UNICEF’s State of The World’s Children report commemorates 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
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UNICEF’s State of The World’s Children report commemorates 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

RAIPUR, Chattisgarh, India 12 April 2010 – A week after welcoming the enactment of Right to Education, the Chhattisgarh Government has once again brought child rights issues into focus with the release of UNICEF's State of the World's Children – 2009 report.

The report, which was released by Honorable Governor Mr Shekhar Dutt, tracks the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and highlights the challenges that remain.

Reiterating the State Government’s commitment to women and child development the Governor said, “The approach to development schemes has to be all around, including education, health & nutrition and child protection”.

While he was appreciative of the favorable gender balance in Chhattisgarh, Mr Dutt said it was important to train women in professional skills and include them in the society as an empowered workforce. He also expressed serious concern over the plight children urban slums.

On the occasion, Mr Dutt was also presented the latest edition of the Bal Swara;, a fortnightly newspaper brought out by child reporters in Chhattisgarh.

The worldwide release of the State of the World's Children(SOWC) report took place 19th Nov 2009, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the CRC. The Convention articulates a set of universal children’s rights, such as the right to an identity, a name and a nationality, the right to an education, and rights to the highest possible standards of health and protection from abuse and exploitation; and identifies the obligation of governments to do all they can to deliver these.

The State of the World’s Children report describes the timeless relevance of the Convention.

In Chhattisgarh, prolonged civil strife in some districts, has led to many children being displaced, emotionally scarred and deprived of the minimum basic security which they would have otherwise enjoyed.

Speaking at the release function, UNICEF’s State Chief, Ms Shaheen Nilofer said “our programmes at state level strive to create a better environment, opportunities and facilities for all children, especially those who are socially excluded or hard to reach”.

Among other recommendations with respect to child rights, the SOWC report suggests:
1) Make the best interests of the child the primary test of governance: Laws, policies, budgets, research and systems of governance must reflect the Convention. Interventions must focus on addressing the realities of children’s lives to ensure that their best interests are served.

2) Develop capacities to realize the rights of children: This ranges from empowering parents with the knowledge and skills they need to care for, guide and protect children, to mobilizing communities and supporting those in positions of power to fulfill child rights.

3) Support social and cultural values that respect the rights of children: Recognizing children as holders of rights, and accepting corresponding responsibilities at every level – from individual to government – is critical to ensuring the rights of every child. Fundamental to this challenge is honoring children’s right to be heard and have their views respected.

For further information please contact:

Shaheen Nilofer
Chief, State Office, UNICEF Chhattisgarh
Tel : +91-9893599660 ; e-mail : snilofer@unicef.org

Priyanka Chaturvedi
Communication Officer, UNICEF Chhattisgarh
Tel : +91-9584636333 ; e-mail : pchaturvedi@unicef.org

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