The Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified 34 years ago at the UN General Assembly. Every year, on November 20th, it is celebrated World Children’s Day to remember this important historical milestone. However, in a recent article published on the UNICEF website it has been identified alarming violations of children’s rights and high levels of risk to which children are exposed.
According to Catherine Russell, UNICEF executive director, approximately 400 million children worldwide are living in areas of conflict. Among the harmful consequences it has been identified cases of sexual abuse, forced displacement, loss or separation of family ties and lack of access to education.
Inequality and poverty, the climate crisis and lack of access to healthcare are also factors that impact children and violate the rights stipulated by the Convention. UNICEF’s annual report for the year 2023 reinforces the importance of access to healthcare and the relevance of vaccination to reduce the risk of epidemics of diseases that were controlled before the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on data extracted from the report, 67 million children have not been immunized and/or are delayed in vaccination. In Portugal, for 92% of the population, immunization must be followed according to the vaccination schedules.
The report published by the European Council identified challenges faced by children in Europe, including violence, access to an adequate justice system, participation, discrimination and education.
Governments and institutions of the justice system and civil society must intensify actions to investigate and identify violations of children’s rights to guarantee their well-being in the present, respecting the rights guaranteed by the Convention.
UNICEF Report: www.unicef.org
European Council Report: www.coe.int