20 November 2009: Twenty years ago today landmark legislation was created that for the first time awarded a full range of international human rights to children.
Two decades later and every country in the world, except Somalia and the USA, has ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) - the treaty that grants all children and young people (aged under 18) a comprehensive set of rights including the right to a name, education, health, welfare and to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
But while much progress has been made, children across the world face new threats to their protection, development and even survival from emerging hazards from global recession and conflict to trafficking and climate change.
I have a voice!
To mark the 20th anniversary, Plan has launched its 'I have a voice!' campaign, inviting children to tell EU politicians what they think should be done to ensure that their rights are promoted, protected and fulfilled.
The 'I have a voice’ website, which was launched earlier this week at the European Parliament, offers space for children to leave a message for EU politicians. The aim is to get 20,000 messages in a year, which will then be delivered to the policy makers.
Enforce the convention
Plan representative in Geneva Anne-Sophie Lois says what is now needed is for states to enforce the convention that was designed to protect and aid children.
“We are not asking them to sign up to anything new – most countries have ratified – but what is now needed is for governments to follow through on their commitments and make this a reality – children of the world can not wait any more.”
Committed to child rights
Plan has been working hard to improve rights for children. Recent successes have included our Universal Birth Registration campaign [LINK] and more recently, Learn Without Fear [LINK] – both of which have had a direct impact upon millions of children’s lives and furthermore persuaded governments to introduce laws which strengthen and enforce articles of the CRC.