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Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF, on the occasion of Human Rights Day

NEW YORK, 10 December 2009 – “Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Much has been achieved since the Declaration came into being, including the creation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 20th anniversary of which the world recently commemorated.

“Although there has been real progress in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rights of all children are not yet fully respected. Unspeakable violations of children’s rights still occur daily to the most innocent of innocents, children.

Discrimination – the theme of this year’s Human Rights Day – is one reason that some children are denied the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

“The rights of girls, in particular, require special attention. The majority of children who do not attend primary school are girls, and girls are more likely to suffer sexual violence, to be trafficked or to be forced into child marriage.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure human rights are respected. Children must not be left out of that process.”

For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Fordham, UNICEF Media, New York,
Tel + 1 212 326-7162,
E-mail: rfordham@unicef.org




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