The Human Rights Council devoted a full-day discussion with two panels on children’s rights to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The discussion focused on the achievements and challenges in implementing the Convention at both international and national levels.
Children are no longer regarded as the property of parents or the passive recipients of charity or goodwill, but as rights-holders,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay when she opened the first panel on 11 March.
“There is no doubt that the Convention has transformed the way we view children,” she said, adding that such a conceptual shift also underscored governments’ accountability to fulfil their obligations towards children’s rights.
There remained ample ground for “very serious concern”, Pillay said.
UN figures show that each year nearly 10 million children die from preventable causes before their fifth birthday, and that that some 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide.
Children’s rights are at risk in every country of the world,” said Deputy High Commissioner Kyung-wha Kang when opening the second panel.
She emphasized the obligation of States parties to review all domestic legislation to ensure full compliance with the Convention, and that effective remedies must be available to redress violations of social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights of children.
On the sideline of the panel discussion, a free, multilingual and family-friendly website aimed at promoting children’s rights was launched in an event called “Children Know your Rights with CyberDodo” at the Human Rights Council.