Twenty five children from around the world including two Nepalis provide a unique insight into the challenges they face in a World Vision report launched in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
The report also calls for child rights to be a priority in post-2015 development targets. "Where are the rights you promised us?" ask children in the report, marking 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
A quarter century since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, a glaring gap remains between the Convention’s promises and the reality for millions of children, says international development agency World Vision. This perspective is echoed by children in a new report, Writing for Rights, published today by World Vision in the lead-up to the Convention’s 25th anniversary (November 20).
The report compiles 25 letters written by children from Nepal and around the world. They want their governments to work harder to make children’s rights a reality. This collection of children’s letters provides a unique insight into the progress in their communities, while expressing their fears, including child marriage, forced labour, violence and lack of access to healthcare and education.
“I would like to request my government to implement effectively all the policies and laws that are made for children to support all the children for their bright future,” writes 16-year-old Kajal from Nepal.
“Poor economic conditions of families and harmful traditional practices have created hindrances among children to fulfill their basic rights,” writes 15-year-old Bir from Nepal.
World Vision International Nepal’s National Director, Elizabeth Hanna Satow, explains: “As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Convention, it’s time for us to listen. Children are experts on their own lives. They have unique knowledge about their needs. Decisions informed by children’s perspectives will be more relevant, effective and sustainable.”
The 25th anniversary of the Convention serves an opportunity to remind the world leaders that children’s rights should be a priority within the post-2015 development framework, because healthy, cared for and educated children become productive adults and contribute to healthy, peaceful and productive societies.
“The success of ‘post-2015’ targets that replace the Millennium Development Goals must be measured by their ability to reach the poorest and most vulnerable children in the hardest places to live,” says Satow.
World Vision is also urging all governments to make the Convention stronger and more accountable by ratifying a new UN treaty called the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This protocol gives children the ability to report particular instances of rights violations directly to the UN. The UN will investigate their claim and can direct the child’s government to take action.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted on 20 November 1989, outlines the universal standards of care for all people under the age of 18. It is the most widely endorsed human rights treaty in history, with 194 countries signed on.