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The rights of the child are human rights. They are indivisible, universal and inalienable. Yet, across the world, 16,000 children die every day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes. Nearly half of all deaths in children under age 5 are attributable to undernutrition. Every five minutes, a child dies as a result of violence in their homes, schools, and communities.
The EU policy on the rights of the child is strongly guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). All EU Member States are party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, currently ratified by 196 States parties. It is the most comprehensive human rights treaty and legal instrument for the promotion and protection of the entire complement of rights relevant to children: economic, social, cultural, civil and political. Adopted in 1989, this Convention outlines universal standards for the care, treatment, survival, development, protection and participation of all children. It was the first international instrument to explicitly recognise children as social actors and active holders of right.
In multilateral fora, the EU is highly active on the rights of the child. "The EU is, together with partners, the penholder of the annual resolution on the rights of the child at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the UN General Assembly in New York," explains Ambassador Walter Stevens, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva. "We therefore wanted to mark the 30th anniversary celebrations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in a special way. The video we launched today is a very personal testimony by all EU Ambassadors in Geneva to underline their commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of every child around the world," he says.