EU on Universal Children´s Day: For every child, every right
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    EU on Universal Children´s Day: For every child, every right

    Credit: UNICEF

    Universal Children’s Day is celebrated annually on 20th November. The goal of the day is to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children.

    November 20th is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    “Around the world, children are showing us their strength and leadership advocating for a more sustainable world for all. Let’s build on advances and re-commit to putting children first. For every child, every right,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

    On the occasion of Universal Children’s Day today, the European Commission and Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.

    “On this day, the European Union reconfirms its determination to making sure that every child has every right. Children need to be able to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment – free from violence, exploitation, harassment or neglect.”

    All EU Member States are party to the Convention. “Together we have strong national and EU legal frameworks that serve to protect children from abuse and exploitation,” says the statement.

    Despite all efforts, 25 million children in the EU and 19.5% of the world’s children continue to live in poverty. Children across the globe are victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Children suffer from mental health problems, are victims of bullying and commit suicide.

    “We still have a long way to go to make sure that all children regardless of their place of origin, socio-economic background and migration status can fully enjoy their childhood.”

    On the occasion of the Convention’s 30th anniversary, the EU and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) have recently launched #TheRealChallenge social media campaign to engage with children and young people on their rights in a language they understand and via a platform they know.

    The EU supports Member States with concrete funding to translate child-friendly justice frameworks that facilitate children’s access to justice, their appropriate representation in front of court and diligent treatment of juvenile delinquents.

    All EU Member States were required to transpose the Directive on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused in criminal proceedings by 11 June 2019.

    The EU has also dedicated funding for combating violence against children, including on harmful practices under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme. In 2018, more than €15 million was dedicated to finance projects preventing and combating gender-based violence and violence against children in the EU.

    Through the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children, the EU defines measures to protect and empower children online to reach a safer digital environment.

    The backbone of these efforts is the EU funded Safer Internet Centres, with the Betteinternetforkids.eu portal as central hub. The #SaferInternet4EU campaign promoting online safety, media literacy and cyber-hygiene reached nearly 30 million EU citizens.

    EU fights child labour by targeted action in its trade engagements. The integrated approach for cotton from West Africa and for fishery in South-East Asia, involving also trade partners and communities, is showing promising results, according to the Commission.

    EU projects in Cambodia, Myanmar, Georgia, Burundi and Armenia help children without parental care to grow up in supportive families or communities and our initiatives in as many as 17 enlargement and neighbourhood partners contribute to preventing the separation of families and strengthening quality alternative care for children without sufficient parental care.

    The Brussels Times