20 Years - The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Anke Jahn

A Global Responsibility for Ensuring the Right to a Healthy Life
The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides the ideal framework to respect and defend children’s right to survival, protection and access to education. Although the Convention was signed and ratified by governments, other stakeholders, including the private sector, also have a role to undertake in promoting and protecting children’s rights. This is a responsibility that Deutsche Post DHL takes seriously. With nearly 500,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories, Deutsche Post DHL is one of the largest employers worldwide. It is from this workforce and global network that the company derives its sense of social responsibility – to its own employees as well as to the people and regions where it is active.

Thanks to the company‘s worldwide operations and logistical expertise, Deutsche Post DHL is uniquely positioned to contribute to humanitarian endeavours. The company’s chief objectives are disaster management, protecting the environment, and promoting education. As part of our GoHelp initiative in 2006, we launched a partnership with UNICEF under the banner “We deliver help” to help reduce child mortality.

Improving healthcare via instruction
Child survival rates have improved across the world in recent years. But, despite these gains, almost 9 million children still die each year from largely preventable causes. In Nandurbar, India, more than 5 per cent of children do not survive their first year, and many children are malnourished and lack immunization. Deutsche Post DHL teamed up with UNICEF in this region – one of the poorest in India – to implement village nutritional plans and to set up information posts to educate people about how to prevent and treat malnourishment and communicable diseases. 

The cornerstone of the company’s initiative is the Young Child Survival and Development programme, which focuses on health care, early childhood development, nutrition and hygiene. This year, Deutsche Post DHL aims to raise sufficient funds to immunize 50,000 children against the six major preventable diseases: pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, measles, polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis.

Deutsche Post DHL strongly supports article 24 of the Convention, which stipulates “the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.” In 2006, in the Kwale region of Kenya, the company funded projects to educate families on the serious risks of bites from malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and on how mosquito nets hung over a child's bed can help save lives. In the Peruvian Andes, Deutsche Post DHL helped to equip 40 health centres with medical devices and medicine in 2007, and its donations have also provided education and medical care in the region to 3,000 pregnant women and 7,000 children under age three.

Employee contributions – both monetary and hands-on help – are a vital part of Deutsche Post DHL’s efforts and commitment. In recent years, thousands of our staff have shown their support for regional projects. Many employees, who are often also parents, become involved in initiatives that make a significant difference in realizing the rights of children.

The Convention has played a key role in providing direction to our projects in India, Kenya and Peru. It has established itself as a universal charter, with defined goals and standards for children’s lives, and will continue to generate aid and progress for the children and families who need it most.

In Deutsche Post DHL’s division of Corporate Public Policy and Responsibility, Anke Jahn manages the UNICEF partnership which has successfully supported and developed selected projects in Kenya, India and Peru. Another core area of her work is the upcoming programme "GoTeach", where DPDHL is striving for improved equality and fair opportunities in education worldwide.

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