reaching the most vulnerable children, or pay the price in slower growth, greater inequality, and less stability.” 

Ghana was the very first country to adhere to the CRC by ratifying on 29 January 1990 the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaty which sets out a basic, universal standard for a healthy, protected, decent childhood for every human being.

Since ratification, Ghana has made significant progress in ensuring every child enjoys their right to a childhood. However, more needs to be done in Ghana as almost 1 in 3 children lives in poverty and 1.2 million live in households that cannot afford to pay for food, let alone other basic goods and services.

Globally, around 250 million children live in countries affected by conflict and 50 million have been uprooted, mainly due to conflict. Almost 385 million children live in extreme poverty and over a quarter of a billion school-aged children are not learning. Nearly 300 million children live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution and six million still die every year from preventable causes.

Next month UNICEF will mark 70 years of working to bring life-saving aid, long-term support and hope to children whose lives and futures are endangered by conflict, crises, poverty, inequality and discrimination. In Ghana, this day will be marked by a high-level interaction with some of the country’s most influential celebrities who are strong advocates for children’s rights.

Every child has the right to grow up healthy and strong, to be educated and protected, and to have a fair chance in life,” said Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF Ghana Representative. “Our commitment to child rights must be matched with action for every child, by bringing about a development for Ghana that includes even the poorest families.” 



UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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For further information, please contact:

Innocent Kafembe, UNICEF Ghana, +233553004217

Offeibea Baddoo, UNICEF Ghana, 00 233 244 663 643,



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