Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) states that children have the right to live and governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily.
The Convention places a high value on the children's right to survival and states that children have the right to good quality health care, to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay healthy. (Article 24 of CRC)
This 20th anniversary of CRC calls for ensuring every child has access to the basic right of survival. Society must save the large number of lives snuffed out within the first few days of life.
Eliminating malnourishment should be our top priority as it directly contributes to child mortality, school drop-out rates, gender equality and poverty reduction. Almost 55 million children under five in India are underweight for their age.
Children who are chronically undernourished before their second birthday are likely to have diminished cognitive and physical development for the rest of their lives. As adults, they are less productive and earn less than their healthy peers and the cycle of undernutrition and poverty repeats itself, generation after generation.
In India, close to one million newborns die each year during the first month of life and another million die between 29 days and five years.
UNICEF is closely working with the Government to encourage all women to have institutional deliveries and ensure both mother and baby receive critical post-natal care for at least 72 hours. UNICEF is also partnering with the government to ensure that the nutrition needs of the country’s most vulnerable children and women are met.