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Convention on the Rights of the Child a success but millions of children still unprotected

Youth delegates attend the United Nation's Special Session on Children, New York, 2002.

New York, 20 November, 2004 – It’s been fifteen years since the creation of a ground-breaking global treaty that recognized the basic human rights of all children, yet still millions of children remain forgotten or ignored, according to UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, in a statement.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989 and has been ratified by 192 countries. It remains the most widely accepted and the most quickly ratified human rights treaty in history.

It spells out the rights of all children and includes everything from survival and health to protection from exploitation and abuse to the right to a cultural and social life. To protect these rights, the Convention sets standards in health care, education and legal, civil and social services.

Sixty two countries have implemented the convention and more than half of those have incorporated it into their laws. The convention has also led to sixty independent human rights institutions for children being established in 38 countries.

“The enactment of new laws set in motion by the Convention is a postiive step that is critical to protecting the rights of children, but legal reform must be pursued at the same time as social politices that address the challenges facing children right now,” Bellamy said. “Too many children are growing up without basic health care, education and protection from abuse and exploitation.”

























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22 November 2004: UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes, Dan Toole tells how the CRC has helped children in conflict

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19 November 2004: A ground breaking treaty adopted in 1989 celebrates fifteen years of advocating for children’s rights

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18 November 2004: UNICEF Programme Division Director Joe Judd describes the difference the Convention has made for one child

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18 November 2004: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre Director Marta Santos Pais discusses the achievements of the Convention as well as the challenges ahead.
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