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20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The ideal gift - putting children at the heart of the European Union.

Chisinau, November 20, 2009 -The global community celebrates today the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This unique document outlines universal standards for the care, treatment and protection of all children. It is the most widely endorsed human rights treaty in history, currently ratified by 193 States parties – more than belong to the United Nations or have acceded to the Geneva Conventions.

Despite the numerous challenges that remain in realizing children’s rights, the Convention offers a vision of a world in which all children survive and develop, and are protected, respected and encouraged to participate in the decisions that affects them. This vision promotes a world of peace, tolerance, equity, respect for human rights and shared responsibility – in short, a world fit for children.

Child rights in Moldova

Republic of Moldova ratified the Convention in 1993. This means that the Moldovan Government committed to ensure that children can grow up in safe and supportive conditions, with access to high quality education and health care. By signing up to the Convention, the Moldovan authorities agree to protect all children from discrimination, violence and to take particular care of most vulnerable.

Moldova has made substantial progress in fulfilling child rights – through better laws to protect children, improved health care and social protection. But deprivation and disparities remain as a challenge for the Government, international organizations and the civil society.

“Poor income and living standards deeply affect the social, educational and psychological development of children. The lack of care from parents, gone abroad looking for money as well as the lack of child protection structures at local levels deprives children of protection, exposing them to the risks of exclusion, violence, abuse, and even trafficking” said the Child Rights Ombudsperson, Tamara Plamadeala during the press conference dedicated to the launching of the UNICEF State of World Children Report 2009 dedicated this year to the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Economic crisis: implications for child rights

The risks of child rights infringements is also increasing due to the global economic crisis which continues to affect Moldova, particularly in rural areas. As both resources and Government budgets shrink, risks to children may increase.

“Safeguarding social budgets should be an integral component of Government responseto the shock. It allows to protect the most vulnerable families - the most affected by the economic crisis. Missing the window of opportunity to invest in children has clear adverse implications for children’s survival and development prospects”, mentioned the UNICEF Moldova Representative, Alexandra Yuster during the press conference.

Observing CRC – the way to European integration

Observing the Convention on the Rights of the Child perfectly fits into the European aspiration of Moldovan people and it is in line with the Program of the Moldovan Government 2009-2013 “European Integration: Freedom, Democracy, Welfare”.

“The 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an opportunity to renew the Europe Union commitment to those at the heart of our efforts – children everywhere”, said the European Commissioner for External relations and the European Neighborhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner in her essay included in the UNICEF the State of the World’s Children Report. “I believe a key impact of the Convention has been to get international actors – including the European Union – to put children’s rights high on their political agenda”.

On 20 November 2009, the global community celebrates the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the unique document that sets international standards for the care, treatment and protection of all individuals below age 18. To celebrate this landmark, UNICEF is dedicating a special edition of its flagship report The State of the World’s Children to examining the Convention’s evolution, progress achieved on child rights, challenges remaining, and actions to be taken to ensure that its promise becomes a reality for all children.

The provisions and principles of the CRC guide UNICEF in its mission of advocating for the protection of children’s rights, helping children to meet their basic needs and expanding their opportunities to reach their full potential. Read more at:

Attention editors and broadcasters:Multi media packages including photos and b-roll will be available starting from 16th of November at



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