UN Committee Takes Stock of the Status of Child Rights on World Children’s Day

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) released a report titled, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child at a Crossroads” on this year’s World Children’s Day.

Child Rights

On November 20, World Children’s Day, marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child—an international legal framework adopted by the UN General Assembly for the recognition of children as right-holders.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) which monitors compliance of the Convention by its signatories released a report titled, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child at a Crossroads.”

The Committee noted that while there have been historic gains overall for the world’s children since the Convention’s adoption 30 years ago, many of the poorest children are yet to feel the impact.

“..The odds continue to be stacked against the poorest and most vulnerable,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “In addition to the persistent challenges of health, nutrition and education, children today have to contend with new threats like climate change, online abuse and cybe rbullying.”

The Report

The first part of the report looks at the undeniable achievements of the past three decades.  

The global under-five mortality rate (G5MR) has fallen by about 60 per cent, with every region recording a reduction of more than 40 per cent. Global access to education has improved. Four out of five children in the lower secondary level cohort are now enrolled in education. The proportion of primary-school-aged children that aren’t in school has decreased from 18 to 8 per cent.

The second part looks at the Challenges-worrying signs that some of the gains achieved under the Convention are at risk of stagnation or even reversal.

Although safe and effective vaccines are widely available to families, often free of cost, somehow, over the past decade or so, the drive for global immunization coverage has stalled. Only 50 per cent children from the poorest households in sub-Saharan Africa are vaccinated against measles, compared to 85 per cent of children from the richest households.  In low and middle-income countries, including India, children from the poorest households are twice more likely than those from the richest households to die from preventable causes before their fifth birthday.

The youth graduating from formal education leave schools without gaining the skills and competencies required to succeed in the competitive, globalized labour market of the twenty-first century.

The report also noted that cultural, social, economic and political obstacles often remain entrenched despite years of efforts to remove them. Despite a decline in child marriage rates globally, the poorest girls in some countries are more at risk today than they were in 1989.

“The Convention stands at a crossroads between its illustrious past and its future potential. It is up to us to recommit, take decisive steps and hold ourselves accountable,” said Fore. “We should take our lead from young people who are speaking up and speaking out for their rights as never before, we must act now – boldly and creatively.”

She noted that the vision of the Convention on the Rights of the Child can only be translated into a reality with innovation, new technologies, political will and increased resources for the cause.

The UN Report can be read here:



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