State of the World's Children


2013: Children with Disabilities

2012 : Children in an urban world

2011: Adolescence

Special: Child rights

2009: Maternal + newborn health

2008: Child survival

2007: Gender equality


Agenda for action

In these uncertain times, it is increasingly clear that the old way of operating is no longer applicable. The world has a unique opportunity to reconstruct itself – and dedicate itself afresh to safeguarding and nurturing not only the physical and economic spheres but also its most vulnerable citizens.

Make children’s best interests the key test of governance.
Every aspect of governance can affect child rights. Whether decisions are related to taxation or trade, diplomacy or debt, there is no such thing as a ‘child-neutral’ policy, law, budget, program or plan.

§ Legislative and administrative actions must be assessed for its implications for children.

§ Budgets, policies and programs must apply the CRC’s principles in all of their aspects.

§ Public and private sector resources should be harnessed and coordinated.

§ Child rights within communities must be monitored, with laws in favour of child rights strengthened and enforced.

Develop capacities to realise children’s rights.
Achieving the promise of the CRC will require contributions from every person and institution. Everyone needs to develop their capacity to understand, respond to and promote child rights.

§ All levels of government, particularly at the local level, should be trained in child rights issues and made aware of their own responsibilities to act in the best interest of the child.

§ Families must be supported to guide, nurture and protect children.

§ Children must be taught about their rights and empowered to claim them. The CRC should be taught in schools. Children must also be taught to recognise and respect the rights of others.

Support values that respect the rights of children.
The values and standards for the care, development and protection of children that are described in the CRC are not always upheld by long-established traditions.

§ Social and cultural practices such as a child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting and discrimination must be denounced for undermining child rights.

§ Denying children their rights on the basis of gender, ethnicity, disability or any other discriminating factor is unacceptable.

§ Establishing a protective environment for children necessitates addressing all threats to their rights, including those posed by harmful traditional practices.

Collaborate to meet the CRC's promise for all children.
Broad partnerships are vital to translate the CRC into reality for children.

§ Collaborations in health, education, protection and participation should be institutionalised for faster progress on child rights. 

§ Collaboration is still required between national and international stakeholders, communities, local governments and individual citizens.

§ Governments must work together with civil society, religious leaders, teachers, health providers, social workers and parliamentarians to overcome the multiple challenges facing universal and comprehensive enactment of child rights.





Video: CRC, 2009 - Progress & Challenges




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