Economic Relations, Connectivity & Innovation

HRC 43 - High-level Mainstreaming Panel (res. 16/21 & 40/15) Thirty years of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: challenges and opportunities - EU Intervention

Geneva, 24/02/2020 - 17:49, UNIQUE ID: 200224_14
Statements on behalf of the EU

The 30th anniversary of the CRC creates an opportunity to celebrate the progress achieved and to look at the challenges ahead. Today we have heard presentations on how the UN system is supporting States parties in implementing their legal obligations arising from the CRC. We would like to present some of our policies that contribute to the same objective.

Starting from early childhood, we invest to make sure that children receive nutrition, health-care and education. We are assisting partner countries in achieving universal birth registration, strengthening juvenile justice systems in line with international standards to protect children. In over 30 countries, we are addressing child early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation with a focus on prevention, protection, access to education and health-care. The EU promotes a zero-tolerance policy on child labour and eradication of forced labour through trade arrangements, action on global supply chains, and increased support to global partnerships.

Armed conflict, poverty, natural and man-made disasters, and displacement take their hardest toll on children. The EU is at the forefront of supporting children affected by such crises: we work to provide psychological support and trauma treatment and to protect and reintegrate children who were associated with armed forces and armed groups. The EU provides 10% of its humanitarian aid budget for education in emergencies.

In the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the First Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the Second Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography that we celebrate this year, the EU reaffirms its strong commitment to prevent and combat against all forms violence and abuse against children, including situations of armed conflicts .

Mr. President,

Last September together with UNICEF, the EU has launched a global campaign to celebrate the anniversary called #TheRealChallenge, aiming at creating a space for children's active participation and empowering them to speak up, contributing to the fulfilment of their right to be heard and to have their views given due weight. We need to create more space for children to participate and to demonstrate how their involvement on matters that concern them contributes to the realisation of their rights.

In terms of action within the EU the Commission is preparing a comprehensive strategy on the rights of the child that should include actions to protect vulnerable children, protect their rights online, foster child-friendly justice and prevent and fight violence. The strategy proves the rights of the child are high of the agenda of the new Commission.

Finally I will like to reiterate the EU's pledge for the CRC anniversary "Today, and every day with its actions, the EU renews its long-standing commitment to the full implementation of the CRC. Even though the EU is not a party to the Convention, we are responsible for its implementation: for every child, every right, and our collective action today to reach this goal."

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