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Experts discuss impact of the CRC

New York, 20 November 2007 – On the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) UNICEF hosted a roundtable discussion on the book; Protecting the World’s Children: Impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Diverse Legal Systems.

The first publication of its kind, this book clearly illustrates how the CRC can be universally implemented in four major legal systems, namely common law, civil law, Islamic Jurisdictions and plural legal systems.

This roundtable discussion intended to simulate dialogue and drive action among key players and decision makers such as governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), policy makers, child rights advocates, academia and practitioners.

The book effectively compares, contrasts and evaluates the impact of the CRC in selected countries around the world and makes recommendations for policy and legal reform. It also highlights measures taken by governments and reveals gaps between commitments and action.
Today 193 States Parties around the world have ratified the Convention, making it the most widely ratified international legal instrument in history incorporating the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social. By ratifying or acceding to the CRC governments commit themselves to ensuring children's rights.

Although high-level political commitment is essential to the development of new laws that protect children’s rights, social change can only be sustained when that commitment has been matched by effective law enforcement, allocation of adequate resources and the engagement of all levels of society.

While there is no 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to incorporating the CRC into a country’s legal system, the CRC is broadly consistent with traditional values across a range of cultures - this creates opportunities in legal systems that are strongly linked to local culture and religion.

The main finding of the book is that regardless of the legal framework of a country, or its cultural traditions, the CRC can be incorporated effectively into the country’s laws and acted upon to benefit children.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, 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.

For further information, please contact:
Saira Khan, UNICEF New York, Tel + 212-326-7224, Email; sskhan@unicef.org




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