BAGHDAD, 20 November 2019, “Today is World Children’s Day. It is the day when the world celebrates 30 years of the adoption of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, or CRC. The CRC enshrines a child’s full range of human rights, including the rights to protection from violence, education, health, and self-expression. One hundred and fourty countries, including Iraq, have signed the CRC, making it the most widely ratified UN treaty in history.”
“In Iraq, UNICEF has been looking forward to celebrating this historic day. But we had to cancel these plans as children and adolescents have been killed and injured since protests began in Iraq on 1 October.
“Most of the protestors in Iraq are young people. Iraq is one of the youngest nations in the world; half of all Iraqis are under the age of 18. Nearly one in five young people is unemployed, making Iraq one of the countries with the highest youth unemployment rates in the region.”
“The violence has not been limited to the streets. UNICEF confirms there are cases where babies and children were put at risk as a result of the violence taking place close to the hospital and the school where they were present. Attacks on education and medical facilities are grave violations of children’s right. Children must be protected at all times and their safety and right to life must be a primary consideration.”
“UNICEF calls all parties to protect children and young people from violence and uphold their right to express themselves, free from violence and intimidation. Children and young people are the cornerstone for the peaceful future of Iraq, so well deserved after decades of conflict, violence and turmoil”.
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.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.