Mozambique is coloured blue to celebrate 30 years of child rights
On 20 November, World Children’s Day, UNICEF joined the government and its partners nationwide to celebrate 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Videos and photos of events can be downloaded here
MAPUTO, 21 November 2019 – From Nampula to Maputo, yesterday, Mozambique celebrated World Children’s Day by colouring the two cities blue and hosting ‘kids takeovers’ of radio stations, debates, social media and even the Municipal Hall in Maputo. It was a day of fun activities, with children at their very centre.
World Children’s Day – celebrated on 20 November every year – aims to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children that are denied their right to adequate health care, nutrition, education and protection. This year’s celebration was especially significant as it marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.
Children across the world were encouraged to host summits with leaders and decision-makers and take over high-profile roles in government, sport and business. In a symbolic stand for child rights, famous landmarks around the world were turned blue. In Mozambique, a large children’s fair and summit took place in Nampula where the Governor of the Province, as well as UNICEF’s Ambassador, Neyma, enthusiastically led the activities. In Maputo, UNICEF’s partners hosted round table discussions and children presented a petition to government. The celebration in Maputo ended with a ‘kids takeover’ of the Municipal Hall and its illumination in blue light.
“It was a joy to join the children of Nampula on this year’s World Children’s Day”, said UNICEF Ambassador, Neyma. “We had so much fun and the debate was very lively, but the message was also very clear from the children themselves, the needs of children in this country remain great and their voices should be heard. Their opinions count”.
For the first time in Mozambique, a national landmark, the Maputo Municipal City Hall, was lit in blue light to celebrate the day. Turning the world blue has been central to the global 20 November celebration in the last few years. The city hall joined iconic landmarks across the world to be lit in blue, including the European Parliament in Brussels, the Shanghai Tower in China and the Acropolis of Athens in Greece.
Activities were child-led and with the aim of being fun and informal, but the message was nonetheless serious. Every year, World Children’s Day shines a spotlight on Article 12 of the CRC, which guarantees every child has the right to be heard, to participate, and to play a role in the civic life of their society. The CRC at 30 is a moment for bold action to ensure no child is left behind, and to support every child to reach their full potential, wherever they are.
“Around the world, children and young people are taking the lead and demanding urgent action on the issues they care about, like the climate crisis, the rise of mental illness and the lack of opportunities,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “This World Children’s Day provides world leaders with a momentous opportunity to heed these calls and recommit to the rights of every child now and for future generations.”
The Government of Mozambique ratified the CRC in 1994 and UNICEF stands side by side with the Government in its efforts to address some of the most pressing issues facing children in Mozambique today. Three key areas, amongst others, continue to focus UNICEF’s work in the country, including the reduction in malnutrition and levels of stunting, an end to child marriage and greater access to education, especially for girls.
“Child rights remain as relevant as ever here in Mozambique”, said Marcoluigi Corsi, UNICEF Representative. “While great progress has been made for the children of this country in the last 30 years, so much more remains to be done to fully realize their rights. Working closely with our partners, including the government, we can ensure the commitment made to the CRC can be followed through on behalf of children across the country.”
World Children’s Day is one day in the calendar for highlighting a breadth of child rights, but UNICEF’s work and that of its partners continues all year around, around the clock. The commemoration yesterday was a great opportunity to celebrate all that has been achieved for children since 1989 but also to acknowledge that the future can bring even greater progress for child rights here in Mozambique and across the world.
Notes to editors
Uniting around a common cause, world leaders adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the 20 November 1989. It is an international agreement on childhood, that has helped transform children’s lives.
The convention consists of 54 articles and has three optional protocols. The First Optional Protocol relates to the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the Second Optional Protocol outlaws the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. A third optional protocol, focusing on communication of complaints, was adopted in December 2011 and opened for signature in February 2012.
Mozambique ratified the CRC in 1994 and this is now enshrined in the Constitution of Mozambique (ART. 47). The country then ratified two of the three optional protocols in 2003 and 2004, respectively. In ratifying the convention, Mozambique commits to a presenting a report every five years to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The latest report has recently been published.
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 for children, visit www.unicef.org.mz.