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European Parliament celebrates CRC@25 and renews EU commitments for children

STRASBOURG, 27 November 2014 - In a special plenary session, the European Parliament adopted a resolution marking the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) with a call to place children’s rights at the heart of the European Union’s internal and external policies.

The resolution acknowledges the progress made for children since the adoption of the Convention and calls on European Union institutions to “undertake additional measures to ensure the respect for the rights of every child, everywhere, especially the most vulnerable”.

Parliamentarians also called on the newly elected European Commission to adopt an ambitious and comprehensive Child Rights Strategy and to use available instruments and monitoring tools to ensure European Union funds benefit the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

In a statement delivered at the opening of the plenary debate, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini renewed the EU’s commitments for children’s rights and presented some of the results achieved in the framework of the EU-UNICEF’s partnership, such as the EU-UNICEF Child Rights Toolkit, the EU Children of Peace initiative and targeted actions to protect children from female genital mutilations and child, early and forced marriage.

To follow-up on these commitments parliamentarians expressed the will to establish an Intergroup on children’s rights and well-being, as a permanent body to promote children's rights across all policies and activities of the European Parliament in EU internal and external affairs.

MEP Annamaria Corazza-Bildt, the first co-author of the resolution explained the importance to appoint “a focal point on children rights and well-being in each parliamentary committee. This will be important to raise awareness and build horizontal support. We, parliamentarians have the responsibility to ensure that children are heard and that their best interest is taken into account in all European Union’s policies and legislation”.

The resolution also makes a strong call on EU Member States to ratify without delay all the Optional Protocols to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and requests the European Commission and its High Representative for Foreign Affairs to explore ways and means for the European Union to accede to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In preparation of the EU’s position on the post-2015 development goals, parliamentarians also insisted on the importance of children as makers and markers for sustainable development in a report drafted by the Development committee. “The 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – said Linda McAvan, the Chair of the Committee on Development - is a fundamentally important reminder that we need to do much more to protect the world's children and uphold children's rights. This is something our Committee will focus on in the new post-2015 global development framework”.

In addition to this resolution, the European Parliament also adopted a specific resolution on Child under-nutrition in developing countries, requesting additional nutrition specific measures to reduce by 7 million the number of children under the age of five whose growth is stunted by 2025.

“The world is facing a silent and shameful nutrition crisis – said Louis Michel, the Co-chair of the EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific parliamentary assembly - that is devastating entire communities in the developing world. In addressing this issue at the European Parliament, we want to raise awareness on this humanitarian, political and economic plague, which should no longer exist”.

About UNICEF

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, visit www.unicef.org
 
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For more information, please contact:
Rebekka Opfermann, UNICEF Brussels, +32 2 5050 106, ropfermann@unicef.org


 

 

 

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