New brochure highlights areas in which many children remain unprotected
On Nov. 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the dignity and rights of all children by adopting the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Events marking the 25th anniversary of the recognition of those rights will be held Thursday at the United Nations in New York.
As nations celebrate their accomplishments in establishing legal rights and protections for the world’s children, the unmet needs of multiple millions of young human beings must be prioritized in order to secure their safe and hopeful future. A new literature piece, “Celebrating the Rights of the Child,” details areas in which the rights of children still are not honored or defended.
“On the 25th anniversary of this landmark human rights treaty, we should celebrate our progress on behalf of the youngest members of the human family while also acknowledging the ways in which the rights of children remain unprotected,” said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO), a U.N.-accredited non-governmental organization. Fischbach will be in New York for Thursday’s U.N. events.
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life—from conception to the second birthday—dramatically shape his or her prospects for survival and future well-being. Lives can be saved by improving the quality of care during labor, childbirth and the days following birth, including essential newborn care. Prenatal care and nutrition and optimum breastfeeding are also important to ensure healthy development.
Tens of millions of abortions occur around the world each year, and countries that protect unborn children face pressure to legalize the procedure. This is a profound injustice. The Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that, quoting the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth” (preamble). All children, born and unborn, deserve protection.
The Convention calls for securing the rights of each child “without discrimination of any kind” (Article 2). But sex-selective feticide—when abortion is performed solely on the basis of the unborn child’s sex—is a massive problem in areas where culture and tradition favor boys over girls, including parts of Asia, Southeast Europe and the Caucasus.
“Great progress has been made in the past 25 years on behalf of children,” said Fischbach. “But many still suffer. All children, born and unborn, male and female, have an equal dignity and right to life. They deserve our respect, protection and care.”